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NHS Celebrates Greek Independence Day with Virtual Jazz FreedomFest

By on March 22, 2022

The National Hellenic Society, a non-profit foundation dedicated to preserving, celebrating, and passing-on Hellenic heritage in America, hosted a unique celebration on March 25th, 2022, in celebration of Greece’s War for Independence after 400 years of subjugation and oppression — an online FreedomFest Jazz Festival. Special guest appearances in honor of Greece’s Revolutionary War for Freedom are headlined by legendary Harvey Mason. Mason, considered to be among the most recorded and sought-after drummers of all time, is also a prolific composer, producer and recording artist and the Father of Harvey Mason, Jr., record producer, songwriter, film producer and the current Chief Executive Officer of the Recording Academy (The Grammys).

Viewers will also enjoy performances by:

  • Harvey Mason and Fourplay;
  • Italy’s incomparable songstress, Letizia Gambi;
  • celebrated jazz pianist, Bill O’Connell;
  • the rich sounds of Julie Michaels backed-up by the soothing Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto;
  • the mystical and soulful sounds of artists Riva Nyri Percil and Monvelyno and their band, Bohio Music;
  • the alluring music of the laouto, a stringed instrument masterfully performed by awardwinning musician, composer and visionary, Vasilis Kostas;
  • the internally acclaimed, award-winning Dimitris Vassilakis, a Greek saxophonist, vocalist, educator, and founder of the Rhodes International Jazz Festival;
  • singing sensation Vassy, a multi-platinum award winning artist with eight #1 Billboard singles considered one of dance music’s most prominent female vocalists;
  • veteran pianist, songwriter, producer, composer and creative force, Tom Alexander joined by the multi-talented Earth Code;
  • the universal and multitalented Richard Barrata, film maker, producer and musician joined by the Richard Baratta Latin Jazz Septet;
  • the echoes of truth from artist and vocalist Aimeé Allen complemented by profound lyrics, insightful reflections accompanied by guitarist Tony Romano; and the versatile sounds of award-winning bassist, composer, and producer, Petros Klampanis.

This outstanding and dedicated selection of artists are contributing their voices to chorus celebrating freedom for Greece and all people. Professors and authors, Tom Papademetriou from Stockton University, President of the Modern Greek Studies Association, and Alexander Kitroeff, from Haverford College set the stage for the concert with context and insights brought to life through a clip from the feature film, Cliffs of Freedom. This epic motion picture revolves around an ill-fated love story set in the early throes of Greece’s Revolutionary War in 1821.

The film features a stellar cast and crew including the late Academy Award-winning actor Christopher Plummer in one of his final screen appearances, Billy Zane, Patti Lupone, and many others. FreedomFest virtual jazz concert is available on the National Hellenic Society’s website, www.hellenicsociety.org, and on March 25, 2022, on social media www.facebook.com/myparea.

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