Cyprus Mail

All jazzed up, times four

Jazz fans will have four times the fun on Friday when four jazz players will come together to perform in a concert entitled Jazz with Middle Eastern Roots at the Windcraft Music Centre in Nicosia.

Get ready to come face to face with the great jazz saxophonist Gilad Atzmon, the accomplished guitarist Ofer Ganor, bassist Irineos Koullouras and drummer Stelios Xydias, who will show that it’s not jazz alone that matters, it’s the way you play it.

The programme will include well-known jazz tunes performed in a unique, sophisticated style that combines great bebop artistry with the sounds of the Middle East.

Atzmon is an Israeli-born British jazz musician, music producer, novelist and activist. As a multi-instrumentalist he plays saxophones, clarinet and ethnic woodwind instruments. He has been described by John Lewis in the Guardian as the “hardest-gigging man in British jazz” and his album Exile was the BBC jazz album of the year in 2003.

As a bandleader and reed player, he has been amazing his listeners with his powerful personal style which merges the music of the Middle East and Eastern Europe together with Jazz and contemporary improvised music.

If you are interested in doing more than just listening to Atzmon, the Windcraft Music Centre will also host him earlier on Friday, from 6pm until 7.30pm, to run a music workshop. The workshop will explore different improvisation techniques that are based on intuition and ear, rather than scholarship.

Now back to the big jazz show. Ganor is an accomplished Israeli jazz guitarist who has studied, recorded and played with great jazz legends such as Herbie Hancock, Ron Cater, James Moody and others.

After completing his studies at the Berklee College of Music and the Thelonius Monk Institute, he moved to New York where he played in many clubs and concerts with musicians, such as Dwayne Eubanks, Peter Bernstein and Liz Diamond.

In 2000 he returned to Israel where he has worked with many local artists and has taught music. He has given master classes in Israel, Cyprus and France.

Cypriot double-bass player Koullouras studied next to the famous jazz musicians Ron Carter, Charlie Banacos and Ed Barker. He has performed in New York and many European countries with Gary Burton, Theothosi Spassov, Ofer Ganor, Amos Hoffman and others.

In 2001 he moved to Athens, where he has collaborated with some of the biggest names in Greek music, including Charis Alexiou, Nikos Xydakis and Socrates Malamas. He has also taught double-bass at the Nakas Music School. The double-bass player currently performs regularly with his Trio (along with Giorgos Krasides on the saxophone and Giorgos Koulas on the drums) and other bands.

Drummer Xydias studied at the Codarts Rotterdam Conservatory. After his studies he returned to Cyprus, where he is an active performer and a music educator. He has performed in many international and local music festivals, next to great musicians such as Gilad Atzmon, Alexia Vassiliou and others. In October 2014 he published his personal EP entitled Silence.

Jazz with Middle Eastern Roots
Live performance by jazz musicians Gilad Atzmon, Ofer Ganor, Irineous Koullouras and Stelios Xydias. February 12. Windcraft Music Centre, 27 Xanthis Xenierou, Nicosia. 9pm. €10. Tel: 99-549141

The Ear – Music Workshop with Gilad Atzmon
Improvisational techniques based on intuition with jazz saxophonist Gilad Atzmon. February 12. Windcraft Music Centre, 27 Xanthis Xenierou, Nicosia. 6pm-7.30pm. €15. Tel: 99-549141

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