Five dates with jazz at Technopolis
Last year marked the 10th anniversary of the European Jazz Festival which takes place at the Technopolis cultural center of the City of Athens. This year the festival is back at the same venue, under a new mayor, in a city – not to mention country – put to the test on a daily basis. The annual jazz rendezvous starts today and runs through Sunday at the Gazi complex.
Participating in the festival are ensembles from 12 European Union countries, namely Hungary, Slovakia, Portugal, Denmark, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands, Greece, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Luxembourg and Belgium.
For the first time in its history the festival is hosting a small tribute to Balkan jazz with guests such as Albania’s Fanfara Tirana and local acts such as the Martha Mavroidi Trio, Pantelis Stoikos and the Trio Balkano, the GoJam Group and the City of Athens Big Band. Running parallel to the festival is an exhibition of photographs by Christos Kopsachilis and Lefteris Arvanitis.
The festival, the result of a European Union artistic collaboration, hosts a number of representative jazz voices and bands, primarily young ensembles with fusion and ethnic jazz influences.
Greece is represented by the Nikos Anadolis Trio – the band was selected by a three-member jury comprising George Kontrafouris (an established jazzman and Ionian Uni- versity lecturer), Giorgos Charonitis (co-publisher of Jazz & Jazz magazine) and composer George Hatzinasios.
The festival’s program will feature three concerts every day with the last gig ending at midnight. Admission is free of charge.
Traditionally, the festival’s official opening – and close – features the Big Band, one of the four music ensembles of the City of Athens. Under the baton of seasoned pianist and conductor Yiannis Terezakis, the orchestra’s repertoire features a variety of works spanning classical and timeless jazz literature. At Technopolis, the Big Band will be accompanied by Greek-Danish composer and singer Veronica Mortensen.
Among the multitude of jazz names appearing at the festival is a face familiar to local jazz lovers, guitarist Marzio Scholten, who comes to Athens with his Dutch quartet. Scholten is one of Europe’s most talented and promising jazzmen, both as a guitarist and as a composer.
Also taking part in the event is Slovakia’s vivacious Katarina Koscova who will be accompanied by her band, the Illusions. Koscova’s career took off in 2005, the year she won her country’s Super Idol TV competition. Also coming to Athens is Sweden’s Nils Berg and his trio, Nils Berg Cinemascope, Spanish guitarists Nono Garcia and Tito Alcedo, and Austrian jazz duo Michaela Rabitsch and Robert Pawlik.
Dutch guitarist and composer Marzio Scholten is one of Europe’s most talented jazzmen. He appears at the European Jazz Festival in Athens this week.