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Jazz is a poetry, is one of those dazzling diamonds of creative industry that help human beings make sense out of the comedies and tragedies that contextualize our lives.

Jazz music is a rich artistic heritage, a product of cultural collaboration and a universal language of tolerance and freedom.

Jazz is not the result of choosing a tune, but an ideal that is created first in the mind, inspired by ones passion and willed next in playing music. Jazz music is a language, sometimes intimate, often boisterous, but always layered with experience and life profoundly lived. Jazz is not found in websites or books or even written down in sheet music. It is in the act of creating the form itself, that we truly find Jazz.

JAZZRADIO.gr is launched as a dedicated division of radioart.com to bring excellent jazz music to passionate jazz lovers.  Our aim is to make listeners relax, feel, think and smile through listening to the finest jazz of the world.

Just Jazz Channel:  Offers the most sublime selection of jazz from classic to contemporary improving mood and leaving the listener revitalized.

Vocal Jazz Channel:  Vocal legends and modern jazz singers in smooth vocal jazz melodies reinvent and create new standards in jazz music.The mid-tempo jazz voices enhance relaxation.

Swing Channel:  Rousing Swing Jazz music, in various formats including Big Bands and smaller ensembles that will make your feet move to the frenzied swing groove of this fun music.

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The History of Jazz [Part I]

Summary

The timeline of Jazz style development has evolved significantly spanning three centuries. Since its birth, well over two dozen distinct Jazz styles have emerged, all of which are actively played today.

The origins of Jazz are attributed to turn of the 20th century New Orleans , although this unique, artistic medium occurred almost simultaneously in other North American areas like Kansas City, Saint Louis and Chicago. Traits carried from West African black folk music developed in the Americas, joined with European popular and light classical music of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, became the syncopated rhythms of Ragtime and minor chord voicings characteristic of the Blues.

Most early Jazz was played in small marching bands or by solo banjo or piano . The dynamic of Jazz improvisation arose quickly but as an ornament of melody and was not to come into its own soloing styles until circa 1925.

During the years from the First to the Second World War (1914-1940) Europe, i.e. Paris, embraced Jazz music as its own. American musicians spread the globe as ambassadors of Jazz often in self-imposed exile from racial and social tensions at home, others in search of cultural and creative freedoms thought to exist abroad. Jazz music transformed from primarily an African-American genre into an international phenomenon.

Post-war depression and the break-up of the 'Big Bands' brought a focus on the smaller ensemble sound and the emancipation of Jazz styles. Risky ventures into improvisation gave Jazz critical cache with scholars that the Blues lacked. Perhaps the most innovative, forward discoveries in style took place at this time.

The 1950s Jazz scene faced new competition from other forms of entertainment. The growing popularity of television helped to introduce new popular music trends but shrinking Jazz audiences. Then Jazz music suffered an almost fatal trend upheaval first from the record industry's frenzy over Rock & Roll in the mid 1960s and followed by the Disco dance fad in the early 1970s. Many Jazz artists crossed over to more popular venues or joined the new Fusion school of Jazz.

During the 1980's, the Jazz timeline continued to evolve on a somewhat lateral direction with a multitude of influences, the most significant of which was the retro surfacing of it's own roots and styles. With an emergence of innovative young players revitalizing the creative spirits and a consistent increase of Jazz "purists" from the USA, Europe and abroad, the necessary energy and passion for creativity has continued to grow.

Post Bop, now interpreted with a modern preciseness and proficiency , ushered in the school of Classicism, circa 1990. This 'retro-renaissance' has become the passion of listeners and followers of every age group, of every culture and has brought a new awareness to the early sounds of legendary players.

An unexpected event of the 1990s was the emergence of Retro Swing, a joyous, easy listening celebration of Jump Blues, Hot Dance and Swing hybrid (sans soloing) played by young musicians from Indie Rock. This style brought back swing dancing to a new and vital younger audience.

Except for possibly Jazz Rap, M-Base and the European House dance music, significant change in the timeline of Jazz style has not occurred since.

Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis , and Billie Holiday are examples of some of the most celebrated jazz musicians of America’s past. These and many other famed musicians throughout the history of jazz have not only inspired modern musicians, but have also instilled modern music lovers with an appreciation for musical history.

Source: apassion4jazz.net

 

The History of Jazz [Part II]

Jazz is a uniquely American style of music that developed in the early twentieth century in urban areas of the United States. As it grew in popularity and influence, jazz served as a means of bringing young people together. It has always created and sustained artistic subcultures, which have produced new and increasingly sophisticated artistry. As a pervasive and influential musical style, jazz has at times been a great social leveler and unifier. It has melded black and white citizens in a love of fast, rhythmic music, which was first proliferated through radio and the recording industry. Jazz became the basis for most social dance music and also provided one of the first opportunities for public integration.

Jazz first emerged in the black cultures of New Orleans from the mixed influences of ragtime (songs with a syncopated rhythm), blues, and the band music played at New Orleans funerals. The term jazz or jass derives from a Creole word that means both African dance and copulation. The term jazz referring to peppy dance music first appeared in a March 1913 edition of the San Francisco Bulletin, an appearance that indicates jazz’s rapid spread as a popular musical genre as well as its connection to dancing and nightlife. Developed by such innovative musicians as Buddy Bolden (1877–1931) in New Orleans in the first decade of the twentieth century, jazz had moved west, east, and north to Chicago by 1919. Spread by such New Orleans jazz groups and performers as King Oliver (1885–1938) and his Creole Jazz Band and Jelly Roll Morton (1890–1941), jazz first became popular in the nightclub cultures of big cities. King Oliver’s band in Chicago was soon joined by a young Louis Armstrong (1901–1971), who pioneered the rapid rhythmic jazz style called hot jazz. White musicians such as Bix Beiderbecke (1903–1931), Jack Teagarden (1905–1964), and Joe Venuti (1903–1978) began to copy the jazz style of New Orleans bands, and soon jazz was an American national phenomenon, appealing to sophisticates and young audiences around the country.

Jazz evolved simultaneously in the 1920s in New Orleans, Chicago, and Kansas City , performed by both black and white ensembles and orchestras. As it developed from its Dixieland forms, jazz styles ranged from the hot jazz of Louis Armstrong to the “symphonic” jazz of Paul Whiteman’s (1890–1967) band. Hot jazz, one of the first influential developments of jazz, featured a strong soloist whose variations on the melody and driving momentum were accompanied by an expert ensemble of five or seven players. The idea of soloists playing in relation to backup ensembles also worked easily with larger bands, which began to form in the 1920s.

Fletcher Henderson (1897–1952) and Duke Ellington (1899–1974) established black jazz orchestras that began performing at prominent nightclubs in Chicago and New York. Henderson employed some of the most accomplished jazz musicians of his time, including Armstrong and saxophonist Coleman Hawkins (1904–1969). Ellington, who began as a piano player, established another orchestra, noted for its sophistication in its long-running appearance at New York’s Cotton Club. Paul Whiteman, a successful white California orchestra leader, adapted jazz for his larger dance orchestra, which became the most popular band of the 1920s. Whiteman was interested in distinguishing a high art jazz as represented by George Gershwin’s (1898–1937) Rhapsody in Blue (1924, which Whiteman had commissioned for his orchestra) from what he thought of as the cruder jazz of such white jazz ensembles as the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. The Original Dixieland Jazz Band, booked into New York in 1917, was one of the first successful jazz groups.

Live band appearances and a booming recording industry increased jazz’s audience, as did Prohibition, which paradoxically made nightlife even more fashionable. Associated with nightclubs and nightlife, jazz became attractively exotic both in the United States and in Europe. Popular jazz bands traveled widely, playing at all kinds of venues from dancehalls and nightclubs to restaurants. The rapidly growing record industry quickly became interested in jazz performers. Such artists as Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman (1909–1986), Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, and others made records that reached audiences who did not venture into city nightlife.

The Great Depression, however, took its toll on smaller and less successful jazz bands, black bands more than white bands. With the advent of swing music, many white bands could continue to prosper, but many black bands had more difficulty finding large audiences. They were less commercially successful in general, since most black orchestras did not have the mainstream connections and recording contracts of white bands. In addition, Jim Crow segregation laws kept black orchestras separate from white orchestras. For these reasons, many black jazz musicians went to Europe in the 1920s and 1930s, where they were welcomed. Coleman Hawkins and clarinetist Sidney Bechet (1897–1959) both played in Europe, where audiences were captivated by the erotic suggestiveness of jazz.

Swing, a jazz-inflected dance music, developed in the 1930s and was hugely popular during World War II (1939–1945). Swing jazz was designed for larger musical groups. It continued hot jazz’s back-and-forth between a solo player and the supporting ensemble, but it framed and balanced the solo with a more structured accompaniment, which often involved a musical battle between various sections of the band. Swing developed gradually, but Benny Goodman’s August 21, 1935, performance at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles is often considered swing’s debut. Its popularity established swing as a dance music and style that cut across classes and races. Swing bands—known as Big Bands —also employed band singers, many of whom became hugely popular in their own right. Frank Sinatra (1915–1998), for example, caused riots during his appearances with the Tommy Dorsey Band, while Bing Crosby (1903–1977), Ella Fitzgerald (1917–1996), Billie Holiday (1915–1959), Doris Day, and Rosemary Clooney (1928–2002) all became stars in their own right.

