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A month of jazz

To musically round off the year, Ofer Landsberg and Charlotte Storer will host a series of jazz events that will last well into mid-January. Bringing their sounds from the UK, concerts are organised in all four main cities of the island, giving jazz lovers plenty of opportunity to catch a performance.

In an almost month-long tour in Cyprus, Ofer will play by Charlotte’s side accompanying her in nearly ten performances. Though there’s more Ofer can offer and his performance on December 23 is set to showcase his talent and why he’s been able to play in venues such as Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club – one of London’s most acclaimed jazz bars.

Israeli-born Ofer was introduced to the world of music by his sister when they lived in a small village in the middle of the country – he comes from a fairly artistic family with both his sisters being creative. “My sister Tamar taught me my first chords on the guitar and then at the age of 12 I came across a double CD of live sessions by Charlie Parker and that was it! I fell in love and knew what I was going to do,” Ofer said.

Inspired by the jazz greats, Ofer entered the world of sharp beats and sax tunes and hasn’t stopped since.

“As a kid, I got the feeling that this style of music (jazz) was the perfect format for expression and I still feel that today.” And now he is bringing his music to the island with gigs on the island with “music represents the world at its best”.

Ofer has been visiting the island regularly in the last 10 years since first appearing here as a guest on the US Embassy bicommunal programme Jazz Futures with The Ari Roland and Chris Byars Band where he met fellow jazz musicians Charis Ioannou, Marios Spyrou and Charlotte Storer. Connecting immediately, they began performing together over the years, inviting Ofer back to the island.

Maintaining a strong personal and professional relationship, Ofer will be playing with these musicians in his upcoming concerts this winter.

“The gigs will vary between a full band (quartet vocal, guitar, bass and drums) to duets and trio with guitar and the beautiful saxophone of Charis Ioannou,” Ofer said.

“We always like to give the audience the choice of how to experience the music. Some nights can be a spontaneous jazz party and some nights can be an intimate concert. That freedom of choice is part of the essence of this music,” he added.

In his one night as a lead performer, Ofer will be joined on the Sarah’s Jazz Club stage by Cahit Kutrafali on bass and Marios Spyrou on drums and can’t hide this enthusiasm “I’m excited to be performing for the first time at one of the best new Jazz venues on the island.”

Concluding his Cyprus tour, his final five gigs will be performed with some of his oldest friends and colleagues in Jazz, the Yaala Ballin Quintet and Ari Roland on bass, Charis Ioannou on tenor sax and Marios Spyrou on drums.

Jazz nights with Ofer Landsberg
Live jazz performance with Israel-born musician Ofer Landsberg, joined by Cahit Kutrafali on Bass and Marios Spyrou on Drums. December 23. Sarah’s Jazz Club, Nicosia. 9.30pm. €10. Tel: 95-147711