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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Open air jazz ]

Open air jazz

The traditional centre of Nicosia’s Aglandjia will be brought to life this week with the staging of a jazz festival reports ZOE CHRISTODOULIDES

When the Aglandjia jazz festival first sprung to life a couple of years ago some people said it would never work for fear that most Cypriots are just not all that keen on embracing this musical genre. Others speculated that it wouldn’t be a hit because people aren’t used to crowding around under the street light in an otherwise quiet residential area to watch live music. Add that to the fact that the Old Aglandjia Square is a little hard to find and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

But against all the odds, the Aglandjia festival actually proved to be quite a hit, attracting music lovers from all walks of life as they enjoyed a few good beats in an alternative atmosphere. Even attracting kids from the nearby neighbourhood and people who aren’t accustomed to listening to jazz, the municipality seemed to be on to a good thing.

After all, they were offering live music for free with the aim of getting people together who may not ordinarily be accustomed to these kinds of sounds. Then let’s not forget the avid jazz lovers that the occasion attracted; the sort who often go out of their way to embrace these kind of events, also tending to flock to the Paradise Jazz Festival in Pomos on a yearly basis.

If you liked the event last year or want to try something a little different, then pop down to the square either tomorrow or Tuesday night for a similar music bash. This time round you can listen to The Outer Soul Ensemble and Elizabeth Simonian Quintet on the first night, with beats by World Music Quartet and Andreas Georgiou Ethnic Jazz Trio come Tuesday. As for the setting, Old Aglandjia is one of the few areas in the capital that retains traditional charm with little cobbled streets and tiny houses giving way to a charming square.

With talented local bands playing, it’s all about a mix of styles as audiences are given the chance to familiarise themselves with talents from across the island. First to grab a place in the limelight tomorrow is the Outer Soul Ensemble, a seven-piece groove band that incorporates jazz, funk and afro soul. Well known names include Charis Ioannou, Lefteris Moumtzis and Ioannis Vafeas.

Crowds will then get to listen to the Elizabeth Simonian Quintet - an intimate but dynamic group that mixes calmness and intensity in their performances. Elizabeth is well known for her great voice and while many will have seen her sing at the Paradise Jazz Festival, others will know of her from various other local performances islandwide.
Then there’s the World Music Quartet performing on Tuesday with original composition and traditional melodies. The newly formed band from Limassol also consists of well known names including Savvas Houvartas and Alkis Agathokleous.

Last up on the second night is the Andreas Georgiou Ethnic Jazz Trio. What’s interesting about this band is the way they mix European musical styles with ethnic characteristics of the Mediterranean, India and Africa. And here’s something interesting about their lead man: not content with playing any old guitar or drum, he’s mastered the art of playing all sorts of traditional instruments including the Cretan mantoura, the Indian sitar and shahnay and the African sansa.

In true Cypriot style, drinks and souvlaki will be available for everyone on both nights. What more could you ask for from a free musical event?

Aglandjia Jazz Festival 2009
Participating artist include: The Outer Soul Ensemble, Elizabeth Simonian Quintet, World Music Quartet and Andreas Georgiou Ethnic Jazz Trio. June 22 and 23. Square of Old Aglandjia, Nicosia. 9pm. Free. Tel: 22-462058

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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