TORONTO – An evening dedicated to the great contemporary Greek songwriters takes place at the famous Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) on Friday, September 8, under the aegis and collaboration of the Consulate General of Greece in Toronto.
The concert will be hosted at the C5 lounge, on the 5th floor of the museum, at 100 Queen’s Park in Toronto, 6:30-9 PM. The seven-member Chijazz band will perform favorites by well-known Greek composers including Dionysis Savvopoulos, Stamatis Kraounakis, and Manos Hadjidakis.
The Chijazz band is a recent music initiative in Toronto that came to life so that the musicians could enjoy performing and paying tribute to Greek songs and composers they grew up listening to, as noted on the band’s website. They hope to build bridges between the various rich Greek music genres and both the Greek and non-Greek speaking communities of Toronto.
Chijazz was informally formed in 2015 when Irene Stubos and the Kazatzakis Association of Toronto requested a performance as part of a music tribute to the great Greek composer, Manos Hadjidakis.
In 2017, the band came together once again to perform the first part of a tribute to Greek songs at the Greek Community of Toronto and the Small World Music venue.
The core of the band has remained the same, although additions were made over time. Chijazz are Athina Malli (vocals and percussion), George Soundoulidis (vocals and guitar), Sofia Smyrnioudi (piano and vocals), Ourania Bampasi (flute and percussion), Petros Pechlivanoglou (bouzouki and oud), Christos Koukaras (vocals and bouzouki), and George Vasileiou (guitar and bass). Together with Chijazz currently are Demetrios Petsalakis (bouzouki, lyra, oud, and guitar) and Matias Recharte (percussion).
The Consul General of Greece in Toronto since 2014 is First Counsellor Alexandros Ioannidis. An experienced diplomat, he celebrates his 47th birthday on September 4, and has served in critical posts such as the Greek Embassy in Ankara, the Diplomatic Office of the Parliament, and others.
The Royal Ontario Museum is celebrating its 105th anniversary this year. It was founded in April 1912 and is one of the most famous and dynamic venues for art, culture, history, and science in Toronto and throughout Ontario. ROM is recognized as an architectural gem for the capital of the province of Ontario. In 1984, Queen Elizabeth II visited the museum, officially opening the new exhibition and gallery space, the Terrace Galleries.