Having the blues isn’t always a bad thing – it can lead to inspiration, creativity and a way out of our own minds. This is kind of how the music genre came to be, but the whole story will be told in music and song next week at the Kypria International Festival.
The Story of the Blues will get audience members in touch with the genre that developed from African musical traditions, African-American work songs and spiritual and folk music on Wednesday in Nicosia, Limassol on Thursday and Paphos on Saturday.
This unique concert, devoted entirely to blues music, will be performed for the first time on the island. It will provide the three cities with a rich, fascinating and sentimental musical journey, taking the audience through various regions, eras and sounds of the Blues – a journey that began over a century ago and is still going strong.
Our guides on this tour will be the members of the leading local blues band The Zilla Project, together with four special guest musicians from Greece, including acclaimed pan-European blues veteran Elias Zaikos, founder and inspiration behind this project, the magical voice of Jenny Kapadai, as well as Charis Kapetanakis and Yannis Economides on horns.
The Zilla Project is a four-piece band with ‘Big Mo’ Emmanuel Vourakis on vocals and electric guitars, Nikolas ‘Honeyman’ Melis on the keys, Loizos Pafitis on bass and Stefanos PP Meletiou on the drums. The boys normally play their original compositions during their own gigs, together with electrified versions of well-known blues classics. Their debut album entitled This One’s for the President came out in 2014 and after a long list of performances in 2015 – including one in London – the band toured Greece and Geneva last year.
Joining the band will be Zaikos, who is recognised as the most important blues musician in Greece. At the wheel of the legendary band Blues Wire, he has collaborated with many of the biggest names on the world blues scene including Albert King, John Hammond, Otis Rush, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Katie Webster, Larry Garner and Carey Bell. His personal work, together with that of Blues Wire, encompasses 14 albums and a double live DVD.
Fellow story tellers on stage will be Kapadai, one of the leading blues singers in Greece whose career has been going strong from over the past 20 years, as well as Economides and Kapetanakis, two of the most recorded horn players in Greece.
The Story of the Blues
Performance by the Zilla Project, Elias Zaikos and other special guests within the framework of the Kypria International Festival. September 13. Strovolos Municipal Theatre, Nicosia. 8.30pm. € 10/5. Tel: 22-313010
September 14. Pattihio Theatre Limassol. 8.30pm. € 10/5. Tel: 25-377277
September 16. Tala Amphitheatre, Paphos. 8.30pm. €10/5. Tel: 70-002212