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Mykonos loves jazz

Let's start at the beginning. What does the island of Mykonos mean for most people? Answer: It is one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. It has some of the most beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean. It has been praised for its traditional architecture by the great Le Corbusier. It’s the island that parties 24 hours a day. All this is right. But, Mykonos is also the island that loves jazz. On Friday, the 6th and Saturday, the 7th of May 2016, under the auspices of the Municipality of Mykonos and the involvement of the South Aegean Region, was organized the 1st Mykonos Live Jazz Festival, by the jazz musician Thomas Alvertis (responsible among other things for the Tinos Jazz Festival, as well as the International Jazz Day and the Apollon Jazz Competition at Hermoupolis, Syros). The events took place in Chora, specifically at Grypareio Cultural Center and theAgia Moni Square, the former hang out of the pelican, the famous mascot of the island. In the evening of the first day (Friday) Kostis Maraveyias (Maraveyas Illegal) accompanied by a band of excellent musicians (Nick Angloupas, percussion/electric guitar/keyboards/voice, Angelos Angelidis, electric and acoustic guitar, Jim Staridas, trombone, Kritonas Bellonias, drums and Konstantinos Manos, double bass) excited the audience that flooded the beautiful grounds of ​​Grypareio Cultural Center. It was a unique evening, with Maraveyas’ well known energy and the exciting nature of his music, that combines jazz and Balkan timbres, creating a colorful multi-cultural music party. The following night (Saturday), performed the All Star Band of the Festival. Initially, the tone was given by Batala Atenas, «part» of an international percussion  group, playing samba-reggae rhythms, a type of music that comes from Salvador da Bahia, in Northeast Brazil. The percussionists of the band paraded with their colorful outfits in the narrow streets of Chora, sweeping along residents and visitors, in an unexpected happening that spread all over the place. The Batala Atenas parade culminated at Agia Moni Square, and who was waiting for them over there for the scheduled concert, were the great singers of Brazilian Jazz Katerina Polemi and Miranda Verouli and the Desafinados, consisting of prominent Greek jazz musicians: Thomas Alvertis, saxophone, Spyros Manesis, piano, Petros Kourtis, percussion, and Yannis Papadopoulos, bass. Those who had followed the percussionists parade or got to the square for the concert, enjoyed two hours of a unique musical feast, with the beat of the Brazilian rhythms creating the feeling that the whole island was literally vibrating. Add to all of this that the Mykonos Live Jazz Festival was held before the "peak" of the season, at a time with “sweet” temperatures and significantly fewer visitors compared to the summer period, and one can easily conclude that it will give us every year the opportunity to get to know a different, less known, but equally attractive "image" of the island. Yannis Rangos Journalist / Writer photos by © Spiros Katopodis View Photo Agency (VPA)