Θανάσης Πολυκανδριώτης

Bouzouki in Cuba.

Invited by the Cypriot Embassy to Cuba

composer and soloist Thanasis Polykandriotis and his musicians

held a performance in the National Theater of Cuba on December 16 2012

Within the frame of Cyprus’ European Union Presidency and with the occasion of the completion of its term, the Cypriot Embassy invited the composer and soloist Thanasis Polykandriotis for a concert of sounds from Greece and Cyprus.

The concert took place on December 16th 2012 on the main stage of the National Theater of Cuba, which has a seating capacity of 2000.

It is interesting to note that this was the first time the aforementioned hall was granted to the Cypriot Embassy by the Cuban Minister of Culture. Admittance was free, as an offer by the Cypriot Embassy to the Cuban public so that they could become acquainted with Greek music.

The songs selected by the composer included well-known instrumental pieces, but also songs from the classical folk repertoire of the greatest Greek composers such as Theodorakis, Hadjidakis, Xarchakos etc.

40-bouzoukia orchestra, included “different” genres of music like Dance no 1 by Brahms, Asturias, Concerto De Aranjuez, but also Cypriot compositions.

The concert was attended by Cuba’s Minister of CultureRafael Bernal, ambassadors from Greece, Cyprus and other countries as well as the staff of the embassies.

A surprise was given by the collaboration and improvisations with PanchoAmat, Cuba’s most famous guitarist both in Thanasis Polykandriotis’ composition “Ta mazepsa ta pragmata” and in the Cuban traditional Quantanamera. PanchoAmat is a genuinerepresenter of Cuban traditional son music, which is a mixture of Spanish guitar and African percussion and is one of the most wide-spread Latin music genres.

Salsa, which branches out from it, is spread all over the world.

Amat is a world famous tres guitar representer. The tres guitar is the traditional Cuban 3-string
guitar and its sound is characteristic of traditional Cuban music. PanchoAmat has applied jazz theory and technique on a purely traditional and self-taught instrument. The tres guitar is similar to the bouzouki in the fact that its tuning can be exactly like that of the bouzouki if you remove the bouzouki’s C string.

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