‘Jazz Be There!’ Athens Summer Jazz Festival

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Since 2001, Athens Technopolis Jazz Festival is organized at the end of spring, early summer, marking the initiation of the concert season for Athens and attracting more than 6,000 visitors per day. The city’s most long-lived music institution hosts every year various jazz trends brought on stage by the most representative bands from all over the world, with an international career and recognition, while admission to the public is always free.

For 7 consecutive days, Technopolis industrial complex makes the perfect scenery of an exciting cultural feast focused on jazz music. It opens its doors all-day long and welcomes the audience which have the opportunity to enjoy a rich music program of international standards, as well as side events, photographic tributes, exhibitions, book presentations, educational activities for children and grown-ups. Since 2001, more than 250 international and Greek bands, more than 2,850 musicians from 28 countries have presented their music. In 2018, the festival comes of age and presents 7 days full of music dedicating its first day to the Greek jazz scene.

Here are the most interesting performances you should go and experience yourself this weekend at the 19th Athens Technopolis Jazz Festival…

The rich jazz tradition of Poland is masterfully mirrored in its newest music ensembles, which make music beyond the original jazz fields such as rock in all its forms and therefore enrich more this tradition. The group of the bassist Wojtek Mazolewski offers us music with influences from miles Davis and Eric Dolphy to Aphex Twin and Nirvana while keeping a relatively jazz sound in full and paying tribute to the Polish jazz ancestors. His music reminds us of great Polish jazz masters such as Komeda or Nawyslowski. Their album “Polka”, as well as its worldwide deluxe edition, is proof of the group’s worldwide success.

Helge Lien’s trio has been around for 20 years more or less and has stood out as one of the greatest small groups of the Norwegian jazz scene and all over Europe in general. The pianist, Helge Lien, follows the same standards set by Bill Evans with his own trio, some decades before. This is the artistic line that he draws for creating wonderful, emotional and totally contemporary music while perfectly combining piano, bass and drums. This multi-awarded and special group, the Helge Lien Trio has just released “10”, their tenth album in a rich recording history that began with their first album “Hello Trol” in 2008.

Coming from a purely nu jazz background, this trio from Manchester (Norwich at first) is breaking the tradition of a jazz style that has to do with the instruments solo and is following a more collective approach to their music. Mammal Hands’ music is based on enchanting, rhythmical and heavenly fascinating melodies that have a trance or minimal sound and is mainly influenced by spiritual jazz, indian music, folk, classical and rock. However they have managed to create their own identity, which showcases the group’s unique qualities. Mammal Hands are showing a new version of contemporary jazz through their three albums (“Animalia”, “Floa”, “Shadow Work”) and a recent EP (“Becoming”).

One of the best contemporary jazz groups whose sound goes beyond jazz! The group consists of exceptional Danish musicians whose artistic goal is to expand their expression limits by creating ambient musical landscapes with unique echo-rhythmical dimensions which surpass the common musical standards. However, Girls in Airports successfully combine their Scandinavian roots with indie-rock influences and folk sounds from all over the world, a combination that keeps getting them more and more followersaround the globe. They have already released five magnificent albums and visit us with some new material in their musical luggage.

A splendid swing band which not only covers American classics and standards of a “golden era” but brings also together folk music of early Czechoslovakia and American swing. So OndrejHavelka and his singers, together with Melody Makers will present us some real trad jazz, true swing and boogie, not for the sake of being in current trends but for essentially loving this music. Ondrej’s history and knowledge is an assurance. His pure talent, his deep education and his musical experience along with his theatrical presence will shine on stage.

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