Five dates with jazz at Tech­nop­o­lis

Kathimerini English - - Life - BY ELIAS MAGLI­NIS

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.

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