CULTURE

Music Day in Athens: Fun, free, all around the city

A mid all the cancellations, exorbitant ticket prices and concerts booked at hard-to-get-to venues, it is a relief to know that there is one main music event taking place this year that encompasses numerous styles, is happening all over the capital and is absolutely free. For the fifth year in a row, and expanding every year, the three-day Music Day festival begins today (see What’s On column, right) at major squares and other central areas throughout Athens. The festival includes groups and DJs performing classical and symphonic as well as jazz, rock and pop, with special emphasis on newer music styles such as hip hop, dance, reggae, funk, electro, entechno and house. In addition to more than 100 names from the local music scene (including Palyrria, Sigmatropic, the Happy Dog Project, Mary and the Boy, Professor Skank, Transistor and Dr Atomik), first-time visitors to Greece include the World DMC champions Birdy Nam Nam, the Russian masters of tech house SCSI-9 and the British DJs and remixers Hybrid Live. Also on the bill are Teknik Old School, the French jazz-drum’n’bass-electro group; the Nigerian funk artist Salvador Sango and Austrians Dzihan & Kamien, one of the biggest names in electro funk and down-tempo house with Arabian influences. If straight song and sound is what you prefer, check out two-time Grammy-nominated Brazilian diva Cibelle and the prolific trumpeter with Blue Note records and EMI Erik Truffaz. He’s been called the «white Miles Davis» and will be playing with the Ladyland Quartet and guest star Mounir Troudi. Events will be taking place in Kotzia (opposite Athens City Hall), Syntagma and Klafthmonas squares, Technopolis, Thiseion, the Athens Concert Hall, the French Institute and the National Gardens. The Music Day organizers have added another two spots to the city-wide events, recently refurbished Koumoundourou Square and Ermou Street below Assimaton Square, where there will also be room for skateboarders. Street theater and percussion players will also be winding their way through the city. Music Day is organized by the Greek branch of European Music Day, part of the non-profit group MESO, and is supported by the City of Athens Cultural Center, OTEnet, Fnac, and Sprite. For specifics on what is playing where, log on to www.musicday.gr.