Female singers, especially Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn (1924–1990), had a larger part in the evolution of jazz than most women did. Since its inception, innovations in jazz seemed to come mainly from those who played wind instruments—trumpet players Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie (1917–1993), and Miles Davis (1926–1991); saxophonists Charlie Parker (1920–1955) and John Coltrane (1926–1967); and clarinetist Benny Goodman. Players of other instruments, such as piano, drums, bass, and guitar, though enjoying roles as soloists, were primarily responsible for maintaining the driving rhythm of jazz pieces. Until they became prominent as jazz vocalists, women musicians seemed to have little role as jazz artists or innovators. Although they occasionally played in jazz groups, women musicians were most often pianists, such as Louis Armstrong’s wife, Lillian Hardin (1898–1971). The introduction of female vocalists whose role was increasingly like that of other featured wind instruments broadened the dimensions of jazz. Scat singing, or singing nonsense syllables, which had been used earlier by Ethel Waters (1900–1977), Edith Wilson (1896–1981), and Louis Armstrong, made the voice sound more like a jazz instrument. Melodic voice improvisation developed by such women vocalists as Adelaide Hall (1904–1993), Ivie Anderson (1905–1949), and most notably Fitzgerald made the voice an instrument and an important part of the jazz repertoire. Vocalist Billie Holiday added her own brand of blues inflected improvisation, phrasing like a wind player and injecting fun and suggestiveness into the music. In the 1940s two other vocalists, Dinah Washington (1924–1963) and Sarah Vaughn, added their own imprimatur to jazz: Washington imported a powerful clarity from gospel music, and Vaughn further developed the voice as an instrument in the context of bebop.

The popularity of swing music beginning in the 1930s also enabled bands to cross color lines. Before swing, bands mostly played to audiences of their own race, but with swing, white audiences began to follow black bands as well. In the mid-1930s, Benny Goodman integrated his jazz ensemble, working with Teddy Wilson (1912–1986), a pianist, and Lionel Hampton (1908–2002), a vibraphonist. Because jazz musicians knew, admired, and even borrowed one another’s work, jazz ensembles were among the first integrated public performance groups.

Swing also helped moor up the national mood both during both the Depression and the Second World War. Armed Services Radio broadcast swing music to soldiers. Although musicians and record companies were at a standoff over musicians’ royalties for airplay in 1942, a special V-Disc program produced records for the use of the military.

After the war, many musicians who had begun their careers in swing bands—including Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie —began exploring a more frenetic smallensemble form of jazz known as bop. With such younger artists as Miles Davis and Art Blakey (1919–1990), bop developed as a more hard-driving, difficult jazz characterized by the prominence of soloists who played rapid complex improvisations in business suits. Bop was primarily the bailiwick of black musicians, who were rescuing the form from the pleasant popularity of swing and who would, with their development of hard bop or bebop and cool jazz, turn jazz into something more intellectual, difficult, and soulful. These later forms became a connoisseur’s jazz, played again in smaller clubs and establishing jazz artists as the avant-garde of music. Such beat artists as Jack Kerouac (1922–1969) extolled bop jazz as representing an expression of soul that beat writers wished to emulate by breaking down traditional forms.

Despite its often improvisational character, jazz benefited from a number of talented composers. Instrumentalists such as Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus (1922–1979), Miles Davis, Horace Silver, Thelonious Monk (1917–1982), Sun Ra (1914–1993), Wayne Shorter, and Randy Weston contributed to the growing body of jazz music, as did Duke Ellington and his collaborator Billy Strayhorn (1915–1967). Ellington and Strayhorn, both pianists, forged a productive association, writing Ellington’s theme song, “Take the ‘A’ Train” (1941), as well as other well-known favorites played by the Ellington orchestra. More recently, other composers have continued jazz’s evolution, including Jeff Wains and Wynton Marsalis.

Jazz had also long incorporated a broader base of musical styles and influences , so even as it became cool and increasingly sophisticated, it also dipped again and again into a variety of sources, renewing itself and extending its influence into more popular musical forms. As Dizzy Gillespie developed bop, he also infused his music with Afro-Cuban jazz rhythms and musicians. Chano Pozo (1915–1948), a Cuban percussionist, joined Gillespie’s band in 1947, and the addition of Pozo and a wide array of Latin percussion instruments, such as the congas, bongos, timbales, and claves, produced complex and rapidly moving pieces . Latin musicians such as trumpet player Arturo Sandoval also joined Gillespie. In the 1950s Puerto Rican percussionist Tito Puente (1923–2000) and Cuban musicians Chico O’Farrill (1921–2001) and Chucho Valdés played Latin mambo in New York, influencing both big band and jazz ensemble sounds. In the early 1960s Brazilian jazz, called bossa nova, emerged in the United States. João Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim (1927–1994) brought the style to the United States, and their work was taken up by saxophonist Stan Getz (1927–1991). Miles Davis worked with Brazilian drummer Airto Moreira, and in the 1990s Roy Hargrove incorporated Afro-Cuban elements in his Crisol project. The influence of Latin rhythms and styles enlarged the appeal of jazz, making it more joyous and rhythmic, and via such forms as bossa nova, linking it to more mainstream styles.

As jazz became more esoteric, it became more sophisticated than popular . Although it continued to influence the styles of newer music, such as rock and roll, its audience shrank to those who could appreciate its difficulties, and jazz no longer played as direct a role in the evolution of popular music. It retained its links to nightclubs, but lost its aura of carefree joy. Jazz musicians of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s became associated with the innovations and countercultural sentiments of the beats. Some, such as pianist Dave Brubeck and saxophonist Paul Desmond (1924–1977), became campus favorites, touring with their jazz quartet around Midwest College campuses in the 1950s. In its links to countercultural art and lifestyles, as well as to a more intellectual milieu, jazz also became associated with civil rights efforts, Black Nationalism, and other radical movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Although jazz musicians (like many performers) had long been linked to drugs and less-than-suburban lifestyles, as drugs became an openly rebellious facet of the hippie and youth movements of the 1970s, they became a part of the myth of jazz as well.

At the same time, jazz also became more academic and respectable as a high culture phenomenon. Music conservatories and universities began offering courses in jazz history and composition and training jazz musicians . Such renowned institutions as the Berklee College of Music in Boston, the Juilliard School in New York City, and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, as well as numerous universities in the United States and throughout the world, train jazz musicians.

Jazz of the later twentieth century continued to develop multiple styles —free jazz, soul jazz, jazz-rock fusion—that represented attempts to reclaim jazz as a specifically black musical tradition, even though jazz continued to be an integrated effort. Jazz groups again became smaller ensembles and their work became more experimental and aimed at appreciative listeners rather than at dancing. Jazz clubs developed in larger cities; the clubs attract audiences of jazz lovers but not nearly the kind of widespread adulation given to swing. In the 1990s Wynton Marsalis and his brother Branford Marsalis led a renaissance in the widespread popularity of jazz. Wynton Marsalis, a classically trained trumpet player, won Grammy Awards in both classical and jazz categories. More important perhaps was his energetic advocacy of jazz as a central genre of American music.

Collaborating with documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, Wynton Marsalis contributed his own more conservative perspective to Burns’s twenty-hour documentary, Jazz (2001). Some musicians, such as Miles Davis, thought that Marsalis’s ideas of a pure jazz were too conservative, but Marsalis has certainly been responsible for the revival of jazz as an important musical form.

As it has throughout its history, jazz continues to find talented and innovative musicians who continue to reinvent and redefine jazz. Becoming increasingly international and opening slightly to greater participation by women musicians, jazz continues to influence developing musical styles, but its mixture of styles, its contributions to racial integration, and its establishment of a uniquely American form as a central influential musical tradition already form its legacy.

Source: encyclopedia.com

The European Jazz Scene

Written by David Liebman

Prior to World War II there was some jazz played in parts of Europe, but it was definitely the post war generation exposed to Bird and the be-boppers, (some of whom came through on tour), who took jazz and began to develop it, at first derivatively, t hen slowly expressing an individual personality. Remember, when one says Europe you are speaking about an area comparable to the size of the U.S., but with over a dozen distinct cultures, histories and traditions. Each country has its own slant on the development of jazz with a distinct way of doing things. Given the rich classical tradition that these musicians were born to and in many cases trained in, you can imagine the interesting and diverse fusions of influences that have taken place there.

The Afro-American roots of jazz which we take for granted in the U.S. didn’t really exist in Europe. But what they do possess besides the classics is proximity to many types of world music coming through colonization and subsequent immigration from Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Europe indeed has its own unique circumstances which have mixed with American jazz. By the 1980s there were more notable jazz personalities and styles from many of the countries than previously. Some had come through be-bop, while the new generation was affected by free jazz and Coltrane as well as fusion. By that decade, jazz education was well on its way throughout Europe.

In fact, the 80s represented a virtual explosion of interest in jazz with more combinations of European and American musicians. There had always been a tradition of an American soloist (usually a horn player) playing with a European rhythm section. That trend increased during the 80s when even lesser known musicians were being invited to play with Europeans. Finally, the role of independent run record companies became quite pronounced in Europe from the 70s on, especially with the phenomenal success of the German-based ECM label. The European record producer was a special breed: non-compromising, expert in on e or more areas of the music, avid record collectors wholly dedicated to “art for arts sake.” It was through their support and commitment that many American musicians established a reputation as well as a platform to develop their art. With the American attitude towards commercialism and profit margins so entrenched in our culture, all but a few artists could regularly record in the U.S. Personally, my first two recordings as a leader were for ECM in the early 70s (“Lookout Farm” and “Drum Ode”), and if it weren’t for the great support of several labels over the years, I probably wouldn’t be writing to you now!!

