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Mistura: The Sydney band taking people on a music journey around the world

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Are you ready to be taken on a music journey around the world? The Sydney-based band Mistura is set to do just that during their upcoming concert on Friday, March 31 at Bankstown Sports – The Theatre from 7pm.

Ahead of the concert – which is part of the Greek Festival of Sydney – The Greek Herald reached out to co-founder and lead vocalist of Mistura, Haido Spiliopoulos, to find out what people can expect on the night.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get involved with music?

I have been involved in music and the music industry since I was 10 years old. I studied classical piano to AMUS level and the piano, along with singing, were my instruments in the Higher School Certificate. Rather than going to the Conservatorium to continue to explore my passion for music performance and composition, I was a good Greek Australian and listened to my mother’s advice to go to university and complete a solid degree that I could use as a back-up in my life. I studied a Bachelor of Commerce (majoring in marketing) at UNSW. This successfully opened doors to Sony Music and later Universal Music, working in International Marketing and Promo however, my urge to be an artist was calling me.

To my family’s shock, I decided to move to London to pursue my dream in 2003. I lived in London for five years and had the greatest music learning curve of my life. My writing partner and producer, Dreadlox Holmes, co-wrote, recorded and released two albums with me, Who I Be (2005) and The Love Album (2008). We released all our product, as well as other artists’, under our own indie label Havavision Records in the UK. I kept busy playing live around London and promoting and licensing our music.

In 2008, my father was diagnosed with cancer for a third time and I felt my time in London needed to come to an end. Family is my foundation, it gives me strength and its love is powerful. I couldn’t consider life without spending quality time with a man who I had the utmost respect for – my father Dimitrios (Jim) Spiliopoulos.

Having arrived back in Sydney, I also settled down and achieved my proudest accomplishment – giving birth to my beautiful two sons Rocky-Dimitri and Joshua Michael. They have been my inspiration and driving force for the past 11 years.

In that time, I opened a music school, The Music Space. We are in three locations in Sydney – Ramsgate, St Ives and Blakehurst. What started as a vision to give back all the learnings I had received in my life, and to balance my role as a mother, has now become three branches and a team of 12 fantastic music teachers teaching a plethora of instruments, catering to families with babies all the way to adults.

The urge to perform, write and continue to be creative and relevant in today’s world began niggling again four years ago. That is where George Mavroidis came into my life through a mutual musician friend. We were from different cultures, loved different music and yet all held a passion for music which was our binding force and MISTURA (or Mix in Portuguese) was born.

We began as a four piece and have progressively grown to a 6-8 piece ensemble playing music we get excited about from all over the world. In our typical set you will hear six languages, genres from Latin, soul, jazz, world music and classic Greek songs. We are so excited to see what the future holds for Mistura. 

Why do you think is it important to share music from different cultures?

Australia is a country filled with every cultural mix you can imagine. We don’t feel enough of this beautiful multicultural mix is delivered as live music in Sydney. We don’t want to play what is expected. We find songs that touch us and indulgently want to share it with our audience. We get inspired by taking out audience on a journey every time we play. Some songs they will be very familiar with and others will be a moment of discovery.

I have had people come up to me after a show and say our Greek songs brought tears to their eyes, even though they are not Greek and didn’t understand what I was singing. When the emotion, the melodies, the rhythms of a song touch someone – that is the magic – and why we are doing what we love. Because we have the opportunity to truly connect with others on a different level. It brings joy to their faces and their hearts. Music is magical and undervalued in Australia.

Mistura is performing as part of the Greek Festival of Sydney this year. What can people expect from your concert?

We are so thrilled to be part of the Greek festival. It has been a lifelong dream of George’s and mine. Our concert will be distinctively Mistura, but our show will feature a greater percentage of Greek music. We have carefully selected a melange of songs that span decades. Songs created by our Greek music masters, from composers to performers, that have influenced audiences from all around the world. Namely, Hiotis, Theodorakis, Nana Mouskouri, Dalaras. We also have Leon Vitogiannis sharing the stage and lead vocals with me in our Greek Festival show.

This is a special one-off performance that showcases not only a beautiful programme of music, but also sharing the stage with an up-and-coming Greek Australian opera singer who sings the Greek classics like he was born in that era. John Zaharis on bouzouki – brings the famous bouzouki melodies to life and George and I cannot wait to present it to what we hope will be a full house on March 31.

‘A music journey around the world with Mistura’ is being held on Friday, March 31 at Bankstown Sports – The Theatre from 7pm. You can buy your tickets at: https://bit.ly/3lvQ5Ge

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