Concert Date: August 24th / 2014
Tour: “World Without Borders Tour”
Place: Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, Boston MA, USA
This summer I’ve had the big privilege of seeing live one of my favorite artists, the Greek piano player and composer, Yanni.
Yanni’s music is influenced by a big variety of sounds and melodies from all around the world. Therefore, in his actual band we could see people from: USA, Germany, Cuba, Paraguay, Taiwan, Canada, England, Venezuela, Armenia and Russia. We can found a big variety of instruments in stage on the tour. Violin, cello, percussion set, drums, bass, keyboards, a grand piano, trumpets, horn, trombone and even a set of harps. Moreover, Yanni has played live with entire orchestras adding also different folkloric instruments like the charango (Chile/Peru/Bolivia), duduk (Armenia), Chinese flutes, didgeridoos (Australia) and so on.
Yanni’s track list is mainly from their greatest live hits “Yanni Live at the Acropolis” (Greece, 1993) and “Yanni Tribute” recorded in Taj Majal and in the Forbidden City of China in 1997.
A two hour concert in which we can travel between oriental and mid-east melodies, piano ballads, voices as instruments, fast drum beats and percussion, and even a tropical latin solo performed by the harpist, the percussionist and the bass player.
From all musicians, I would like to point out Charlie Adams and Samvel Yervinyan.
“From the USA, Charlie has been with Yanni from the beginning performing on drums in rock bands when they were kids. Charlie’s energy, stage performance and stamina gets every audience on their feet all around the world” (words from http://www.yanni.com/orchestra)
Charlie is extremely extrovert and energetic, and as you see his special feel with Yanni playing live, it’s absolutely clear that they’ve been playing all their life together. I remember Yanni said joking that Charlie never tells anyone what clothes he would wear on the shows, so it’s always a surprise. Mainly associated with local sports, Charlie usually comes in with a t-shirt supporting a team, which the band prays to be the correct one. Charlie had “Boston Celtics” (basketball local team) shirt that day. One as Yanni fan knows that his best moment during the show is the drum solo during the song “Marching Season”, which is a very difficult song focused on the drums and the piano together, with many time changes.
You can watch this from a performance that they did in Brazil this tour:
“From Armenia, Samvel has been widely recognized as one of the world’s premier violinists and has been a star performer among Yanni’s orchestra for the past decade” (words from http://www.yanni.com/orchestra)
Samvel has a very passionate way of playing. An exquisite technique combined with a very marked vibrato and attack dynamics. His unique interpretation gives Yanni’s live performances a big added value as his imposing presence arouses the stage. My peer Yarub Smalait, from the Perfomance Masters told me that he had the chance to meet Samvel and assist to one of his classes-workshops once. He described him as an amazing player with the same characteristics described before, and had a great time during his teachings.
An amazing video of Samvel and the rest of the band performing for Yanni’s shows:
Finally, I would like to point down Yanni’s motto of “One World, One people”. He expresses his rejection to lines in maps, as we came from the same place and we all want the same in life. We are not different at all, and music is his way to express this point. Therefore, it is no surprise that we could find musicians from all over the world on Yanni’s shows. It’s definitely a very warm audio-visual vibe there.
I would definitely come back to see Yanni again and recommend this great show to all musicians and new age/world music lovers. Feel free to share here your opinion about Yanni or share artists from the same genre, which I would love to check.
Until next time!