Scandinavia

Overall there are two strains of American influences which are quite pronounced in Scandinavian jazz. Because many expatriates resided in Sweden and Denmark in particular, there is a legacy of be-bop and the sophisticated audience which it engendered over several decades. On the other hand, there is the famous “Nordic” sound first made famous by Keith Jarrett’s recording on ECM “Belonging” from the 70s which used several Scandic musicians(Jon Christensen on drums, Palle Daniellson on b ass and Jan Garbarek on saxophone). This had a major influence on the jazz scene there and in fact worldwide as far as setting the tone of a style. The ECM label in fact has used a studio in Oslo, Norway for years to record many CDs and employed these an d other Scandinavian musicians for many dates over the past decades. Also, there is an abundance of big bands, both amateur and professional who regularly integrate the writing skills of some of America’s best composers: Bob Brookmeyer, Jim McNeely, Mari a Schneider and Vince Mendoza to mane a few. Exactly what is this “Nordic” sound that I have referred to which in turn has influenced American musicians? Maybe it is the long winters along with the heavy imbibing that takes place in this part of the world. In any case, there is a melancholic and stark flavor in the harmonic realm, quite different then the blues tinge that we are used to. Some of the other characteristics area great deal of minor based tonality, a pronounced folk song influence, sparseness of texture, long melodic lines, a lot of rubato phrasing, eighth note based pulse with a sprinkling of uneven meter, and a preponderance of reverb effect used on the recordings themselves. There is a definite and singular atmosphere or color to their music in general. The deepest musical education in Europe takes place in Sweden beginning at the high school level. There are many conservatories and programs in jazz as well as the other arts. For the working situation there is even a government sponsored agency which sends groups out to countryside towns for performances as well as an association of nearly 100 jazz clubs country-wide. The typical Swedish jazz musician is the best overall equipped craftsman around. This is reflected in their ability to play in many genres from free jazz to be-bop to fusion and of course the “ECM” style. They have a long relationship with jazz and are for example proud of the fact that Charlie Parker toured with Swedish sideman back in the early 50s. Overall there is usually some financial support from the government for many jazz musicians. The Swedish audience in keeping with the basic orderliness of their society is usually quite reserved and small in numbers, relative to the population of course. Close to Sweden, surprisingly I would place Finland. This small and rather mysterious country is reputed to have more orchestras and festivals of all sorts proportionally than any other country. I have toured towns with unpronounceable names way in the north near Russia which all have the most lavish and gorgeous concert halls. Again, there is some level of government support and several higher schools teaching jazz. The Finns have a justified reputation for reticence which definitely pervades the typical audience there. But like the Swedes they are very appreciative and fairly sophisticated listeners. Concerning Norway I haven’t as much time there but in many ways it is similar to Finland in that there is a nucleus of musicians more or less clustered around the capital of Oslo who are very active. Specifically, several of the most important musicians on the ECM label are Norwegian: Aril Andersen, Jon Christensen, Terje Rypdal and most notable of all, saxophonist Jan Garbarek. Denmark is a special case in Scandinavia because both in the physical sense(they are attached to Europe’s mainland) as well as culturally, the Danes combine the Nordic and European sense. They are a lively people, very warm and polite with great interest in humanitarian and environmental causes. In general their personalities are a bit looser than their Northern counterparts and more in tune with the American influence. Throughout jazz history, many expatriates have resided in Copenhagen, in large part due to the Dane’s traditionally equitable treatment of minorities. (Dexter Gordon and Kenny Drew were among the most well known.) The Danish are a great audience to play for as they really get into the music. Throughout Scandinavia but especially in Sweden and Denmark, there has been a long tradition of great bass players, ranging through classical, jazz and fusion. It seems that the great bebop bassist, Oscar Pettiford spent some time there and exerted a tremendous influence. In Sweden, American bassist R ed Mitchell lived for many years and was very important to the scene. Contemporary bassists of note are Nils Henning Orsted Petersen(NHOP for short)from Denmark, both Palle and Lars Daniellson(not related) as well as Anders Jormin from Sweden. Since 1985 I have been working with the rhythm section of Lars Danielson(bass) and Bobo Stenson(piano) from Sweden along with Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen. In this group, Jon basically sets the loose rhythmic tone while Lars holds the harmony and time as Bobo and myself dance over this bubbling foundation, often playing lines in tandem as well as blowing in the traditional accompanist-soloist relationship. The music ranges from very lyrical to almost austere in tone as well as some high energy free jazz. There are some Swedish folk influences and even a few jazz standards, but it is all played in the same stylistic “Nordic” vein. We have several recordings out on the Swedish-based Dragon label including a live date from Visiones, the former club in New York.

France

During the 1980s, the typical national French budget included over a 10% allotment for culture, of which jazz was part. This has abated recently but it has not entirely disappeared. Suddenly in that decade there were literally dozens of small and large festivals throughout France, as well as an abundance of record labels and at one time, nearly 200 “jazz” schools. The French have for decades been proud of their supportive attitude towards jazz. Many American musicians have spent time in the greatest of cultural cities, Paris. There was a vibrant Left Bank jazz scene in which expatriates of the bebop era ruled for years including Bud Powell, Kenny Clarke and others. The Art Ensemble of Chicago lived there for some years as did many avant garde musicians. Soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy has been in Paris for nearly 30 years himself. In my opinion outside of the northeastern part of America considering New York as the hub, Paris is the only other logical place to live if you are interested in jazz and its offshoots. Paris, even more than New York is literally a bouillabaisse of people and influences, mainly from the former colonies which results in a tremendous hodgepodge of musical cultures including southeast Asia and many areas of Africa, from Morocco and Tunisia to Senegal and other Western African countries. The French truly respond to jazz and enthusiastically embrace it as a people, probably more than anywhere else. It is not uncommon to hear jazz at road stop restaurants or when you fly Air France as you enter and exit the plane. Because of the explosion of government support in the 80s, and as part of their general Gallic pride in anything French, their own musicians have been better supported than anywhere else on par with Sweden. The French musicians have therefore developed quite a bit in the past decades and they have a unique style all to themselves. I don’t intend to denigrate it by calling it vaudeville (a French word in any case), but a lot of French jazz has and almost minstral show quality to it. Maybe it is the theatrical influence from Moliere and the Comedie Francais along with the literary tradition of Flaubert, Stendhal, Baudelaire, etc., but I detect a sincere effort to entertain the audience with the music. The French truly have their own sound. Also it is saxophone-clarinet land to be sure. Along with the oboe and flute, a great deal of the historic development of these instruments is due to French craftsmen. Some say that the elocution of their language causes the typical Frenchman’s lips to articulate in a way favorable to woodwind sound production. In any case, some of the oldest and most popular instrument, reed and mouthpiece manufacturers are in France including Selmer (saxophones), Louray (oboe) and Buffet (clarinet). One particular thing strikes me about the French audience to their credit. Once they are convinced that you are valid, they remain loyal forever. They can be very opinionated, sometimes a bit uniformed and even prejudicial, but if they take you into their orbit you will always be accepted. To the French, being an “artiste” is everything!! For me, France has definitely been the best scene for me, due mostly in part to the recordings and great support I received from Jean Jacques Pussiau, owner of Owl Records. We made seven CDs ranging from West Side Story to fusion to classical and free jazz as well as tributes to Miles and Coltrane. I have had the opportunity to work with the trio of Jean Francois Jenny Clark, one of the greatest of all bassists (recently and sadly passed away), pianist Joachim Kuhn (German but lives in France for years) whom I have known for 25 years and is a consummate musician, and drummer Daniel Humair, who in a sense represents the history of European jazz having begun playing with Bud Powell as a teenager in the early 60s. Well rooted in jazz history, they like to play hard, angular melodies with complex harmony followed by completely free improvisation usually at very fast tempos. Also in France, I have been invited often to play with Michel Portal who represents the best in the French tradition. He is an expert and famous classical clarinet who also plays a sort of free jazz influenced at times by his Basque roots. He is not a be-bopper but plays the horns so well and has such great musical instincts that he is capable of some wonderful moments. In the recent pas t I have formed a trio with a bassist similar to Portal in the sense that he too is a classical expert who among others has worked with Pierre Boulez. Jean Paul Celea plays the bass so well that whatever comes out is musical. The drummer in this trio is Austrian, Wolfgang Resigned, who plays in a very modern and energetic mold along the lines of Jack DeJohnette. This group deals in a free jazz context similar to the first group I was involved with, the Open Sky Trio with Bob Moses in the early 70s. The common thread with all of these musicians is their classical background and familiarity with that repertoire, way beyond mine by the way. Therefore, they begin at a technical point on their instruments that is astounding.

Germany and Austria

With the long and historic tradition so linked with the German culture for hundreds of years, their audience is highly developed and the most mature in the world. This directly leads to the existence of many small and independent labels dedicated to p resenting jazz over the years (ECM,ENJA,CMP).. With the largest market in Europe, their famous efficiency and such a highly educated population, jazz has traditionally done well in Germany. For years there were several full time resident big bands working for the regional radio stations which regularly played jazz. The cabaret and beer hall tradition of German society where people socialize has contributed to a high number of jazz clubs throughout the years, though this has greatly evaporated recently. From the post war years and still, the presence also contributed to the direct influence of American culture-not only in jazz, but pop also. There is one distinct aspect of German jazz which has been evident for several decades. That is the free jazz movement which has continued to exist even after its near disappearance in America. I would trace this to the classical avant-garde tradition of the early 20th century with Schoenberg, Webern, Berg and others of that ilk. Some of Germany’s top practitioners in this regard are Alexander Shlippenbach, Peter Brotzmann and most notably, trombonist Albert Manglesdorf. The free jazz influence was also felt in the former Eastern bloc countries, more so before the end of the Berlin Wall than now. But there are still some festivals completely devoted to avant garde music, while at the same time you can attend pure Dixieland events (a contrast which by the way occurs in almost all of the countries surveyed here). The typical German audience as I have mentioned is the most sophisticated in the world as far as jazz is concerned They are knowledgeable and thought they can be faddish with styles being popular for a while, then fading, usually the highest level of listening takes place there. They are respectful but let you know how they feel. Jazz education exists in several places including, Mannheim, Essen, Cologne, Frankfurt and Berlin for the most part alongside longstanding classical programs. Overall, with such a large population, high income levels, and in one area of Germany a sort of cultural tax for each citizen, this country has been a major force for the support of jazz for several decades. Austria is much smaller in population than Germany with the main center of course being Vienna. It also enjoys a rich classical tradition which is virtually inseparable from Germany. There are many fine musicians involved in all kinds of projects especially with chamber music and other types of traditional ensembles being incorporated in various mixtures of sorts. The level of musicianship in Austria is extremely high, but in general the audience is not as discerning as their German neighbors. Although I don’t have a steady rhythm section in Germany as in France and Scandinavia, I have had some important relationships in other ways. Advance Music, run by Hans and Veronica Gruber, have published most of my books as well as chamber music. They have been very supportive, especially in view that many of my teaching materials are not commercial or meant for the wider audience. The same could be said for the record company CMP, run by Kurt Renker. I have done some of my most artistic recordings at the wonderful studio that Kurt has in the German countryside along with one of the greatest engineers alive, Walter Quintus. Our latest project is a solo recording titled “Time Immemorial”. The northwest part of Germany (around Cologne) is home for the WDR (West German Radio) which covers both TV and radio. They are well funded and have a full time jazz big band that does all types of creative projects featuring soloists. I have done work there with Jim McNeeley, Vince Mendoza and in an orchestral setting with Bill Dobbins who now heads both the WDR big band and the jazz department at the Cologne Hochshcule. The whole concept of soloing over large ensembles has added greatly to my skills and besides, it is a thrill of a different sort fronting so many musicians. This experience comes directly from my interaction with the German scene.

