Jazz cats head for Zakynthos

July promises to be a month full of music on the island of Zakynthos. Two different festivals are scheduled to take place, both of which are just starting out. It’s good to witness a new generation of specialized festivals blossom in places other than Athens, something we have begun to see in the last few years. Now it’s Zakynthos’s turn; the Ionian island, which boasts a tradition of music of its own, joins the festival scene with two events, one dedicated to jazz and the other classical music. The very first Zante Jazz Festival will start tomorrow and run to Sunday. Organizers hope to turn the event into a permanent institution that will gradually embrace all kinds of music improvisation, from traditional to electronica. Just a few days later, on July 21, the Ionio Classical Music Festival Paolo Carrer will have its turn. Taking place for just a second year, the event has three thematic sections and features eight concerts, the last of which will be held just before the August 15 holiday. The Zante Jazz Festival will take place at the Arkadia Municipality’s open-air Dermatoussa Theater, with the aim of presenting all aspects of the local jazz scene. Up-and-coming acts such as the Poly Quartet from Iraklio, Crete, will cross paths with distinguished names like that of George Kontrafouris but those who are not familiar with jazz shouldn’t feel hesitant about attending. The opening night will include a performance by the CLTrio, featuring Spanish pianist and composer Cesar Latorre, as well as Greek double bassist Petros Klampanis and Latvian drummer Artis Orubs. On the second day, guitarist Grigoris Danis will join forces with vocalist Loukia Paleologou for an evening of pure bossa nova, right after a performance by the Haris Lambrakis Trio. On Sunday evening, the Trioism trio is set to present a program that will include takes on well-known melodies by Lena Platonos, Manos Hadjidakis and Alexander Scriabin, among others. Dionysis Boukouvalas will take the stage next with a piano solo set and melodies that are particularly emotionally charged, blending classical music with jazz improvisation. The Ionio Classical Music Festival Paolo Carrer will be held at the same venue. Its three categories are «The Family of Classical Strings,» «The Classical Music of Eastern Europe» and «Zakynthian Interpreters of Classical Music» and will feature concerts by musicians and music ensembles from Greece and abroad. One of the highlights is a performance by the world-renowned Belcea Quartet, which will make its Greek premiere on July 31. Parallel events will include tributes, master classes and presentations.,