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Paradise Jazz Festival - Spotlight

The Paradise Jazz Festival in Pomos will feature nine different bands and 33 musicians on two separate weekends of Fridays & Saturdays on the 23rd, 24th & 30th, 31st July.

On Friday 23rd at 9.00 p.m. Paradise Place welcomes the Andreas Panteli Quartet featuring saxophonist Jan Kus from Slovenia, Giorgo Galopoulo from Athens on the contrabass, Christo Konstandinides from Salonika on drums and Andreas Panteli from Cyprus on piano. The band got together in Rotterdam and plays original compositions of Andrea Panteli and standards of Modern jazz.

At 11.00 p.m. same night follows the Charis Ioannou Trio featuring Zaid Nasser (U.S.A) and Vahagn Hayrapetyan (Armenia). Except Chari Ioannou who plays sax the Trio includes Michael Messios on bass and Ioannis Vafeas on drums. They have been playing together for about 5 years now and have already made numerous appearances at clubs and festivals around Cyprus, England, Poland, Kuwait, Greece and Serbia. This time, joining them on piano will be Vahagn Hayrapetyan and on alto sax Zaid Nasser. The music that will be performed at the festival can be characterized as Authentic Classic Jazz that is deeply rooted in the American tradition of the 1940`s and 1950`s. 

On next day, Saturday 24th, 9.00 p.m. Paradise presents the Kafeney Quartet featuring Pavlina Konstantopoulou. They are a local group which two of the members have had many performances @ Paradise Place in the past. Alkis Agathokleous plays ney & cumbus and Savvas Houvartas plays guitar. Nicolas Tryphonos is on double bass and Andreas Stefanou is on drums & percussions.  Pavlina Konstantopoulou on vocals joins in to complete the band. They are going to perform new standards, original compositions and free improvisations.

The first weekend finishes with the Giorgos Galopoulos Quintet also another international group that got together in Rotterdam & plays original compositions of Giorgos Galopoulos. They have a more Traditional Jazz style & Modern Jazz elements. In the band is Michael Gyorek from Slovenia on alto sax, Mauri Gomez from Spain on tenor sax & the Athenian Giorgos Galopoulos on contrabass. Giorgos Morfitis who is on piano & Stelios Xydias on drums.

There will be 16 more musicians on the following weekend which is going to kick off on Friday 30th July at 9.00 p.m. with a bit of Latin Jazz & the "Branco  Trio" featuring Eleonora Rousou on flute. "Branco Trio" which means "pure" in Brazilian, is a band consisting of Andreas Stefanou on the drums, George Xanthou on the guitar and Andreas Rodosthenous on the bass. Their music expresses a mixture of traditional and modern Brazilian influences starting from the great "Antonio Carlos Jobim" to the modern sound of the "Nosso Trio". This music is very inspirational due to its rich tradition, history and sound that has been created through the years.

The program will continue at 11.00 p.m. with the “Alexander Gagatsis Quartet.” Alexander wants to perform his compositions live in front of Paradise Place public first, before going in to the recording studios this autumn. In the band is Charis Ioannou on sax, Tasos Stylianou on guitar, Fulvio Buccafusco on double bass.  Alexander Gagatsis plays the drums.

For Saturday 31st there will be three different shows, starting with the brilliant Lee Westwood who comes from England. With him he will have as a special guest, the Cypriot violinist Pavlos Michaelides. Lee Westwood is a guitarist and composer that dedicates much of his time to the tuning DADGAD & exploits the instrument's many facets to create eclectic modern lullabies for the steel strung acoustic guitar, using new dynamics and approaches in his pieces.

Next up will be the Trio Errant also from England featuring Nathaniel Butler on drums, Lee Blackmore on guitar & Colin Somervell on bass, who is a familiar face in Cyprus from his performances with Trio Teke.  This is a classical jazz, guitar trio that explores the standards in its unique way and with its own arrangements.

The last band for this year festival is playing music for the soul with mostly blues elements and is called “The Zilla Project”.  It is a newly formed 4-piece band playing its version of the blues with many allusions to all styles of American music. They deliver electrified versions of well-known blues classics (in an energetic and super charged 2 hour set). They consist of Emmanuel Vourakis (who we saw last year here with the Blues Wire) on vocals and electric guitars, Nikolas “Honeyman” Melis on the keys, Omiros Andreou on bass (we know him from the 40 Plus)and “Zilla” a.k.a George Nikolaidis on the drums.

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