CULTURE

Two days of ethnic beats live at the Grammes club

The Grammes live music club in Athens- a venue that has been staging successful concerts for several years now – is hosting a two-day tribute to ethnic and ethnic-influenced music this Friday and Saturday. The festival, named E-Terra, will, besides music, also offer food and art events which tie in with the broader theme of highlighting the beauty of cultural differences and the way in which symbols of cultural identity can be mixed and blended to create a new, world culture. The first night on Friday will kick off with local performer guitarist/ composer Vassilis Rokopoulos, Giorgos Hadzichronoglou on Byzantine instruments, the Avaton ensemble and the talented Egyptian singer Natacha Atlas. Saturday’s concerts start with Spanish/Algerian artist Kad Achouri performing his own compositions that blend acid and funk jazz with traditional elements, followed by the event’s headline act: the band Reyes, named after group-member Mario Reyes. Formerly known as members of the world-famous Gypsy Kings, Reyes returns to Greece after appearing at the Ethnic Jazz Festival here two months ago. Joining Reyes on stage are local talent Alkistis Protopsalti and Atlas to sing selections from Reyes’s last album. Atlas will also perform solo later on in the evening. The photography exhibition on show during the course of the festival has been set up by the Doctors of the World charity organization and highlights the organization’s programs. And if dancing all night makes visitors hungry, Grammes offers delicacies from Greece, France and Egypt. E-Terra Festival, Friday and Saturday at the Grammes club, 111 Constantinoupoleos, Votanikos, tel 341.4350. Doors open at 6 p.m. and admission costs 6,000 drachmas. Common sense says that no-one today is going to compose a large opera with many characters. Our self-interest says that one must adapt to the conditions of the day, however strange they might seem. I have different experiences. For example, when I was writing my second mass for a large choir, church organ and percussion, friends and colleagues tried to discourage me, saying that it would be difficult to perform such a work in Greece. Yet, chance had it that the mass was performed only a few months after its completion.