Yanni delights fans of all ages at Popejoy Hall

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No matter what type of music a person my be particular to, whether it be rock, jazz, blue grass, classical or any other genre, there comes a time when you must take the plunge and experience something new, live and in person.

People of various ages packed the sold out Popejoy Hall Saturday evening to experience an impeccable concert by Yanni.

Submitted photo: Yanni, an internationally-known contemporary artist, played some of his old music as well as his new songs to a sold-out crowd at Popejoy Hall on Saturday night.

Dressed in a comfortable white pair of pants, sensible shoes and a black T-shirt, Yanni captivated his audience immediately upon entering the stage as he was greeted by whistling, clapping and his name being yelled out.

Quite a few “I love you, Yanni” were yelled out, which led to him responding “I love you too, all of you.”

Yanni literally rocked Popejoy Hall with his performance.

The evening went on with songs from the past as well as present, keeping the audience captivated and in awe, showing them what these talented musicians can do.

Yanni rotated between the piano and electronic keyboards, playing his style of contemporary classical, instrumental music and telling short stories about how some of the songs were inspired by or for people or events that took place in his life.

This also included solo performances by longtime friend and band member Charlie Adams, who did a five-minute drum solo. Ming Freeman, keyboards; Alexander Zhiroff, cello; Jason Carder, trumpet; Victor Espinola, harp; and Gabriel Vivas, bass, each had their moment and played outstandingly on their instrument solos.

Mary Simpson and Samvel Yervinyan played the violins to their utmost capacity and with amazing talent. An extra special song featuring the talents of the two were “Within Attratcion,” where they displayed a sort of dueling violins type of solo, which excited the audience.

Opera singers Lauren Jelencovich and Lisa Lavie, with their angelic voices, were a beautiful addition to “Nightingale” and “Aria.”

Yanni spoke of places he had played where no one was allowed to enter. Landmarks such as the Taj Mahal in India, the Forbidden City in China, Burj Khalifa (home of the world’s tallest building today) in Dubai, and the Kremlin in Russia, among others.

He told the audience he was the first artist invited to adopt a giant panda in China, which is a privilege reserved for countries rather than personalities. He named his panda Santorini, which means peace.

The last half hour of the show had the concert goers so riled up that the music took on a classical rock feel to it.

A young boy, no more than 6 years old, got out of his seat, stood in the isle, jumping up and down excitedly pointing his finger towards the stage to direct the musicians as if he were the conductor.

A great time was had by all, no matter who it was, leaving them in anticipation for next year, when Yanni said he would be back.