Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean. East and West. Greece and Turkey. Once upon a time and nowadays. Friendship and synergy. Just a few words that help trace the music group NEABANDA in the densely populated polyphonic geographical music map of today. Six Greek and three Turkish musicians, 9 men and a woman, get creative, communicate, discover, express and find their own expression, travel and take us travelling to Izmir, Athens, Alexandria, Thessaloniki, Istanbul, Piraeus. Cities giving out the fragrance of history. 19th and 20th century. Times of turmoil and upheaval. Times of separation. 21st century. Same places. Similar people. Time for get-togethers.
One Turkish and two Greek musicians, Evrim Atesler, Aris Konidaris and Mihalis Bakalis, friends, colleagues and almost… relatives by now, amidst sea dives on both sides of the Aegean, internet sessions and live performances, had been talking for months about gathering their friends, Greeks and Turks, from both Aegean coasts, and start playing together the music they love, that music that has brought them closer to each other and has reminded them of their common roots. Said and done! And here it is, ready, brand new and shiny, dashing, lively and youthful the New Band, in other words NEABANDA.
NEABANDA consists of:
Alexandros Psomopoulos, bouzouki
Aris Konidaris, bass
Giorgos Zorgrafos, accordion
Evrim Atesler, voice, guitar, clarinet, nay … and whatever else comes up
Ibrahim Kurnaz, violin
Ismet Cakmak, percussions
Mihalis Bakalis, percussions
Nikos Plios, guitar
Ria Ellinidiou, voice, percussions
Socratis Desypris, bouzouki
NeaBanda decided to debut by featuring in the music documentary film "Journey Through Smyrna", second film of the internationally acclaimed "Hello Anatolia" project by Greek-American filmmaker Chrysovalantis Stamellos researched and co-produced by Georgia Papadopoulou and filmed between Athens and Izmir in 2014-2015.
The film is documenting the coming-together of talented young musicians from both sides of the Aegean Sea in search of common musical roots and looking into a common musical future, researching, studying and reviving musical genres that developed more than 150 years ago in and around the great port cities of the Mediterranean.
NeaBanda debuted with two historically important concerts in Izmir on April 12th 2015. The first one was given during daytime at the famous Izmir Quais, today Gündoğdu Meydanı, Kordon, under the auspices of the Metropolitan Municipality of Izmir and the second on the evening of the same day at the Open Air Theatre under the auspices of the Municipality of Karsiyaka.
With these two great concerts, "Smyrneika", the old Izmir songs have made their big comeback to Izmir. The new concerts will follow the release of the film "Journey Through Smyrna" and its soundtrack.