Italy

There is a natural correlation between the Italian temperament and jazz. For Italians, the energy, joy and enthusiasm of jazz is a natural. The scene as far as musicians is concerned is quite active. Unfortunately, the Italian government(s) do not have their act together enough to subsidize this music at all, nor is there much jazz on radio or TV. This is a bit sad because there is so much culture surrounding them on an everyday level, and there is much support for opera of course. Finally, in the pa st decade jazz was officially recognized by the very traditional university system, which as in most of these countries is state supported, very old and very conservative. The Italian musicians play all kinds of styles from be-bop to free. Besides England and Holland, they have been the most heavily influenced by American jazz. Possible due to their operatic tradition and ecclesiastical music, they definitely have a gift for melody and for some reason the trumpet has been quite popular for Italian jazz artists. Some notable trumpeters are Enrico Rava, Flavio Boltra and Paolo Fresu. The Italian audience is by far the most enthusiastic and warmest that one encounters. They love everything usually. In fact, it is hard to separate the Italian life style of great food, wine, high fashion, beautiful towns and villages, medieval art and culture everywhere as well as the mellifluous sounding language from their enthusiasm about jazz, film, opera, painting and the arts in general. For that matter they are equally enthusiastic about gossip. After all, the term “paparazzi” originates with the Italians! They are a most remarkable people and the musicians and audience alike reflect this. Touring in Italy is extremely enjoyable (outside of the frequent transport strikes).I always enjoy playing with the acclaimed pianist Franco D’Andrea, trumpeter Paolo Fresu and saxophonist Maurizio Giammarco among others. Also in Italy I have recorded some repertoire CDs for Red Records and original music for Soul Note. Just to give you an insight into the attitude of European record producers, I quote what the owner of Soul Note, Giovanni Bonnandrini said to me when I asked if a particular project was al l right. He said: “The only thing is that the music be creative”!! (How many American producers would say that?)

Holland, England, Ireland and Spain

All of these countries (except Spain) have in common the large effect of American jazz. Maybe it is language, because even the Dutch are quite fluent in English. In England itself, there is a long tradition of “trad” (dixieland), but there have also been great beboppers and free musicians. London, like Paris and New York is a world city with all the different influences from former colonies and immigration affecting the music. For years, one of the most famous clubs in the world, Ronnie Scotts has been presenting world class jazz. Jazz education exists to some degree and there have been a lot of notable jazz journalists, books and periodicals coming from Britain. The staid English audience is a given, but they are the most hospitable of peoples, genuinely gracious and polite. The list of notable English musicians is impressive: Dave Holland, Tony Oxley, John Surman, Kenny Wheeler (Canadian but living in England for years) and John Taylor to name a few. The Netherlands is a small and very densely packed country which has an extensive university system for jazz education. The Dutch musicians are highly skilled and very adept at all styles with a wide range from be-bop to free. The audiences are good and have an exceptional tolerance for free jazz which has been widely accepted there. Musicians such as Hans Bennink and Wilhelm Breuker have excelled in this music. One of the biggest festivals in the world runs in the Hague there during the summer called the North Sea Festival. Ireland which is truly tiny in population has in recent times really come up in jazz. They are obviously tied to both the U.S. and England, but due to a handful of energetic musicians led by bassist Ronan Guilfoyle, as well as the strong artistic tradition native to this island culture, the Irish sound is becoming more individual, especially in the realm of rhythm. Spain, relatively new to jazz and more isolated culturally, has of course its own rich flamenco tradition which permeates the entire society there. In both Barcelona and Madrid there are full time schools where hundreds of students of all ages study around the clock. The progress of the Spanish musicians has been remarkable over the past decade. Although they bear some similarities to the Italians and the lyrical heritage, they possess a soulfulness and rhythmic intensity all their own.

Final Words

The fact that a musician like myself, steeped in American jazz and New York in particular, can be fortunate enough to share spiritual moments with so many people from a different part of the world is a testament to the universal appeal and potential power of this music. I honestly feel that the future will see more and more international collaborations for jazz musicians coming from all parts of the world, infusing the music with a breath of fresh air and enthusiasm .For sure, Europe has definitely been a god send for the life of jazz.

 

Jazz In Greece

Written by George Charonitis 

Although there were jazz inspired musicians and fans a long time ago, only during the last twenty years there's a strong jazz movement creating a local tradition that is worth mentioning.  
Jazz in Hellas, nowadays is taking an interesting ethnic path that is both creative and conventional, retaining an identity of its own. 

The real jazz story in Hellas begins in mid-seventies, after the fall of the military junta. In a strong cultural, social and musical background that included folk songs like rembetika (referred often as the Greek blues), excellent folk music from the mountains and islands and contemporary urban songs by top Greek songsters and composers like Manos Hadjidakis, Mikis Theodorakis or Dionyssis Savopoulos, it was difficult for a strange improvised type of music in the jazz tradition to become a status.  But the very nature of the Hellenic folk music, that is also improvisational, opened the door to jazz in an easier way.  

The freedom of expression in jazz gave a way to experimentalist Greek musicians to open their horizons. A movement of both mainstream jazz and improvised music started and developed in Athens, Salonica and other cities around Hellas. The second half of the seventies was a period of exchanging ideas with a lot of visiting musicians from the United States and Europe. 
It was also a period that a Hellenic jazz discography and concert production started to develop. 

All took shape around the now legendary George Barakos Jazz Club in the ancient district of Plaka in Athens -a joint that now is history. Some Greek musicians, like pianist Sakis Papadimitriou and reed player Floros Floridis, are well known around the European scene,  
the former recording albums with Leo or Adda Records and the latter  playing with prominent modern jazz musicians of the caliber of Cecil Taylor, Evan Parker, Peter Kowald a.o. with a quantity of about 20 jazz (and jazz related) records per year (made by independent or major 
companies), with a lot of young musicians and groups playing in a small number  of jazz clubs, with artistic tendencies that cover a wide spectrum of tastes  (from post-bop to Avant-garde, from rhythm and blues to acid jazz),  the Hellenic Jazz Scene is searching for identity. 
It's a hard way, but it seems to find a route in the last years.  

The important thing about Greek jazz is the opening to ethnic traditions, trying to make an interesting summary of Hellenic folk melodies in a jazzy background. 

That tendency is more profound in the case of improvising musicians than is in the case of straight jazzmen.  This is a problem that will take some time to find an acceptable solution - but time is on our side! The presence of steady annual jazz festivals is a little problematic. 
Salonica International Jazz Festival and Patras International Festival are in a way of financial crisis -but everyone is hoping for the best!  I mean, we are hoping for the best ... 

John William Coltrane

Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong nicknamed Satchmo or Pops , was an American trumpeter, composer, singer and occasional actor who was one of the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and different eras in jazz

“Jazz is played from the heart. You can even live by it. Always love it”

“Making money ain’t nothing exciting to me. You might be able to buy a little better booze than the wino on the corner. But you get sick just like the next cat and when you die you’re just as graveyard dead as he is”.

Arthur “Art” Blakey

Art Blakey

Arthur “Art” Blakey , known later as Abdullah Ibn Buhaina, was an American jazz drummer and bandleader. The legacy of Blakey and his bands is not only the music they produced, but also the opportunities they provided for several generations of jazz musicians.

“Music washes away the dust of every day life”.

John William Coltrane

John Coltrane

John William Coltrane was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Working in the bebop and hard bop idioms early in his career, Coltrane helped pioneer the use of modes in jazz and later was at the forefront of free jazz.

 “Over all, I think the main thing a musician would like to do is give a picture to the listener of the many wonderful things that he knows of and senses in the universe. . . That’s what I would like to do. I think that’s one of the greatest things you can do in life and we all try to do it in some way. The musician’s is through his music.”

Miles Dewey Davis III

Miles Davis

Miles Dewey Davis III was an American trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. He is among the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz and 20th century music. With his ever-changing directions in music, Davis was at the forefront of a number of major stylistic developments in jazz over his five-decade career

“Jazz is the big brother of Revolution. Revolution follows it around.”

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington

Duke Ellington

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington was an American composer, pianist, and big band leader. Ellington wrote over 1,000 compositions. In the words of Bob Blumenthal of The Boston Globe “In the century since his birth, there has been no greater composer, American or otherwise, than Edward Kennedy Ellington.

