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29 Sep

Marika Klampatsea about “Strange fruits” & Jazz

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Marika Klampatsea, famous soprano, is the only Greek artist avant-garde, composer and performer. In this unique concert titled Strange Fruit, Marika Klampatsea sings songs she loves and who have somehow marked her career and her life. Through her vocal acrobatics coexists rock, jazz, blues, gospel and cabaret! A unique musical experience not to miss on October 17, 2014 at Benaki Museum.  Jazzonline  has met her.

1-You have been called the Janis Joplin of the Greek Musical scene. What do you think about that ?
No comment. Janis Joplin was and is for me a great musician, singer I admired since I was a little girl , and the only thing I could say is that I bow in front of her. She had  a divine voice. That voice moves freely without restriction, and dares to use  when singing all levels of technical interpretation.  I just love when she sings my favorite Summertime in the well known arrangement of Big brother. This is a song I sing in the Strange Fruit concert.


2-"Strange fruit" is a famous song, from the magic voice of Billie Holiday. Why did you choose this song as title of the show ?
Because this show might seems Strange to a big part of the audience and especially for those of classical education. In this concert, I mix different kinds of music. Strange Fruit is a musical flashback that brings all my musical background  with Rock, Opera, Classical Music Spirituals, Musical, Baroque.
In this concert, you will listen to a  program with songs of Animals, Freddy Mercury, Big Brother, Klaus Nomi ,Andreas Sholl ,Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe,  Elvis Presley , Kurt Weill  and Giacomo Puccini, η Giuseppe Verdi Verdi.
This idea maybe sounds "strange" but it led me to my favorite anti-racist song "Strange Fruit" sung by Billie Holiday who referred to the lynching of two black Americans in Southern USA.
The “Strange fruit” title wascertainly not chosen by accident. I choose this title because I want to emphasize my opposition against all forms of racism wherever it comes from! Racism has deep roots and many extensions .. and unfortunately comes to an unacceptable racist attitude to the  homosexuals.Greece is dominated by a ruthless, brutal policy towards foreigners, and I fear that the meaning of the song strange fruit is is actuality


3-You have said “Singers such as Maria Callas, Janis Joplin, Edith Piaf, Billie Holiday were those I admired as a child and made me love the song” .  There are very different artists but each of them had a very difficult life. What it is about them that you like ?
I  admire since I was little the voices of Maria Callas Janis Joplin, Edith Piaf, Billie Holiday, Judy Garland. They first influenced me with of course the voice of my mother Irinis who sang opera.The misery of their life made me unhappy and scared me as a child, and  I really could not understand why they could not have harmony or success in their private life .


4- Which jazz artist(s) was/were very important to you and why ?
I was rised in the field of classical music and not Jazz. I grew up listening to mostly classical music. And my classical education led me to my choice to deal with free improvisation. Eventually I wanted to stop to sing using my voice in a crowded defined boundaries. So, I had the luck to turn and deal with the generous free improvisation. I would say though that  mainly classical and modern composer were impostant to me such as Eric Satie, Chopin, Debussy, Mahler and for jazz musicians  Miles Davis, David Brubeck, George Gerswhin, Sun Ra, Louis Armstrong and the Blues singers like Billie Holiday, Mahalia Jackson, Odetta or even composers like Rag Scott Joplin..

5-With which jazz artists you would love to work with and why ?
I would like to work with those who just love music, but also with those who are happy to improvise and use their voice without watertight, like for example  Diamanda Galas. She does not belong to the world of jazz, but she has a modern personal interpretation with main features the vocal improvisation where of course I would be interested to work because I think we have a lot in common.

6- what is next ? ( what do you have in mind for the following month ?)
The economical situation of the country is still not very good. Almost all sponsors do not support non commercial event and concert but I hope it will be some shows this year.
I am working on my new opera project which will support the Arts Council of England


Interview Patricia Graire – September 2014

Marika Klambatsea “Strange Fruit” on October 17, 2014 at 20:30 at Benaki Museum – Pireos 138 & Andronikou – Athens

Last modified on Monday, 29 September 2014 12:22

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