CULTURE

Festival back for all to enjoy

The European Jazz Festival, being held in Athens for the seventh consecutive year, is back with an added feature for its latest outing, an extremely interesting photography exhibition co-organized with the photo agency Apeiron Photos. On show as a parallel event at the festival, which opened last night and will continue until Sunday, is a retrospective exhibition showcasing black-and-white work by the photographer Guy Le Querrec. His show focuses on contemporary jazz history with both public and behind-the-scenes shots of prominent jazz figures. The exhibition opened several days ahead of the festival, on May 24, and will carry on for an entire week once the music has ended. As for the festival, a popular event for locals and visitors since its inception seven years ago, its agenda features acts from 14 EU countries. The respective embassies and cultural institutes have contributed their support to the festival. Three acts perform nightly from 9 p.m. until midnight. A major early-summer attraction, the festival, an open-air free-entrance event at Technopolis in the downtown Gazi district, has established itself as a pleasant happening that is equally appealing to jazz enthusiasts and passers-by there to catch some notes and socialize among roving crowds. Tonight’s agenda includes Slovenian jazz-rock group Jazoo, whose activity, now slightly over a decade long, has produced a couple of sturdy-selling albums. They are scheduled to perform at 11 p.m. On before them will be Kelomat, an Austrian act known for its own form of traditional and improvised jazz which places heavy emphasis on the creation of unlikely sounds, reharmonization, and escape from conventional harmonic structures. The evening will begin with the Fran Molina Jazz Flamenco Group from Spain. The trio’s work will be accentuated by a flamenco dancer, Vanessa Rubio. Tomorrow’s agenda will be headlined by a Portuguese act, the Mario Laginha Trio, with Sweden’s Nils Berg Quintet, and Denmark’s Thomas Clausen Acoustic Jazz Trio preceding. Saturday’s entertainment includes the Trio Braamdejoodevatcher, a Dutch act comprising three idiosyncratic musicians whose heavily improvised work is gelled by a long friendship. The trio, comprising drummer Michael Vatcher, bassist Wilbert de Joode and pianist Michiel Braam, have released two albums to date. Also scheduled for performances Saturday are Hungary’s Szabolcs Olah Quartet and the Czech Republic’s Frantisek Kop Quartet. The festival, which ends Sunday, will be closed by the Jeff Herr Corporation, a quartet from Luxembourg whose style ranges from relaxing dinner-jazz to more scintillating funky-fusion jazz. The final night will get under way with Samuli Mikkonen & 3 Henkea, featuring Mikkonen on piano, Sonny Heinila on saxophone, flute and ney, and Mika Kallio on drums. The Finnish band will be followed by Yanina Free Wave, a sextet from Poland.