Mixing it up jazz-style with Ionian Concerts

A high-quality program is in the works for this year’s Ionian Concerts. Musicians as well as music students from Austria, Finland, Russia, America, Japan and Thailand will gather in Corfu to perform and attend seminars, lectures and discussions. Organized by the Musical Studies Department of the Ionian University of Corfu, this is the third year of the festival, with musicians arriving on the island since the beginning of the month to take part in the festival and Summer Academy. The event is being held with the support of Bowling Green State University of Ohio, Mahidol University in Bangkok, Helsinki’s Sibelius University and Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Tonight is dedicated to the saxophone, with a concert by John Sampen and Mark Bunce, the former an internationally acclaimed performer and the latter known as a wizard of special electronic effects. Together, they make for a night of futuristic sounds. Students of the Summer Academy will perform on Sunday with a broad repertoire of music and musical instruments, while on July 23, again at the Ionian Academy, the Ionian Piano Quartet will play. One of the most active Greek chamber music groups, the quartet is made up of Spyros Gikontis, Andreas Georgotas, Yiannis Toulis and Lambis Vassiliadis. The festival also features a performance of Indian Odissi dance with Kavita Dwivedi on July 24, followed by traditional Indian music with sitar soloist Purbayan Chatterjee and a seven-member orchestra. Mimis Plessas will provide a Greek showing with a presentation of his jazzier side on July 26. Dimos Dimitriadis and George Kontrafouris follow, with Sheila Jordan coming on July 28. One of the most creative singers of jazz, blues and the music of Charlie Parker, Jordan performs alongside two Finnish musicians of the same musical scene. The final days of the festival include concerts by students and teachers of the jazz section of the Summer Academy, and until July 29, young jazz musicians will «compete» in impromptu play-offs in front of an audience.

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