Patras celebrates 20th festival anniversary with global lineup

The International Festival of Patras celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and has, in recognition of that occasion, organized an even wider variety of concerts. The rich music program, which will run to August 2, began with the Second Meeting of European Jazz Bands. The festival started yesterday with performances by jazz acts from the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden; the jazz series ends tonight, with participating musicians from Hungary, Spain and France. Socrates Malamas will present his entechno (quality contemporary Greek music) compositions on June 14. Directed by Themis Moumoulidis, the Municipal Regional Theater of Patras will stage Moliere’s classic comedy «Don Juan,» starring Aimilios Heilakis, on June 23, 24 and 25. Those performances will be followed by American jazz diva Sheila Jordan, who will be joined by Greece’s Lakis Jimka Quartet and other musicians on June 27. June will end with a concert featuring music from around the world, led by Petroloukas Halkias, Antonis Kyritsis and their band, as well as guest foreign musicians Rakesh Chaurasia from India and Afel Bocoum from Mali, among others, on the 28th. The first day of July kicks off with singer and composer Alkinoos Ioannidis, to be followed on July 6 by a concert by the acclaimed Count Basie Orchestra, in its first appearance in Greece, consisting of 18 musicians under Bill Hughes with Butch Miles as the drummer. The concert will also mark the festival’s official opening. Patras-based act Raining Pleasure will present its latest album, a new take on Manos Hadjidakis’s «Reflections» on July 8, and veteran singer Marianne Faithfull, who recently released a new album, will play on July 12. Mario Frangoulis will join forces with the Patras Strings Orchestra, conducted by Thanassis Tsipinakis, on July 14, while the renowned London Community Gospel Choir, consisting of 15 vocalists and three musicians under Basil Meade, will appear on July 19. The audiovisual spectacle «Kivotos» (Ark), a joint production between singer Manolis Mitsias and filmmaker Pantelis Voulgaris, with sets by artist Alekos Fassianos, will be staged on July 21. Composer Evanthia Reboutsika and singer Elli Paspala will give a concert of entechno on July 25 and famous Belgian composer Wim Mertens will play on July 28. The festival end on August 2, with Dimitris Mitropanos and Melina Kana.

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