“What is music to you? What would you be without music? Music is everything. Nature is music (cicadas in the tropical night). The sea is music, the wind is music. The rain drumming on the roof and the storm raging in the sky are music. Music is the oldest entity. The scope of music is immense and infinite. It is the ‘esperanto’ of the world”.

William John Evans

Bill Evans

William John Evans , known as Bill Evans was an American jazz pianist. His use of impressionist harmony, inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, and trademark rhythmically independent, “singing” melodic lines influenced a generation of pianists. He is considered by some to be the most influential post World War II jazz pianist.

“I’m using the insides of sounds to move around in a very subtle way which, I think, ends up being inevitable. I feel its the only solution to that particular problem that I presented myself”

Ella Jane Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Jane Fitzgerald , also known as the “First Lady of Song” and “Lady Ella,” was an American jazz and song vocalist. With a vocal range spanning three octaves , she was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a “horn-like” improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.

“Forgive me if I don’t have the words. Maybe I can sing it and you’ll understand”.

John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie

Dizzy Gillespie

John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie was an American jazz trumpet player, bandleader, singer, and composer dubbed “the sound of surprise. In the 1940s Gillespie, with Charlie Parker, became a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz. He taught and influenced many other musicians, including trumpeters Miles Davis, Jon Faddis, Fats Navarro.

“I always try to teach by example and not force my ideas on a young musician. One of the reasons we’re here is to be a part of this process of exchange”.

Wynton Learson Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Learson Marsalis is a trumpeter, composer, bandleader, music educator, and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Marsalis has promoted the appreciation of Classical and Jazz music often to young audiences. Marsalis has been awarded nine Grammys in both genres, and was awarded the first Pulitzer Prize for Music for a jazz recording.

“As long as there is democracy, there will be people wanting to play jazz because nothing else will ever so perfectly capture the democratic process in sound. Jazz means working things out musically with other people. You have to listen to other musicians and play with them even if you don’t agree with what they’re playing. It teaches you the very opposite of racism and anti-Semitism. It teaches you that the world is big enough to accommodate us all”

Patrick Bruce “Pat” Metheny

Pat Metheny

Patrick Bruce “Pat” Metheny is an American jazz guitarist and composer. He is the leader of the Pat Metheny Group and is also involved in duets, solo works and other side projects. His style incorporates elements of progressive and contemporary jazz, Latin jazz, and jazz fusion. Metheny has three gold albums and 20 Grammy Awards and is the only person to win Grammys in ten different categories. He is the brother of jazz flugelhornist and journalist Mike Metheny.

“If jazz has to be termed as a wave, then music is a sea, but if the reflectors in the water is the chord”.

Charles Mingus Jr.

Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus Jr. was an American jazz double bassist, composer and bandleader. His compositions retained the hot and soulful feel of hard bop, drawing heavily from black gospel music and blues, while sometimes containing elements of Third Stream, free jazz, and classical music. He once cited Duke Ellington and church as his main influences.

“Just because I’m playing jazz I don’t forget about me. I play or write me the way I feel through jazz, or whatever. Music is, or was, a language of the emotions.”

Thelonious Sphere Monk

Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Sphere Monk was an American jazz pianist and composer considered “one of the giants of American music”. Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire.  Monk is the second most recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington.

“A genius is the one most like himself”.

Charles Parker, Jr.

Charlie Parker

Charles Parker, Jr. , famously called Bird was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Parker was a highly influential jazz solist and a leading figure in the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuosic technique and advanced harmonies. Parker was a blazingly fast virtuoso, and he introduced revolutionary harmonic ideas including rapid passing chords, new variants of altered chords, and chord substitutions.

“Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art”.

Oscar Emmanuel Peterson

Oscar Peterson

Oscar Emmanuel Peterson was a Canadian jazz pianist and composer. He was called the “Maharaja of the keyboard” by Duke Ellington, “O.P.” by his friends. He released over 200 recordings, won seven Grammy Awards, and received other numerous awards and honours over the course of his career. He is considered to have been one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time, who played thousands of live concerts to audiences worldwide in a career lasting more than 60 years.

“Some people try to get very philosophical and cerebral about what they’re trying to say with jazz. You don’t need any prologues, you just play. If you have something to say of any worth then people will listen to you”

Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday was an American jazz singer and songwriter. Nicknamed “Lady Day” by her friend and musical partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo.

“Don’t threaten me with love, baby. Let’s just go walking in the rain.”

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Takis Barberis

Τakis Barberis was born in Athens in 1963. His relationship with music began at the age of 10. He attended the National Conservatory of Greece, studying classic guitar with Dimitris Fampas, higher theory with Yiannis Avgerinos and on graduation also received the Harmony certificate. Simultaneously he played electric guitar in many rock groups. His interest in jazz began in 1979 and it would determine his future course.

In 1982 he presented his first compositions with the band "Jazz Fusion Quintet" when his cooperation with David Lynch and Takis Farazis began, continuing later in the group "Iskra" (1985), with G. Fakanas, N. Touliatos and L. Pliatsikas. 'Iskra' was one of the most successful and progressive groups of that era, releasing their first album "A New Day" (Polygram) in 1986 that also includes two of his compositions.
In the period 1987 - 1989 he formed the group "Model 63" with P. Hatzigiankos and K. Kalogirou in a more experimental approach of rock music with Greek lyrics, they released the album "Model 63" (Lyra 1988).
In 1990 his first personal album was released entitled "Something From July" (Lyra), with his compositions from the 80's including many Jazz, Rock and Latin influences, with the participation of T. Farazis, G. Kontrafouris, T. Paterelis and K. Kalogirou.

"Are You Happy" (Lyra, 1992) was his second album, with the classic sound of a Jazz Quintet (G. Kontrafouris, T. Paterelis, G. Vassalos, K. Kalogirou). This second album was Barberis's first venture into combining Jazz rhythms and harmony with Eastern and Greek elements.

In his third and most mesmerising album "Episodes" (Lyra 1995) explores these themes even deeper with the participation of internationally known Indian percussionist Trilok Gurtu and the traditional Greek musician Petroloukas Halkias on clarinet, and eight highly talented Greek musicians (P. Benetatos, G. Kontrafouris, T. Paterelis, Y. Kiourtsoglou, G. Vassalos, K. Kalogirou, T. Farazis & P. Kourtis). The critics characterise “Episodes” as one of the most successful combinations of jazz and traditional elements (Greek and Indian music).

Barberis continuous and evolves the influences that we meet in “Episodes” with his fourth album "Naiva" (Lyra, 1998), a play on naivety in title and music with the return of Petroloukas Halkias and the Indian musicians Reshma Srivastava and Shankar Lal.

'Porto Kayio' (LIBRA MUSIC, 2004), a ‘’soundtrack’’ for journeys through splendid vocals, sounds and rhythms. Together with his bassman George Giorgiadis, drummer Michalis Kapilidis, pianist Manos Saridakis and fellow passengers Debashish and Subhasis Bhattacharya from India, Takis Barberis creates each piece as a musical homeland: from Greece to India, Middle East, Africa and once again back to his own land.

‘In Parallel’(Lyra, 2011)is his latest release with the legend of Greek clarinet Petroloukas Chalkias.A live recording on 4/11/96 with Costas Kalogyrou on tabla.

''Jargon''(2013). A jazz amalgam which embodies various elements from Indian, Funk, Rock, African, Balkan and Greek music. Melodic compositions for Guitars, Trumpet, El. Sitar, Tabla, Piano, Synth, Bass and Drums full of spirited improvisations with Yiorgos Georgiadis, Michalis Kapilidis, Manos Saridakis, Andreas Polyzogopoulos, Satnam Sing Ramgotra, Yannis Kirimkiridis.

Barberis has collaborated with Trilok Gurtu, Glenn Corneille, Eleftheria Arvanitaki, Dionysis Savvopoulos and almost all Greek musicians of Jazz scene, and has taken part in many live performances in Greece and abroad.
Since 1981 Barberis teaches modern guitar and improvisation at various Conservatories (National Conservatory of Patras, Pindareio, Raimondi Conservatory, R.S.I.) and the last years at the Filipos Nakas Conservatory teaching jazz guitar and improvisation.

Floros Floridis

Floros Floridis was born in Thessaloniki, Greece, and currently splits his time between Thessaloniki and Berlin. He counts as one of the main figures of jazz in Greece. In 1979 he and Sakis Papadimitriou recorded the first modern jazz album that was produced in Greece - "Improvising at Barakos" (double LP). As a leader/co-leader he collaborated and recorded with Peter Kowald, Guenter "Baby" Sommer, Paul Lytton, Okay Temiz, Nicky Skopelitis, Paul Lovens, Phil Wachsman, Carlos Zingaro,Hans Schneider, Louis Moholo, Vincent Chancey, Jean-Marc Montera, Milos Petrovic, Ivo Papazov as well as with many musicians in Greece and Berlin.

This has resulted in the release of more than 40 CDs throughout the years. He has also participated in various CD-productions of other artists in Greece as well as abroad.

Floridis studied Physics and got his diploma in Aristoteleion University of Thessaloniki. He then studied classical clarinet as a student of the Romanian professor Konstantin Ugureanou. He started his career as a professional musician in the 70s. From the beginning his main interest in music was improvisation, and that continues up to now. As one of the first impro-jazz-musicians in Greece he founded the Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music of the Municipality of Thessaloniki in 1984 where he was the artistic director and coordinator for seven years.

Floridis has played concerts and festivals in Greece, Europe and USA with a great number of European and American musicians like Evan Parker, Peter Broetzman, Ken Vandermark, Irene Schweitzer, Ivo Papazov, Andrew Cyrille etc. Floridis has written and selected music for films, theater plays and dance performances.

