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16 Apr

Gilad Hekselman & Petros Klampanis Interview

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Bassist Petros Klampanis with two of the finest musicians in the NY scene BodekJanke and young luminary rising star Gilad Hekselman are coming for a Tour in Greece on May 2012 . Jazzonline presents this exclusive interview   of   Petros Klampanis and Gilad Hekselman.  

1- What lead you to jazz?  

Petros Klampanis:
I think the crucial aspect that led me to jazz is the freedom given to the performer of choosing the musical material on the spot. I’ve always considered music improvisation extremely charming and challenging and I strongly believe that it is one of the greatest powers an artist can possibly possess.

Gilad Hekselman: I played rock, which lead into fusion, which led into jazz. Then I went to high-school for the arts where I studied most of what I know about it.

2- Which jazz musicians had or have a great influence on you, and why?

Gilad Hekselman: The list is too long. I would say that in that list are more saxophonists, piano players, singers and drummers then guitar players. There is so much good music out there; I don't want to limit myself to my instrument.

Petros Klampanis: My first big influence was piano players, like Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett and Herbie Hancock. I began my music education with the piano, so those people music was crucial for me to start digging jazz, getting familiar with the style and finally deciding to get seriously involved with it. 20 years after that, it seems that pianists are still my biggest influence. Sometimes I’m wondering if I’m doing something wrong..

3- Where is the finest country to play your music ?   Where do you think the audience is the best and why?      

Gilad Hekselman: There's no best place because every place is different and presents different advantages and challenges. Of course a warm enthusiastic audience is always very flattering but something about a hard to please audience is a great challenge, too and can make you learn new things about your playing or about the set structure which an enthusiastic, but biased audience won't.

Petros Klampanis: Gilad says it all. It is true that not only audiences can be educated by the musicians, but also musicians can learn a lot from their audiences. This is something jazz performers should always take into consideration.

4- What do you think about the Greek jazz scene as it is today ?  

Petros Klampanis: Things with the Greek jazz scene seem to be very good, lately. This is mainly because many young, talented, creative and well educated musicians decide to reside to Greece and be active there. Pianist Spyros Manesis, who is also very active in Europe, is a great example. I also, lately discovered a wonderful musician Vangelis Stefanopoulos and his trio. Graduates from the Ionian University of Corfu are also another example of young and creative musicians in Greece.

On top of that there are many people abroad who either study or work and are a very good “advertisement” of the Greek jazz music scene. Pianists Lefteris Kordis and Nikos Anadolis, bassist Panayotis Andreou, vibraphonist Christos Rafalides, singer/composer Magda Giannikou are just few of many great artists that live and work abroad.      


5- What do you think is your greatest success as a musician?  

Gilad Hekselman:   Every time I discover that my music is a source of positivity in people's life. That is the biggest gratification I can ask for.

Petros Klampanis: I always enjoy performing. There are some moments, though, when music happens by itself. During those moments you are there to just witness, enjoy it and experience something mystical that is capable of revealing emotions and ideas that were not there before. Consciousness-broadening experiences like these have happened to me several times through my life, either during listening to other’s music or during performing music. When I somehow contribute to those moments, is when I receive the greatest satisfaction as a musician.

6- A comment on Greek jazz musicians you know?  

Gilad Hekselman: The few that I know are outstanding (Petros, Magda, Panayotis and more...)

7- What are your plans for the next months ?    

Gilad Hekselman:  Finishing a new record, and touring the world.

Petros Klampanis:   I am going to record some albums as a sideman and set up a tour for my group in autumn. I’m also composing for my next album.

8- How this trio was born? How did you meet?

Petros Klampanis:  I met Gilad after a concert of Ari Hoenig’s trio at Small’s in New York. Gilad was playing on that gig and I was very impressed by his musicality. After the end of the performance I walked to him and told him that we should play together. The opportunity was given to us a few weeks later when I was invited to perform at a weird hotel in SoHo.

I used to play with Bodek a lot, that time and I had a strong feeling that Gilad’s playing combined with Bodek’s, would be a unique, very musical and impressive combination. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the performance that night, 2 years ago, at that weird place in SoHo, helped me discover new possibilities in music and was the reason of the beginning of a great friendship and music collaboration.

As I said before, I’m now in the stage of composing music for my new album which will mainly feature that trio.

Interview by Patricia Graire - April 2012

Last modified on Thursday, 31 October 2013 15:17

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