Sunday, December 8, 2013

Yiassou, Yanni!

Had to let you know that I attended a 2-hour concert last night by Yanni and his orchestra in Miami -- and even though there wasn't much Greek about it per se, I felt supremely proud of this whirling dervish from Kalamata.

Yiannis Chrysomallis was never much of a slouch.  He was a champion 14-year-old swimmer before leaving Greece to major in psychology at the University of Minnesota.  He then devoted himself to music with about 300 songs and 19 recordings to-date.  His "Yanni in Concert: Live at the Acropolis" has been viewed one way or another by 1/2 billion people worldwide via Public Television. And while his amplified music is called New Age with a keyboard and synthesizers, the other 13 orchestra members + 2 sopranos from places far and near  -- especially on violin (Armenia/USA) and harp (Paraguay) -- were totally amazing virtuosi. They are a happy bunch totally respectful of one another.

Yianni in Miami 12-7-13
That's a reflection of the man himself  -- who doesn't back away from comments about love, acceptance, and tolerance wherever he happens to be in concert.  Yanni's music sounds positive and his shows are full of energy and optimism. That's why I got a ticket in the second row, so I could take that in.  He has many very devoted fans -- and when someone yelled out that his sister had seen him 30 times, Yanni beckoned her stage-side and gave her a kiss. Yiassou, Yanni! (Or is it Yianni?)

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