Athens’s jazz hub welcomes in the new season with eclectic offerings

Athens’s jazz hub the Half Note Jazz Club is about to welcome in the new season and open its doors once more. This season’s program includes lots of interesting concerts, ranging from Gypsy swing to 60s sounds and acid jazz. The Groove Collective will mark the start of the club’s season tomorrow with hip-hop, drum’n’bass, funk and Latin sounds. The multinational ensemble, which will perform until October 12, first appeared in the early 90s, playing at New York’s famed Giant Step club, and within a few years had created an explosive fusion of jazz and dance with emphasis on hip hop. Well-known trombone player Fred Wesley and his quartet are set to perform the following week at the club, October 13 to 19. A member of the acclaimed J.B. Horns and responsible, to a large extent, for the sound of great soul man James Brown, Wesley pushed funk to its limits and made it extremely catchy. Gypsy sounds will take over the club’s stage soon afterward, as guitarist and violinist Dorado Schmitt will follow until October 26 for six memorable nights of Gypsy swing. Popular Brazilian singer Barbara Mendes will close October with a program that will combine Brazilian music with jazz and pop. Equipped with a powerful and emotional voice reminiscent of her country’s rich musical heritage, Mendes started her career when she was just 6 years old, singing in festivals alongside her mother, well-known singer Marisa Rossi. At the Half Note she will be accompanied by guitarist Andre Valle, bassist Mauricio Oliveira, pianist and keyboardist Renato Fonseca and drummer Pedro Mamede. November will open with Balkan brass sounds by Boban Markovic’s band, which gained a following for its participation on the soundtracks of Emir Kusturica’s films («Underground» and «Arizona Dream»). The ensemble mixes Eastern tunes with funk, resulting in an explosive celebration along the lines of modern jazz and is booked to perform in Athens from November 3 to 9. The Half Note Jazz Club is at 17 Trivonianou, Mets (tel 210.921.3310). Shows start at 10.30 p.m. Mon-Sat, 8.30 p.m. Sun.

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