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03 Nov

Andreas Polyzogopoulos Interview

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Αndreas Polyzogopoulos and his band “Poly Quartet”, wins the first place in “Motives for Jazz” competition in Belgium in 2008 with the album “Perfumed Dreams”. Andreas appears on 40 records, has performed all over Greece and Europe and in 2010 was a member of the European Youth Jazz Orchestra. Since 2011 he lives between Paris and Athens. Jazzonline met him for a little chat.

He has colaborated with Tore Brunborg, Michel Portal, Gunter Baby Zomer, Markus Stockhausen, Tony Lakatos, Savina Yannatou, Anne Paceo, Tony Tixier, Kostas Theodorou, Yiorgos Kontrafouris, Mode Plagal, Nikos Sidirokastritis, Yiotis Kiourtsoglou, David Lynch, Stavros Lantsias, Haig Yazdjan, Vangelis Katsoulis, Kaimaki, Takis Barberis, Thanasis Papakonstantinou among others.

1. What lead you to jazz ?
I used to play rock guitar at highschool, then i discovered blues and that lead me to Jazz at the age of sixteen. I love the freedom of improvisation, the fact that through the repertoire of jazz  you can immediately make music with musicians you've never met before. It's an art form  that connects so easily people from different countries and cultures and for me a direct way to express my feelings.  I love as well the "voyage" of jazz composition. You have some melodies & harmonies in your mind,  you write them down and then with each musician you play, the same tune can  be so different. Each one  has the freedom to put in music his sound and personality. I believe that jazz is honest. Musicians practise through all their life, to discover, create something new, communicate with the universe. John Coltrane is an enormous inspiration about this.

2. Which jazz musicians had or have a great influence on you, and why ?
I'll just name a few but i could fill in pages … Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Charlie Haden, Keith Jarrett, Paul Motian, Bill Frisell, Charles Lloyd, John Coltrane, Pat  Metheny, Lee Konitz, Tom Harrell, Dave Douglas, Nils Petter Molvær, Paolo Fresu, Enrico Rava, Palle Mikkelborg, Arve Henriksen, Erik Truffaz … I love musicians that have such a personal sound that you can tell who plays after hearing a few notes. Also, musicians that their music has a spiritual aspect in it. It's hard to describe … it's more a feeling I get when I llisten to these guys. Very often i don't analyse, think notes etc, listen to them as if i wasn't  a musician.

3. You lived in Holland for a while. Now sou spend your time between France and Greece and you are touring in Europe in general. What is it that  makes you travel and play abroad ? (new experiences and opportunities to meet musicians or better audience or anything else ?…) Is it easier abroad for a jazz musician ?
There are many reasons but the basic one I guess is the need I have to meet new musicians, create new projects and play music in different places. I hate routine, steady gigs, being constantly at the same place, playing at the same venues. Very important as well is the fact that in countries like Germany, France, Italy, Holland, Scandinavia jazz is much more appreciated than in Greece. There is a longer tradition there,  much better conditions for the musicians, more clubs that are supported from the state and many festivals. So by being abroad, it's easier to create a wider network and expose your work at bigger audiences, perhaps find some managers etc. In Greece i feel that the jazz scene is a bit isolated from the rest of Europe. However i can't say if it's easier abroad. Each musician has his own experiences and stories to share. I can only say that if you have a nice project and the energy to support and promote it, i feel that abroad there are more possibilities.

4.Your CD: Heart of the Sun - The Music of Pink Floyd was released earlier this year and it's "An approach to the melodic and psychedelic world of Pink Floyd, from a quarter which moves between jazz and electronic music". Could you tell us a few words about it ?
 I discovered Pink Floyd while i was at primary school through my uncle's radio broadcast. Before i started having my first jazz guitar lesson i promised myself that i will improve my skills through jazz music but i'll remain a "Rocker". However when i discovered Miles Davis and the trumpet i left the guitar and forgot my promise. I never stopped listening to Pink Floyd but i wasn't planning to make a tribute cd till the summer 2011, when i listened to the concert of Roger Waters in Athens. Among plenty of feelings i deeply felt that i couldn't continue to play music unless i'd make a tribute to their music, as if i had to pay off for the promise i hadn't kept. So, although i had written original material for a new cd, i instead entered the studio to record this cd with Costis Christodoulou on keys, Vasilis Stefanopoulos on double bass & Srdjan Ivanovic on drums.

5. How do you see yourself in 10 years from now ?
As far as music is concerned, i hope i'll have the chance to perform all over the world with musicians and projects that i'll like to. Visit beautiful places, perform in nice venues and discover, improve, learn more things about music and trumpet. Also play different kinds of music, meet musicians with different musical backgrounds and last but not least find inner peace and happiness  (hopefully share that with other musicians and audiences)  through music.

6. With which musician you have not collaborated with and you would like to ?
There are so many … All the musicians i wrote before, but if i have to chose one right now, this would be the Danish guitar player Jakob Bro.

7. What are your plans for the next months ?
Very soon i'll have 7 concerts with my Quartet in Europe performing in some beautiful jazz clubs in Germany, the Netherlands and France. Then, more concerts, radio broadcast and shooting for a live DvD with the Amsterdam based group "Srdjan Ivanovic's Blazin Quartet". In between, in Paris we'll play a  concert with Petros Klampanis & the French saxophonist Sylvain Rifflet and i'll also do a recording and rehearse with some great French musicians, in order to make a new band. The last concert i have is in Nijmegen (the Netherlands) a few days before Christmas and afterwords i'll be back in Greece being busy with developing, arranging tunes & ideas i've composed for my new CD.

Interview Patricia Graire – November 2013 -

More about Andreas Polyzogopoulos http://jazzonline.gr/en/musicians/item/78-polyzogopoulos-andreas.html

Last modified on Thursday, 18 May 2017 18:09

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