European jazz players unite

Jazz may be considered a foreign musical style that does not tickle the fancy of mainstream audiences here, but the considerable turnout at last year’s first European Jazz Festival in Athens offers cogent proof to the contrary. Bolstered by the success of the inaugural event, its organizers have assembled European acts for performances between this Thursday and Sunday at Technopolis in the capital’s Gazi district. Aiming for a cultural event to promote the concept of European unity, the organizers have booked a lineup of 12 acts that hail from the European Union’s member states. The organizing committee consists of the Athens Municipality, the Cervantes Institute, and the local embassies in association with all the participating foreign acts. The festival’s first day, Thursday, will feature two acts, the second and third days four apiece, while, on closing day, the two acts booked to perform will be followed by a jam session involving members of all the festival’s groups. On Thursday, local performer Giorgos Kontrafouris will open the event as frontman for his trio, followed by Austrian group Sabina Hank Trio. On Friday, Luxembourg’s Leana Sealy Quintet, Germany’s Fun Horns, Dutch act CVB4, and France’s Benoit Dalbecq Quartet will all be appearing. Saturday’s schedule offers the Linda Svantesson Group from Sweden, the UK’s New Candid All Stars (whose lineup includes Greek saxophonist Dimitris Vassilakis) Finland’s Tuomo Dahlblom Trio, featuring Markku Rinta-Pollari, and the Alexi Tuomarila Quartet from Belgium. On the final day, Sunday, Italian group PAF Trio and Spain’s Trio Isaac Turienzo will close regular proceedings and then step aside for the collective jam session. Admission is free for all days and shows begin at 8 p.m.