Yiotis Kiourtsoglou

Yiotis Kiourtsoglou was born in Kozani, Greece in 1965. He studied electrical engineering at the State Technological Institute and jazz theory and harmony at the Synchronon music school in Thesalloniki. He continued his music education studying electric bass at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles (1987- 89), receiving the MI scholarship award, and was nominated for outstanding player and most improved student of the year award. His instructors included Garry Willis, Bob Magnuson, Carl Schoeder, Jeff Berlin and Scot Henderson.

As a recording artist, he made several albums with Electric Jazz Trio (with Manny Boyd and Danny Hayes), Exit, Iasis, Tillman Ambient Groove, Lauenen and Human Touch, being a founding member of most of the above. He also played as a guest artist on recordings with David Lynch, Marcos Alexiou, Takis Barberis with Trilok Gurtu.

He performed in Greece, Cyprus, the USA, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Israel and the U.K. in international festivals and places such as the Acropolis Theater, Lincoln Center, the Athens Concert Hall and the ancient theaters of Epidaurus and Koureion. He collaborated with many artists, including John Stubblefield, Billy Hart, Manny Boyd, Danny Hayes, Interbalcan Orchestra, Dionysis Savopoulos, Alkinoos Yioannides and the Athens Symphony Orchestra as soloist.

He composes music for dance, theater and cinema productions as well as for his own Jazz group, Human Touch. He currently teaches at the Nakas conservatory in Athens.

George Kontrafouris

Jazz pianist & organist with an international career and probably the leading and most restless figure of his generation on the Greek jazz scene.  

George Kontrafouris was born in Athens, Greece in 1967. He studied classical piano at the National Conservatory in Athens. At the age of 16, he turned his interest to jazz music and he followed up jazz improvised lessons with Markos Alexiou. He studied also with Jim Beard and Jarmo Savolainen. He holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Jazz Performance from Sibelius Academy in Finland.

He has performed as piano or organ player with many famous and outstanding musicians such as: Mark Johnson, Arild Andersen, Marcus Stockhausen, Louisiana Red, Keith Copeland, Andy Sheppard, Ralph Peterson Jr., Bob Brozman, Carla Cook, Alvester Garnett, Stepko Gut, Olivier Gatto, David Liebman, Houston Pearson, Eric Alexander, David Sills, Lou Donaldson, Sam Newsome, Jamie Hadad, Deborah Davies, Benny Golson, Tim Hagans, Bob Shepard, Carmen Lundy, Sheila Jordan, Jukkis Uotila, Wade Mikkola, Takis Paterelis, Stratos Vougas, Dimos Dimitriadis, Lydia Fylipovic, T. Spasov, A. Pacatius, Alex Foster, Adam Nussbaum, Dean Bowman, Olivier Temime, Anne Paceo…

He has been teaching jazz piano and organ for several years in Athenaeum Conservatory in Greece and in Sibelius Academy in Finland and he is currently belongs to the faculty of the Ionian University in Corfu. He has already given Master Classes in various schools in Greece, Ireland, Indonesia, and Estonia so far.

Sakis Papadimitriou

Sakis Papadimitriou has been one of the moving forces behind of the Greek jazz scene. His radio programs and articles in the Jazz magazine helped to build an informed audience for jazz at its most experimental. Papadimitriou’s duo with Floros Floridis (saxophone, clarinet) was Greece’s first free music group.

Papadimitriou periodically works with other Greek musicians, his discography is composed almost entirely of solo piano recordings. Particularly striking is his use - alternately subtle and dramatic - of the piano’s interior: plucking, strumming and striking the strings of the instrument.

Vasilis Rakopoulos

Vasilis Rakopoulos was born in Athens Greece. He got his degree in Electrical Engineering in 1975 at METSOVION National Technical University of Athens (NTU) and had post graduate studies both in Wave mechanics at DIMOKRITOS NUCLEAR CENTER( 1976-78) and in Operational research a at NTU (1979-1980).

Throughout his academic training, he has been working as a guitarist and arranger for various record labels and performed with some of the greatest Greek composers (M.Theodorakis ,M.Chajidakis, N.Mamagakis etc) both in Europe and the United States.

At the same period he had been active within the uprising jazz scene of Athens performing with guests jazz musicians like Rudolf Dasek, Bella Lakatos, Johnny Labizy, winning the guitar player position of the European jazz big band of young musicians.

He lived in Bern-CH (1980-1990) and worked as session guitarist & trumpet player in small combos and bigger formations, attending the courses of the professional department of the SJS and dedicating most of his efforts in Composition.

In 1986 he graduated from SWISS JAZZ SCHOOL (HOCHSCHULE der KUNST/ BERN CONSERVATORY) with a degree in Jazz guitar. He studied counterpoint and fugue with M. Gutesha as well as composition and orchestration with Axel Jungblood. He also took music pedagogy courses at the Bern University.

Coming back to Greece he started recording his compositions developing his personal discography:

Roxani (Lyra) 2. Torch dance (e-terra) 3.  Iris (protasis) Enotites tris (universal/muse.gr ) 5.  ammon (muse.gr/wave)

He has performed his compositions and arrangements at Athens Megaron (educational cycle), Helikon festivals of Athens with Egberto Gismonti, Aziza Mustafa Zadeh & Bulgarian voices,

Theatre de la Ville – Paris (Iris group), international jazz festival of Rome, A-fes Skopja, international jazz festivals of Athens & Thessaloniki, opening events of Olympic games 2004 Heraklion Kreta.

He has got a vast teaching experience. He currently works as professor of Jazz Guitar and Functional Harmony at Ionio University.

Concerning his compositional work, the thematology and musical idioms used, have multicultural influences, the main characteristic being his reference to the Greek ancient Drama principals and his preference to the classical forms (for more details: “Greek Composers Dictionary” of A.Symeonides).

George Trantalidis

George Trantalidis started his career  playing with the rock group Socrates. In 1978, he records the first Greek Jazz music record with the “Sphinx”.
In 1980 he represents Greece in international Jazz Festivals and also records in Hungary his two first personal records ” Clarification” and “One, Two, Three, Four”.
In 1983 he becomes the first to merge greek traditional with Jazz music in his records ”Hores” “Mesogeios”, “Hairetismos” and “Erisma” with the participation of the great traditional musicians G. Koros and N. Saragoudas. These records resulted George Trantalidis to be invited by Y. Menuhin, R. Shankar και S. Rollins to play in the world famous “Jazz India Festival” and “Singapore Jazz Festival”.
From 1984 to 1989 he produced the radio show “Jazz in ERA 2"³ with guests some of the best jazz musicians like: M. Alexiou, G. Filippidis, P. Samaras, G. Kontrafouris, N. Politis, N. Vardis, T. Paterelis, Chip Jackson, John Hicks, J. Williams, B. Lakatos Szalski, T. Lakatos, D. Linch, L. Zois, N. Neratzo-poulos, P. Benetatos, M. Alexiadis etc.

Since 1989 he holds his personal studio producing his own records as well as making productions for selected Greek and foreign artists.
Meanwhile he has created a core of Greek and foreign artists with whom he performs in Greece and abroad gaining always the best critics.
In 2004 he participated as composer and arranger in the starting ceremony of the Athens Olympic Games with his composition “Karpos” ( a remake of Manos Hatzidakis “To asteri tou voria”).

George Trantalidis  played with many great musicians such as Socrates,  M. Alexiou, G. Filippidis, Lakis Zois, P. Samaras, T. Paterelis, G. Kontrafouris,  B. Lakatos, T. Lakatos, George Vukan, Kuno Schmid, Alex Foster, Attila Laszlo, Laszlo Gardony, Gilad Atzmon, Nick Gravenites, Chip Jackson, John Hicks, J. Williams, Andy Sheppard, P. Benetatos, Toto Blanke,  Rudolf Dašek,  and many others.

Yiorgos Fakanas

In 1980 he participated in the historic recording of Manos Hadjidakis’(composer of the Oscar- winning score for the famous film “Never on Sunday”) “Lilipoupolis”, and since then has taken part in numerous recordings by other composers, totaling over 700 albums.

He formed the group ISKRA, which was to become the first jazz-fusion group in the country, and he participated in the EUROJAZZ orchestra as the only Greek representative, touring all of Europe. He has 7 CDs as a leader (A New day, Parastasis, Horizon, Amorosa, Stand Art, Echoes and Domino), with the contributions of many Greek and foreign musicians, including Dave Weckl, Mike Stern, Wallace Roney, Lenny White, Brett Garsed, Bob Franceschini and many others.

He has given many concerts playing his own music and conducting some of the biggest Greek Orchestras (Radio-Television Orchestra, Greek Radio Big Band, National Orchestra of Greek Music as well as many international ensembles and orchestras) at the “Athens Concert Hall-Megaron”, Lycabettus Theatre, Herodion and the “Pallas Concert Hall”.

In addition to composing and performing music for movies and theatre, Yiorgos founded the “Art Music School Y.V. Fakanas”

where he is supervisor and Artistic Director of the Contemporary Music Department. He has continually taught the electric bass and contemporary theory, and over 600 bass players have studied with him, some of whom have gone on to become outstanding professional musicians. As an author, he has no less than 17 books on electric bass performance and music theory to his credit, which are taught in all Greek conservatories and many abroad.

He also founded ATHINA LIVE, a club situated in the Art Music School, where he organizes concerts that have featured many well known, world-class musicians.

All these artists undertake seminars and private lessons for the students of the Art Music School, establishing it as a true centre for contemporary music studies in Europe.

Today Yiorgos Fakanas' own ensemble gives many concerts, and collaborates with the likes of Mike Stern, Frank Gambale, Anthony Jackson, Dave Weckl, Alex Acuna, Bireli Lagrene, Dennis Chambers, Horacio El Negro, Greg Howe, Eric Marienthal, Brett Garsed, Otmaro Ruiz, Barry Finerty, Tony Lakatos, Scott Kinsey, Jeff Richman, Bob Franceschini and many more.

