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Getting in a musical mood

There is a nip in the air and the smell of the season to be jolly. And what other way to show you are jolly and you know it but to enjoy a musical evening or two.

In fact, Nicosia and Paphos have a total of five such evenings planned, with a number of musicians.

On the Nicosia stage tonight, and also planning to perform on December 1 and 15, will be Trio Levante.

Trio Levante was formed in November 2014, and the trio is comprised of Petros Kouloumis on vocals and the lute, Pavlos Michaelides on the vocals and the violin, and Pantelis Ionas on vocals, the banjo, the guitar and the oud.

All three musicians are devoted to smyrneiko and Greek pre-war rebetiko. This love of the genre gives them the push they need to further explore the music and bring that old-school kind of musical feel to the audience of today.

Performing in Nicosia on Wednesday and in Paphos next Friday, The Mediterranean Trio are set to present a wide range of original pieces, commissioned by Greek, Cypriot, Israeli and Finnish composers, as well as other works by French and American composers.

The trio, who are Miltiades Papastamou (Greece) on violin, Yiannis Miralis (Cyprus) on saxophones and Michael Tsalka (Israel/Holland) on piano, hope to promote chamber music while also incorporating traditional and contemporary music from the Eastern Mediterranean in their performances. Their goal is becoming a reality through their work with Cypriot composers Stavros Lantsias, Savvas Savva, Giorgos Karvellos and Inna Koutroupi, as well as Nicos Kypourgos from Greece, Tero-Pekka Hennell from Finland and Gene Pritsker and Daniel Alcheh from Israel.

Since the Mediterranean Trio was created in 2014, the musicians have performed with great success at the Gasteig Theatre in Munich, the Cultural Festival of the University of Cyprus in Nicosia, the Beethovenhause in Bonn, the Geelvinck Museum in Amsterdam and the Volksbuhne theatre in Berlin. In May 2015, the trio recorded their first CD, which will be out later this year.

A night of classical, cross-over and jazzy sounds this way comes on Wednesday, November 16, when soprano Tina Chester will be joined by Thomas Tang on the piano to raise funds for charity.

The music event, Music with a Mission, will take place at the Green Hill Café Lounge Bar in Peyia and will include songs like Over the Rainbow, Poor Wandering One and Habanera. While Chester will show us what that somewhere over the rainbow looks like, Tang will play Melody of the Night by Shi Jin, among other pieces.

Chester hails from north-west England, where she studied classical and performance techniques. As well as being a success at musical festivals, she has also performed at weddings, corporate functions, in operatic and theatre productions and guest appearances at concerts.

Her main influences have been sopranos Natalie Dessay, Sumi Jo, and cross-over singers such as Katherine Jenkins and Sarah Brightman.

Tang, who started his love affair with the piano at seven, studied at music college in China from 2010 to 2014 and in Australia from 2014 to 2015. He taught piano in China before relocating to Cyprus this year. He is a fan of, and prefers to play, classical music.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Christian charity Mission Direct, whose purpose is to empower and protect young people in Zambia.

Trio Levante
Live performance by the group. November 9 until December 15. Antonakis Music Hall, 17 Vasileiou Voulgaroktonou Street, Nicosia. 9pm. €8. Tel: 22-664697

Mediterranean Trio
Live performance by the trio. November 16. Cyprus Wine Museum, Erimi, Nicosia. 8pm. €10. Tel: 99-531387
November 18. Technopolis 20 Cultural Centre, Paphos. 8pm. €10/6. Tel: 70-002420

Music with a Mission
Performance by soprano Tina Chester and Thomas Tang on the piano. November 16. Green Hill Café Lounge Bar, Peyia, Paphos. 8pm. €12/10. Tel: 99-538077

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