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Fusions Without Confusion

Music that’s a mix of genres can be a good thing. Or not. And more and more it seems like artists who choose to mix things up do so because of sonic similarities rather than cultural connections. But if you can have both and come up with an end result that’s innovative or at least worth listening to, I’m keen on tuning in.

Greek pianist and Cirque du Soleil bandleader Petros Sakelliou heads up a 12-piece ensemble of reeds, strings, accordion, vibraphone and percussion he calls Visual Music Circus (self-released, 2014). Jaunty jazz meets Mediterranean melancholy, Latin sizzle, classical sophistication and numerous midway points between improvisation and laid out composition on 8 instrumental tracks that never fail to engage. Sakelliou is clearly a wizard of the ivories as well as an intrepid musical ringmaster.