Tania Giannouli

Tania Giannouli studied piano (Soloist Diploma with honors and 2nd Prize), Advanced Theory and Composition (Diploma with distinction and 1st Prize), at the Athenaeum and Orfeion conservatories. Her main area of interest is mixed-media, and she is frequently engaged (both as a performer and composer) in projects that combine music with visuals, text and speech.

Her music for theatre, film and video has been performed at festivals, galleries, Biennales and museums throughout the world (notably in Greece, France, Germany, Iran, Romania, Bosnia, Italy, Ukraine, Switzerland, Bulgaria, UK, USA, Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia, Spain, Lithuania, Kenya, Morocco, China, Poland, India, Cuba, Mexico, Israel, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina and Brazil). She has collaborated with several award-winning video artists and filmmakers, including Istvan Horkay, Roland Quelven, Isabel Perez del Pulgar, Guillaume Baychelier, and Marcantonio Lunardi.

Improvisation plays a major part in her musical life. She is a founder member of the groups 4+1 and Schema Ensemble, performing with the latter at the Synch international electronic music festival in 2010. A collaboration with Portuguese wind player and improviser Paulo Chagas resulted in her debut release on Rattle in 2012. Forest Stories received wide international acclaim and was included in many "best of 2013" lists in the Greek music media. In 2014 she formed the Tania Giannouli Ensemble, which premiered at the Syros Jazz festival that year, and with whom she recorded her second album Transcendence. The album was launched in May 2015 at Onassis Cultural Center, Athens.

Tania's compositions have been described as lyrical, inspired, complex, eclectic, and highly original – "intoxicating orchestrations characterized by a European sensibility that evokes the colour of the Mediterranean". Her willingness to expand her musical expression led to the founding of the Emotone project with electronic music composer, Tomas Weiss, and she is currently collaborating with one of the most important Greek writers, Evgenios Aranitsis. Her concert music has also been performed by Camerata/Armonia Atenea String Orchestra, Dissonart Ensemble, the Athens Youth Orchestra, and the Galaxy String Quartet.

Petros Klampanis

Petros Klampanis grew up on the Zakynthos Island in Greece, a place with very rich musical heritage where Italian and Balkan music traditions melt together.

This music amalgam was Petros first major influence and seed of inspiration to pick up the piano and guitar, and start singing in local choirs at a very early age.   A few years later, at 15, he attended a pop music concert where he discovered his soon-to-be favorite electric bassist, Yiotis Kiourtsolgou. It was this experience which would open his world to something new: the bass and jazz.   Eagerly, Petros pursued the bass with constant playing and practicing and he also began listening intently to artists like Chick Corea, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Jaco Pastorius.

After finishing high school, he moved to Athens in order to attend the Polytechnic school of the city. It wasn't long before he realized that the ship engineering course was not as desirable as it seemed so he decided to take exams for the Music department of Athens University.   His life would take another positive turn when   he was accepted in 2001. During Petros' time in Athens, he had the chance of playing with some of the finest Greek jazz artists today. Additionally, he took part in various musical projects such as the Athens Big Band and played in many prestigious venues in Greece like Megaron Mousikis Athens, and Megaron Mousikis of Thessalonica.

In 2005 to 2007, Petros Kampanis continued to pursue a formal education in music by joining the double bass department of the Amsterdam Conservatory where he got his BA degree and graduated with distinction.
From there, Petros toured in Europe (Germany, Holland, Luxemburg, Belgium, France, Spain, Monaco, Portugal, Switzerland, Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia) and took part in many major European jazz festivals. During this time, he received many awards and honors in major music competitions most notably the Hoeilaart/Brussels Jazz Competition in 2008, and the YPF International Jazz Concourse and Amersfoort Jazz Competition both in 2007.

  
In 2008, Klampanis moved to New York City and completed his formal studies at the Aaron Copland School of Music in New York.

Since then, Klampanis has performed alongside some of the city’s renowned jazz musicians, including saxophonist Greg Osby, pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, and drummer Ari Hoenig. In addition to his extensive list of appearances in USA, including the storied venues of Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York and Kennedy Center in Washington DC, he has performed at the internationally acclaimed North Sea Jazz Festival and the Palatia Jazz Festival in Germany.

In 2012, Klampanis was invited by the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra for a series of concerts throughout Latvia. His arrangement of the Greek folk song “Thalassaki” was performed by the Greek Public Symphonic Orchestra in Athens.

Antonis Ladopoulos

Antonis Ladopoulos is one of the most prominent Saxmen in Greece. His work both as a performer and an educator has earned him a national acclaim.  

For the past twenty years, Antonis has appeared in concert halls and festivals all over Greece performing as a leader with his own group and has recorded 5 albums with original material. His compositions for large ensembles have been performed by the National Radio Orchestra and the Athens saxophone quartet. His work has also extensively been featured on radio and TV shows.

He is a graduate of both William Paterson University of New Jersey (BM) & Eastern Illinois University (MA), where he also worked as a teaching assistant for two years. His academic education also includes a BA in Business by the Athens University.

Antonis Ladopoulos is the co-founder of Muse.gr   music institute, which has represented the contemporary perspective of music education in Greece and has promoted musical creativity through the Muse.gr independent record label, and the creator and co-director of Muse Festival one of the most prestigious yearly Jazz festivals to take place in Greece.

Antonis is currently teaching Jazz Theory, Improvisation & Jazz Ensembles at the Department of Music Science and Art of the   University of Macedonia   in Salonica.

Takis Paterelis

Takis Paterelis born in 1965 in Athens. At the age of 6 he started taking lessons in classical piano at the Athens Conservatory, first from Mrs. Helen Vardas, then Mrs. Aliki Vatikiotis. In 1984 he got his diploma with a unanimous excellent. Since 1982 he occupied himself with the study of saxophone and Jazz music.

1991-92 he went to the Berklee College of Music in Boston (USA), where he attended lessons of saxophone and Jazz Composition, under the guidance of: Andy McGhee, Herb Pomeroy, Jeff Friedman, Paul Fontaine, Billy Pierce a.o.

In Greece he has performed with most of the Jazz artists. (George Trantalidis, Minas Alexiadis, George Fakanas, Markos Alexiou, Takis Farazis, IASIS group. Kyriakos Sfetsas, George Kontrafouris etc….. ) 
He has also cooperated with known American and European Jazz artists, such as: John Hicks, Hamid Drake, Chip Jackson, Manny Boyd, Danny Hayes, Tony Lakatos, Bella Lakatos, Jimmy Cob etc....

Since 1993 he is teaching at the "Conservatory Phillipos Nakas".

Yiotis Samaras

Born in Budapest, Yiotis Samaras studied guitar and music at the Conservatory Bela Bartok.

He played with great musician in the Hungarian jazz scene (Tony Lakatos, Fusti Balogh, etc

In 1981 he came to Greece, where he worked as a professional musician with the most important names of the Greek music scene, participating in recordings and concerts. Then he met George Trantalidis and he became a permanent member of his band and appeared with him in many clubs and festivals, playing with renowned Greek and foreign musicians.

In 1992 appear the well-known jazz band PAGE ONE who writes his own story in the Greek jazz scene, with appearances in clubs Diva for two consecutive years and two albums (Page One, Beyond the blue). For four years he was a member of the group. He is currently teaching at the Centre for Music Studies Philippos Nakas.

Dimitris Tsakas

Dimitris Tsakas was born in Greece He started playing music at the age of eight studied classical guitar and music theory. In 1989 he got his degree in classical guitar. In 1991 he started playing the alto saxophone, and after two years he received a scholarship from BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC, where he studied from 1994 to 1995 jazz saxophone under the guidance of Andy Mc Ghee, George Garzone and Jerry Bergonzy.

Upon his return to Greece he performed as a saxophone player with a lot of top Greek jazz artists like George Kontrafouris, Takis Paterelis, George Fakanas e.t.c. He was a member for one year of Iasis, a well known ethnic jazz group in Greece and Europe. He did two recordings with George Polyhronakos Blink, and Takis Paterelis group Let the Blues Talk in Legend music company.


From 1999 he started visiting New York City area where he met and played with a lot of well known American and international jazz players. He wrote music for the Greek film Eonios Fititis by Vaggelis Seitanidis. He joined the world famous singers Eleftheria Arvanitaki and Maria Farantouri. He also played with other two very famous Greek singers: Alkisti Protopsalti and Dimitra Galani in the Greek biggest concert hall Athens music Megaron where they recorded their performances.

Currently, Dimitris is living in Athens, teaching jazz saxophone and arranging in Nakas music school , gigging with his jazz group. He is working as a session recording musician and arranger. He finished his first personal project Growing Up which merges elements of jazz, Greek melodies and classical music, and recorded in New York City at Systems Two recording studios in Brooklyn with a Greek piano player Eleftherios Kordis, an American bass player Dylan Spielvogel, an Irish drummer David Mason featuring Irina Vallentinova from Moscow in vocals.


David Liebman said about this project : " Dimitris has a beautiful sound on alto, a smooth approach and a lot of lyricicm . The material is very good".

Takis Farazis

Born in 1964 in Athens got involved with music at an early age. In 1977 he started classical piano studies at the Hellenic Conservatory graduating in 1984 with piano and harmony diplomas with honors.

In addition to his studies on classical music, he was engaged in jazz and has cooperated with many acclaimed jazz musicians of the Greek Jazz Scene.

 In 1983 he attended the classes of the Hungarian jazz pianist Bela Lacatos and in 1984 he co-founded the Iskra Group with which he released two albums ( "A new day" and "Parastasis" ).

He first composed music for the Iskara Group and he later got involved in other ventures and music styles. A number of his works for piano were recorded and broadcasted on the Greek Radio.

The last ten years he has also been composing music for the National Theatre of Greece, mainly for Ancient Greek Drama Productions in the Festival of Epidaurus (Euripides': "Alkestis" and "Ion" - Sophocles': "Antigone" and "Oidipous").

