By Maria Gregoriou
It’s that time of year again when jazz is really and truly in the air, the open air that is as it is time for the AglanJazz festival.
The festival, which will be keeping the passion for jazz alive for the ninth year on Monday and Tuesday, turns towards Ethnic Jazz and gives the stage to such music coming from Cypriot, Greek and Australian-African musicians.
On Monday at 9pm the new Cypriot band New Quartet will give the festival its kick off. The band will play some of their own compositions reminding audiences what local talent we are full of.
Next up will be Sigl Finkel & Mamadou Diabate: African Vibes. The two musicians are among the most prominent musicians of the Austrian jazz-world music scene and for the past ten years have performed all around the world.
The duo, who will also play some of their own music, will bring their African Vibes alive with the saxophone, flute, a balafon – a wooden xylophone – a ngoni – traditional lute, and bass played by percussionist Zakaria Kone.
Next on stage will be the trio Human Touch from Greece. The well-known innovative instrumental band’s performances also bring their Greek, Irish, American and Cypriot backgrounds to their universal soul sounds.
Between them David Lynch, Yiotis Kiourtsoglou and Stavros Lantsias have performed with Arturo Sandoval, Trilok Gurtu, Billy Cobham, Arild Andersen, Milcho Leviev, Davy Spillane, Peter Erskine, Lars Danielsson, the Temptations, Barry White, the Camerata String Orchestra and others.
They have participated in several international jazz and ethnic festivals in Europe, Turkey and the Balkans and have influenced generations of instrumentalists in Greece.
This will be another unique performance as Human Touch not only provides an array of rhythms and emotional depths in their compositions but also make a visual impression on all that get to see them live.
That’s it for Monday but not for the jazz festival as Tuesday will bring the Cypriot Andreas Rodosthenous Ethnic Jazz Ensemble.
The ensemble – Andreas Rodosthenous on the fretless electric bass, Giorgos Morfitis on the piano, Alkis Agathokleous on the ney, and Stelios Xydias on the drums – was formed during the recording of Rodosthenous’ first personal works entitled Simplicity.
It seems jazz is one of those musical genres that is always unique because it allows the musicians who create it be themselves and take the music where it wants to go. This is true of most jazz bands and especially of this one as each member brings their own authentic ideas and lets improvisation flow freely while involved in interactive music playing.
The last jazz tunes of the night and the festival will come from one of Greece’s finest jazz guitarist, Takis Barberis. He combines a number of diverse elements from jazz, funk, rock, Indian, Balkan and Greek music (tradition and innovation, acoustic and electronic sounds) in his work.
Barberis will be accompanied by Manos Saridakis on keys, Christos Kechris on bass and Michalis Kapilidis on the drums.
Entrance is free and food and drink will be available on the scene.
A two-day jazz festival. July 13-14. Aglantzia Old Square, Nicosia. 9pm. Free. Tel: 22-455799