Leaping ahead



Finally. The Cyprus Music Information Centre has taken a step forward towards supporting Cypriot musicians.

In association with the Rialto Theatre in Limassol, the Centre is also taking the established festival trend a step further.

The Cyprus Jazz & World Music Showcase festival is scheduled to take place at the end of September. Here, a selection of nine bands and 40 musicians will present authentic and original compositions in a single programme which will be recorded in the aim to create a modern archive which will eventually become an additional promotional tool for Cypriot creators abroad.

And not only. Invited guests will include festival organisers, foreign journalists and others as the project tempts ‘authoritative figures’ to invite Cypriot composers to important international events while establishing a fruitful process for the exchange of experiences and practices of artists on an international level.

The same practice was initiated by the Platform of Contemporary Dance which had a prominent impact on contemporary Cypriot productions; local dancers and contemporary dance events are now on the international map.
The initiatives of the Cyprus Music Information Centre don’t stop here either. A couple of months ago they published a book/ catalogue listing musicians, spaces that can host music events as well as all the local festivals. The information in this publication can only grow, and is doing so on the centre’s website.

It was upon meeting the mastermind behind the centre that we agreed that aside from creating a platform in which local musicians and creators could be ‘presented’ to the international market, musicians also had to come together in order to make a further impact.

Perhaps aligning them in a showcase such as this one will do just this. No musician will be competing, and everyone will be revealing a part of themselves. And as for us, we will get a taste of what’s being created locally, without being enthralled solely by the more, let’s say, commercialised acts, but by truly authentic pieces.

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About Melissa Hekkers

I am freelance journalist and author, who has frequently been featured in mainstream news outlets and other publications in Cyprus. Recently, I've been focusing on developing my writing, promoting my own books and teaching creative writing to children and adults. My most recent publication (2020) - Amir's Blue Elephant- pushes the boundaries of creative non-fiction, and recreates the moments that marked me the most, whilst volunteering in refugee camps in Lesvos, Greece, and during her ongoing involvement with the refugee community in Cyprus. In 2018 I published My Capre Greco Mandala which is the third in a series, an interactive colouring book about the biodiversity of the Cape Greco peninsula in Cyprus. My Akamas Mandala, the second in the series, is a colouring book inspired by the variety of endemic plants found on the Akamas Peninsula. In 2016, I published My Nicosia Mandala, the first of the above series, an innovative, interactive colouring book about the historic fortifications of the old town of Nicosia. I also focuses on silenced communities in Cyprus: I writes about migrants and refugees, both as a reporter and a features writer; I profile them and teach them creative writing skills. In 2007, soon after graduating with a Communications degree, I published my first children’s book in both English and Greek entitled Crocodile, which won the Cyprus State Illustration Award. In 2012, I launched my second children’s book Flying across Red Skies (in English and Greek), using an experimental approach to literature, for which I was nominated for the Cyprus State Literary award. My third, similarly well-received children’s book was Pupa (Greek and English), published in 2014. In between the last two books, I published my first free-verse poetry book entitled Come-forth. In 2019 she was contributing author to the anthology Nicosia Beyond Barriers: Voices from a Divided City, published by Saqi Books, London