L i g h t o f E a s t
e n s e m b l e
Formed in 2006, the Light of East Ensemble has an extensive repertoire of music rooted in the many lands of the Near and Middle East and performs this enchanting music with passion, sensitivity and respect.
LoEE's vibrant repertoire encompasses traditional, folk, Classical Arabic, Sephardic and Greek Rembetika, as well as 20th century urban music from regions like Armenia, Greece (Asia Minor – Smyrni and Konstantinoupoli) and Turkey, and their neighbouring countries, including Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Israel.
This award-winning ensemble (Jack Richardson Music Awards, London Music Awards, OCFF Showcase) captivates audiences in a variety of venues – from small, intimate house concerts to concert halls like the Aeolian Performing Arts Centre and Centennial Hall, and bustling outdoor festivals, such as the renowned TD Sunfest, Mill Race Festival, Stratford Summer Festival, Huron Multicultural Festival, Kultrun Festival, and Guelph and District Multicultural Festival. LoEE provided the music from their latest CD, "LIve at the Aeolian" for the Arab - Israeli Cookbook performance which was presented by J M Drama in Kitchener, Ontario at the Registry Theatre in May 2017, a play by Robin Soans. LoEE also performs in more formal concert settings, such as with the International Symphony Orchestra in Sarnia, Ontario & Port Huron, Michigan and the London Symphonia.
LoEE has two well-received recordings to its credit: the 2009 debut CD, “Beyond Our Shores”, and the 2015 follow-up, “Live At The Aeolian”. Both were supported by the Sunfest Committee through CD release concerts at London’s Aeolian Hall, and since their release, they have enjoyed airplay on various CBC Radio programs, including In the Key of C, In Town and Out, Bandwidth and The Bridge.
LoEE continues to evolve artistically. Panayiotis Giannarapis, the heartbeat of the Ensemble, has deep roots in Greece and Asia Minor (Smyrni). The recent addition of vocalist Tracey Atin has enriched the group's existing repertoire and introduced music of the Sephardic tradition. Ensemble members draw on diverse musical backgrounds and experiences to offer a shared passion that immediately engages listeners. The timeless rhythms and beautiful melodies of the East are nothing less than mesmerizing, and when coloured with tints of Classical, Jazz, Celtic and Folk, they give Light of East Ensemble a unique, worldly sound.
Mary Ashton: violin, harp
Tracey Atin: vocals
Jedd House: bass
Jana Starling: clarinet, accordion
Kareem Al Tyeb: percussion
Panayiotis Giannarapis: oud, bouzouki, baglama, tzoura, nay