The HI-JAZZ band performed to a sold-out audience on June 11 at the Small World Music Centre in Toronto. A talented 7 member Greek-Canadian band performed a dynamic tribute to ‘The History of Greek Songs’ and in particular focusing on the change of traditional Greek songs in the 19th century. Lead singers Athina Malli, Giorgos Sountoulidis and Sofia Smymioudi powerfully sang melodies from areas of Greece which included Ipirus, Macedonia and Thrace.
Members of HI-JAZZ are: Rania Bampasi – Flute, Sofia Smyrnioudi – Piano & Voice, Petros Pehlivanoglou – Bouzouki & Oud, Chris Koukaras – Bouzouki, Giorgos Vasileiou – Guitar, Athina Malli – Voice & Percussion, Giorgos Sountoulidis – Voice, Guitar& Percussion.
The band’s first appearance was in November 2015 at the Polymenakeion Cultural Centre where they performed the ‘Tribute to Manos Hatzjidakis’. Organized by the Friends of Nikos Kazatzakis (Toronto Chapter) along with Ms. Irene Stubos the Artistic Director, this premier event was a huge success which then motivated the band to work on a new project focusing on the history of the Greek song.
Preparation for the ‘The History of Greek Songs’ event began in 2016 with Rania Bampasi – one of the group’s founding members – and Ms. Irene Stubos. With endless hours of rehearsals, preparations and revisions in order to capture the most and best of the Greek songs to be featured for this theme, the first successful performance took place at the Polymenakeion Cultural Centre in April organized and sponsored by the Panmacedonian Association of Ontario and the Thessalon Federation of Ontario. Following this outstanding performance the decision to repeat the concert at another venue where a professional recording and video would also be provided was made and the Small World Music Theatre was the place.
With great success at both shows to date, HI-JAZZ looks forward to many future projects. Their next performances are at the Greek Community of Toronto Festival at St. John’s Church in Scarborough on July 8th & 9th where they will be the performing band at the opening of both days of the festival. More shows are being planned and will be announced.
Highly recommended for all to come and enjoy the beauty and power of Greek music and song performed live by HI-JAZZ – the exciting and upcoming Greek Canadian band.