Next week will start with a Jazz, Latin and Flamenco vibe when two local bands take to the Pallas Theatre stage in Nicosia on Monday.
Steppin’ Out Jazz Band – Alice Ayvazian on vocals, Konstantinos Efraimidis on clarinet and saxophone and Dimitris Miaris on piano – and the Ruma Attack, who are Constantinos Lyras and Memnon Arestis on their guitars, and Savvas Thoma on the cajon (a six-sided box that is used as a percussion instrument) and percussions will stage the concert.
The Steppin’ Out Jazz band has performed their swinging jazz repertoire in venues around the island. All three musicians are very talented and accomplished in their fields.
Ayvazian – the only female presence on the night – has a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Berklee College of Music, Boston, Massachusetts, and two Master’s. During her time in America she participated as lead and backing vocalist in numerous studio recording projects as well as performances and concerts. She has also performed in various venues, concerts and special events in Cyprus and has conducted numerous vocal workshops for choirs and other educational institutions.
Efraimidis, from Greece, is a classically trained clarinettist who received his diploma from the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki. Since moving to Cyprus he has become an active member of the local music scene.
He is currently continuing his music studies in Jazz Performance under the instruction of saxophonist Charis Ioannou at the University of Nicosia.
Miaris had his first connection with jazz through the Jazz Futures workshops in Nicosia when he was 16. Since then he has attended a number of workshops in Cyprus and in Italy and has received a Bachelor Degree in Jazz Piano from the Ionian University’s Jazz Department.
He also shares his musical talents with the Greek traditional band Neorebetes, which has performed in Greece, Russia and Australia.
The band will perform jazz standards from the 30s, 40s and 50s, composed by the greats of the era, such as George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and Richard Rodgers and as performed by Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan among others.
The Rumba Attack have performed their original instrumental material and selected covers – all in their Spanish flamenco style – at venues and festivals around the island, including a performance at TedXLimassol in 2015. They will be sharing their original sounds on Monday when they cover the Latin, Flamenco and Blues part of the concert.
But don’t be surprised if you get a kind of jazzy vibe from the three-member band, they have also been known to do some strumming and tapping in a jazzier kind of style. During their live shows they regularly feature guest musicians with notable instruments including trumpet, flute, saxophone, percussion and lyra, and have also collaborated with local dance schools.
Lyras started guitar lessons at the age of eleven and in 2000 he won first prize at the International Guitar Competition Guitar Festival Cyprus. He then went on to study at the Conservatoire of Szeged in Hungary, at Wolverhampton University and the Conservatories of Birmingham in the UK.
Arestis studied the electric, acoustic and nylon string guitar in the UK and jazz harmonisation and lead electric guitar in Cyprus. He has performed with several bands in the UK and Cyprus.
Thoma has been the band’s percussionist since its formation in 2013. He began Latin percussion lessons in 2006 and became a member of the ethnic music group Tat-Tnabar, with which he participated in a number of theatrical performances.
The band is currently recording their debut studio album, which is due to be released over the next few months.
Jazz Latin Flamenco
Live performance by the Rumba Attack and the Steppin’ Out Jazz Band. November 27. Pallas Theatre, Nicosia. 8.30pm. €10. Tel: 99-430654