He has also composed music for the cinema and he has worked with a great number of Greek composers, singers and musicians as an arranger and pianist in a large number of recordings and concerts in Greece and abroad.

His musical idiom combines a wide range of music styles balancing between classical, jazz and world music. His first personal CD "Spells of musing" has been praised in reviews and has made an impact in Greece and has also had an exceptional acceptance in Japan. Beside his career as a composer he also occupies himself by teaching piano.

Dimitris Kalantzis

Dimitris Kalantzis was born in Athens and studied piano and theory at the Music School of Athens and the Athenian School of Music, graduating with a piano and fugue degree (High Distinction). In 1990 he continued his studies at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music ( Jazz department) and graduated in 1994 attaining his Diploma with Distinction. Later on, he was awarded a music scholarship from Berklee College of Music as a result of an audition held at the F.Nakas School of Music.

He worked as a teacher at various Schools such as the Music High School of Piraeus, Athenaeum School of Music, and the Ionian University (Jazz- Department ). He has collaborated with prominent musicians of the Greek and international jazz scene such as: Andy Sheppard, Alex Foster, Ralph Peterson, Rex Richardson, Dennis Baptiste, Abram Wilson, Marcelo Peliteri, Ron Afif, Tony Remy, Amik Guerra and Takis Paterelis, Takis Barberis, Giorgos Fakanas, Dimos Dimitriadis, Dimitris Vassilakis, Alex Ktistakis,Yiannis Lukatos,Yiorgos Georgiadis, Serafim Bellos … 

He has played on the following recordings : "Let the blues talk"- T.Paterelis, "Secret Path"- D. Vassilakis, "Blink " - G.Polyhronakos, "Echos " - G.Fakanas, and live at the "Jazz Upstairs" - Rex Richardson and other. He was a member of the National Orchestra of Greek Music under the direction of Stavros Xarhakos for few years. Within the framework of the Orchestra (K.O.E.M) he had the chance to collaborate with artists such as: Dionyssis Savvopoulos, Loukianos Kilaidonis, Notis Mavroudis, Vasilis Dimitriou, Ilias Andriopoulos, Marios Tokas, Manolis Mitsias, Dimitra Galani, Maria Farantouri

Manos 2011 - Dimitris Kalantzis Quintet & Athens Camerata - Jazz tribute to Manos Hadjidakis  - Manos Hadjidakis Meets Jazz.

Modes & Moods- 2013 -  Music by Mikis Theodorakis - Dimitris Kalantzis Quintet & The Patras Orchestra under the direction of Miltos Logiadis   

Irini Konstantinidi

Irini Konstantinidi was born in Athens (Greece) and began her music studies, taking piano lessons at the age of five. She attended Music Highschool of Pallini and in 2001 she graduated from University of Athens with a bachelor in Pedagogics.

From an early age she started singing and recording with several groups and later she participated in theatrical and dance theatre festivals, contributing in the musical scores with her singing and improvising performance.

In 2006 she obtained her diploma (winning the first prize) in Jazz vocal performance and improvisation, from Athenaeum Maria Callas Conservatory.

She has attended master classes on jazz singing and improvisation with various jazz musicians and vocalists such as Gretchen Parlato, Sheila Jordan, Miles Griffith, Deborah Davis, Mark Ledford and bassist Cameron Brown

Since 2006 she teaches Jazz Singing: vocal technique, vocal jazz and improvisation.

At fall of 2013 she began her cooperation with the Jazz department of Musical Praxis Conservatory, as a jazz vocals teacher.

As a lead singer, she has formed several groups, arranging and performing jazz standards, on some of which she has written lyrics of her own.

In 2009 she started writing lyrics for drummer Thanos Hatzianagnostou's compositions and by the fall of 2010 they had both formed the group: The Wonder-fall Quartet.

 

She has also created an experimental project, called Jazz-bound, exploring the colorful aspects of the voice as an instrument in jazz music and interacting with other musicians, in order to create diverse musical and sound environments.

Stavros Lantsias

Stavros Lantsias was born in Nicosia-Cyprus in 1966. He studied classical piano and music theory, continuing his studies in Boston, MA at Berklee College of Music where he graduated in 1990 with a bachelor of music degree in arranging. He also received the Count Basie Jazz Masters Award for pianists in 1989 and the Quincy Jones Jazz Masters Award for arrangers in 1990. After Berklee, he continued his jazz piano studies with highly respected educator Charlie Banacos.

Lantsias is in high demand as a pianist and arranger, actively performing with some of Greece's most respected and acclaimed artists. One of his most important projects is Human Touch, a group he has formed with long-time collaborators David Lynch and Yiotis Kiourtsoglou. In their first studio recording, apart from composing and playing the piano, Stavros expands his playing with drums, percussion and acoustic guitar.

In 1999, Stavros Lantsias signed a recording contract with Warner Music Greece and since has released two solo albums Return  (November 1999) and The   Journey of a Note  (April 2002). In these albums he demonstrates his compositional and orchestration skills performing with both jazz and classical ensembles.

Yiorgos Psihoyios

Yiorgos Psihoyios was born in Athens. He started accordion at the age of 14 and graduated with distinction in three years. Afterwards, He began to study the piano, acquiring his diploma within only four years with the best grade – First Prize and Distinction of Genius. He continued his studies in higher musical theory and has attended seminars in orchestra conducting, modern musical analysis and semiography. Furthermore, he has also participated masterclasses on piano and chamber music by renowned pianists Oxana Yablonskaya, Ellen Traganas, Lev Vlanskeko, Duo Ganev and Vovka Ashkenazy.

Yiorgos Psihoyios is, along with Mikis Theodorakis, one of only two composers who have represented their country with a composition ("Medusa", Venice Biennale 2006). He has composed several pieces of classical music covering pieces for solo piano, small ensembles for wind instruments, string instruments, and symphonic orchestra. In 1994 he was awarded a second distinction among 130 candidates in the world competition "Ensemble Modern du Montreal".

During the last few years, Psihoyios has been recognized as an inspired jazz musician. Since 2006 he has recorded three personal albums, he has participated in many more and he has performed in numerous jazz concerts and festivals, including the Baku Jazz Festival and the Jazzycolors Festival in Paris. He is the creator and artistic director of "Super Jazz Marathon/ unplugged", which debuted with success in 2011 at the Parnassos concert hall, in Athens, Greece under the organization of spec 'n' arts.

Regarding Psihoyios as a musician, Keith Jarrett said the following "A great pianist and composer! Yiorgos' improvisation is an incredible gift of God! An absolute surprise to me".

Nikos Touliatos

The music creator of the Olympic Games in Athens (2004) & Artistic Director in International Percussion Festivals. Nikos Touliatos is needless to specific recommendations. For music lovers considered (and is) the most popular Greek "percussionist". The course of 37 years in music and percussion proves it.

The unique personal style of Nikos Touliatos on drums and percussion came from experience gained over many years playing different kinds of music with musicians of traditional music, composers of contemporary music and song, and with Greek and foreign musicians in the field of  JAZZ, modern and improvisational  music as well as his participation in theater, dance, etc. performances.

He has worked since 1971 with 99% of composers, singers, actors, filmmakers, painters, poets, musicians, dancers, choreographers, etc. giving them thousands of concerts - performances around the world. He has participated in theatrical performances, in Greece and abroad has collaborated with visual artists, dancers, actors, directors Greeks and foreigners, has directed and presented multi media performances in Greece and abroad. He has written music in cinema, short films, and theater.
He gave his first performance with percussion at the Athens Music Hall with 13 percussionists Greeks and foreigners and involving students. Percussion concert at the Herod Atticus Theatre etc.

Nikos Touliatos also has great cultural activity: Organizer and artistic director of the International Percussion Festival 'CROUSSIS'. Former artistic director and organizer of the International Percussion Festival of Lefkada. Board Member the organization MUSIC GROUPS - Municipality of Athens. Artistic director and organizer of MUSIC DRAMA'' The festival of world music'' in Drama and CROUSTOPANYGIRIS in Korinthos. Board Member of E.M.S.E. Vice collective body collection copyright "self." It has also organized as a producer dozens of festivals, concerts, and educational programmes with Greek and foreign musicians.

He was the creator in the Olympic Games in Athens (2004) and the head of 400 drummers - volunteers of the opening ceremony and the creator of the group percussionist and composer of the song that was heard at the entrance of the athletes and flag at the closing ceremony of athletes using objects as percussion instruments.

Dimitri Vassilakis

Greek saxophonist and composer Dimitri Vassilakis was born in Athens 21 October 1961 and studied Chemical Engineering at the Athens University obtaining a Bachelor's Degree (1986). Until 1985 has leaded with brother Pantelis Vassilakis the avant gard new wave band Art of Parties on bass/vocals. He then moved to London and studied saxophone, piano and composition at the London College of Music with the aid of the Onassis Foundation. He graduated with Honors with an additional Diploma in Classical Saxophone (1990) and won national UK competitions and the LCM Society prize.  He continued his studies at the Royal Academy of Music (Advanced Studies in Jazz Saxophone and Composition) gaining a scholarship from the British Council and was awarded the LRAM diploma in jazz teaching (1991). Being one of the key members of the International Association of Schools of Jazz and representative for Greece, he has traveled extensively playing at many Festivals and conducting workshops in the US, England, France, Germany, Spain, Ireland and the Balkans. He has taught at Ph. Nakas conservatory (1991-2000) directing the big Band and presenting a series of educational programs at the Athens Concert Hall. Has taught at the music departments of the Athens, Aristotle and Macedonia Universities (2000-2007) as a lecturer, while completing a Ph.D. and is the author of awarded educational books for saxophone and jazz.
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On Air Just Jazz
On Air Vocal Jazz
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