As part of the 8th International Jazz Festival of Kardamyli, the Embassy of Norway in Athens in collaboration with the Benaki Museum, hosted a reception on Sunday 22 May 2022 at the Patrick & Joan Leigh Fermor House, hosting for the first time the contributors, artists, musicians and friends of the festival, which has become a key cultural institution for the Mani region.


The festival is the brainchild of Norwegian musicians, the Sarpsborg Jazz Club Norway and artistic director Bjarne S. Aaserød, who were fascinated by the beauties of this small village in Messinian Mani, enthusiastically inviting people from all corners of the world to visit Kardamili and enjoy jazz in a dreamlike setting in 32 different locations, from the Old Schoolhouse and the squares to the beaches and the bars, cafes and restaurants of the area. This year, for the first time, two concerts are taking place at the Patrick & Joan Leigh Fermor House.

Σ This year’s festival, which takes place from 19 to 29 May 2022 and includes 78 concerts, will feature 47 Norwegian musicians and singers, while a total of 120 renowned musicians from Greece, the United States, Scotland, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Scotland, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

The event was honoured with the presence of the Norwegian Ambassador to Greece, Frode Overland Andersen, the President of the Benaki Museum’s Administrative Committee, Irini Geroulanou, the Mayor of West Mani, Dimitrios Giannimaras, who had a warm conversation in which the importance of such original artistic institutions that offer a new platform for coexistence between creators, the local community and visitors to the festival was emphasised. At the reception music was played by Knut Hem, Live Foyn Friis and guitarist Bård Helgerud.

Norwegian Ambassador Frode Overland Andersen spoke about the importance of the event:

“We are delighted about the Embassy’s collaboration with the Benaki Museum, the leading cultural institution in Greece, to bring the Cardamyle International Jazz Festival for the first time to the premises of the historic Leigh Fermor House. There is no better and more direct example of cooperation between our countries through a successful music festival in one of the most beautiful regions of Greece, the Western Mani. The involvement of the local community in this unique cultural experience is both enthusiastic and important.” 

The President of the Museum’s Administrative Committee Irini Geroulanou noted:

“The Patrick Leigh Fermor House is the latest addition to the Benaki Museum’s network of branches, of exceptional importance, rare charm and perfectly in tune with its mission. For it has opened up the prospect of collaboration with major universities around the world and of hosting important people of letters and arts to whom we can offer an ideal environment for concentration and creativity. While, at the same time, it allows us to host or organize events that make our lives better and happier. We are therefore thrilled to be hosting the Cardamyle Jazz Festival today and we wholeheartedly thank its organisers and the Embassy of Norway for this unique partnership.”

A few words about the Patrick & Joan Leigh Fermor House

Patrick and Joan Leigh Fermor admired and loved Greece and decided to build their home in Kardamili, Mani and live there for the rest of their lives. In 1996, they donated the Leigh Fermor House to the Benaki Museum, expressing their wish that it be used for the purposes of the Museum, but also to host researchers and remain open to the public. The operation of the House includes hosting researchers, educational activities in collaboration with educational institutions as well as organised visits and special cultural events for the public.

The cost of the repair work on the Leigh Fermor House was entirely covered by a donation from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

For more information:

Kardamili’s International Jazz Festival

The Norwegian Embassy in Athens, Greece | Facebook