Sunfest Praise for LoEE
Light of East Ensemble may be one of the hardest working bands that the Sunfest Committee has ever presented. The members of the group (including violinist Mary Ashton and bassist Jedd House) are fastidious about fine-tuning their sounds and techniques, as well as unearthing diverse new repertoire from the catacombs of time, and the result is their outstanding musicianship and solid cohesion as an ensemble.
What makes Light of East Ensemble stand out is the musicians’ authenticity and devotion. They never take their performances for granted, bringing a rare sense of grace and occasion to the stage as they strive to provide their audiences with maximum entertainment value. Recent lineup changes have enhanced the band’s range and depth, especially the addition of singer Tracey Atin, a Sephardic Music specialist, whose vocals are simply spellbinding. An experienced actress, Tracey is well-suited to contextualizing Light of East Ensemble’s selections with her nicely crafted introductions. Her warm and engaging stage manner complements that of Panayiotis Giannarapis, Light of East Ensemble’s spokesperson and oud player, who infuses everything with his irrepressible good nature and uncompromising work ethic.
Light of East Ensemble offers well-marinated, well-spiced Eastern folk music of yesterday and today, lovingly prepared and served, and with an enduring appeal to many different palettes. Such is their multi-generational popularity on the local music scene that, at TD Sunfest, they twice earned a coveted performance spot normally awarded to a Canadian or international headliner. In addition, the Sunfest Committee has had the honor of hosting CD release concerts at Aeolian Hall for both of Light of East Ensemble’s recordings: Beyond Our Shores (2009) and Live At The Aeolian (2015).
– SUNFEST - London Committee for Cross Cultural Arts Inc.
Alfredo Caxaj, Executive & Artistic Director; Ian Davies, Programming & Creative Coordinator; Brian Hannigan, Communications Coordinator