Monday, July 2, 2012

An Evening with Yanni

The year was 1994 and Yanni was pretty much everywhere. I got to know him through Yanni Live at the Acropolis.


Who is Yanni? He is a Greek composer, pianist, and keyboardist. His genre of music is labelled as contemporary classical or contemporary instrumental and new age. But Yanni himself does not like the idea of assigning labels to his music. He told his audience at the JLC that the music he composes is about lessons learned throughout his life.  You probably have heard Yanni’s compositions during televised Olympic Games and other sports events.

As someone who listens to all kinds of music from around the world, this was a great night to appreciate other cultures and world music. Yanni has travelled around the world extensively and in between his performance he shared small stories with his audience and that was a great way to know him better as person and not just a musician. The audience applauded him when he said “One World, One People”. His concert leaves the audience with that experience of multicultural music from around the world having experienced a taste of Greek, Latin American, Middle Eastern, Oriental, and add to the pile classical and rock! His concert offers something for everyone.

I believe an important piece for me is the romanticism of his music which gives it that intense and emotional feeling closing my eyes and believing there is nothing in the world but the beautiful music I'm hearing.

Yanni’s concert is unique in a way that he gives the spotlight to each of his band members for an opportunity to shine while playing their solos. Without his band we would not be able to experience the world music at its best. They were talented musicians in their own ways. I was impressed and enjoyed each individual performance.  

The solo drum act by Charlie Adam was outstanding. His performance was phenomenal, leaving the audience wanting more.

Alexander Zhiroff’s Cello performance was magical. I was glad to have been there listening to the heavenly pieces being played by him.

And Yanni’s vocalists Lauren Jelencovich’s performance of Nightingale was “stunning”!

Photo by: Matthew Levin / source: Lauren Jelencovich Facebook

I have been to many concerts and each artist, band or group brings their own unique quality, characteristic and music. Yes, I have been to Muse’s concerts and you can’t compare their light effects with Yanni’s. But as an open minded person, I take into consideration that Yanni is not trying to be like other super popular bands. And I appreciate the fact that Yanni has remained true to his music and the way he delivers his music to the audience. As a regular concert goer and someone who respects and cherishes music from around the world, I wouldn’t want to see Yanni becoming a copy of other artists. It is fair to say if you know yourself and you know that you do not like certain kind of music, then it is best to not go to those concerts. Then you don’t have to write or critique them negatively.  

Despite his phenomenal success performing around the world and having more than 35 platinum and gold albums under his belt, I believe Yanni’s music is well-received and known more around the world than here in North America. The audience at the JLC, which included lots of Greek supporters of Yanni participated well by dancing, singing, whistling, applauding, and standing ovations. There was lots of “I LOVE YOU YANNI” being shouted too. Overall, a great night to enjoy his beautiful music and I’m really fortunate to have been able to go and had a lovely experience.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank John Labatt Centre (JLC) for reaching out to the community and donating tickets to non-profit organizations. It is a wonderful way to spread and share goodness. 

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