The 22nd Athens Jazz is back, from May 22 to 29, 2023, at the Technopolis City of Athens, with exciting happenings full of music, parallel events, and many more to be enjoyed by all since admission is free! As always, this year, the largest jazz festival in Greece also dedicates its first day to Greek jazz, honouring the local jazz scene and its latest trends.
So, on Monday, May 22, Jazz fans will enjoy the three Greek bands chosen by the festival’s artistic committee, which consists of George Charonitis (journalist, music editor), George Mouchtaridis (radio producer, head of Athens Voice Radio 102.5) and Leonidas Antonopoulos (journalist, head of Kosmos 93.6). The three Jazz bands stood out among over 150 nominations – the biggest number ever! The increasingly thriving local jazz scene will take the stage on the first day of the 22nd Athens Jazz Festival, represented by the Spiral Trio, the Nefeli Fasouli Quintet andthe Thomas Mitrousis Quartet!
The Spiral Trio will officially represent Greece in the festival’s international program.The virtuosos, Spyros Manesis, ArionasGyftakis, and AnastasisGouliaris, who joined their creative forces more than a decade ago, promise to mesmerise the audience with their bold improvisations, a boost for mind and soul.
On the same day, the Technopolis stage will welcome the Nefeli Fasouli Quintet, which stood out in the Jazz+ category as it masterfully combines the tradition of African-American jazz with Greek folk music. The charismatic Nefeli Fasouli left New York for a while to come to Technopolis with her newly formed band and present her successful album “O Kosmossou”, along with new compositions and improvisations.
And, of course, the audience will be introduced to the diverse sound of the much-promising Thomas Mitrousis Quartet, the festival’s new music proposal, which stands out for creatively mixing different music genres, its imaginative orchestrations and modern aesthetics.
The three Greek Jazz bands opening the festival will set the pace for the following days as they will seamlessly pass the baton to the international bands, proving that jazz knows no borders.
This year, Technopolis will become the meeting point of Athenians and visitors to the city, featuring world-famous names and budding jazz artists and bands from all over the globe. The festival that every year marks the beginning of the concert summer in Technopolis, this year is bigger than ever, adding another day, with a closing surprise event. Stay tuned as this year’s festival’s full line-up, parallel events, and surprises will be announced soon!
Meet the winners:
Spiral Trio – Greece / Official participation
Spyros Manesis: piano / Arionas Gyftakis: double bass / Anastasis Gouliaris: drums
The Spiral Trio, aka Spyros Manesis, Arionas Gyftakis and Anastasis Gouliaris, was founded in 2012. All three of them started their jazz quest by experimenting with jazz standards. By the time of their first album recording, they had tried their musical pursuits by appearing in clubs and jazz festivals in Greece and Europe.
They are into modern Jazz, influenced by great Jazz performers, while the tradition of Jazz playing is omnipresent in their music. The continuous interplay and improvisational interaction are essential in their approach to Jazz. Combined with their high-level improvisational skills, they create a fascinating result featuring strong elements of surprise, adventure, freshness, travelling the mind and soothing the soul.
They have released two albums. Their debut album, “Spiral Trio”, released in 2017 by ANKh Music Productions, included almost exclusively jazz standards. The internationally acclaimed “Broken Blue”, released in 2022 by the American record label Odradek Records, included their own compositions. In addition, they have had three successful concert tours in the Iberian Peninsula while appearing at prestigious festivals and cultural venues in Greece. At the Athens Jazz festival, they will present compositions from their past and upcoming albums.
Nefeli Fasouli Quintet – Greece / Jazz+
Nefeli Fasouli: singing and composition / Leandros Pasias: piano and composition / James Wylie: saxophone / Dinos Manos: bass / George Klountzos-Chrysidis: drums
Nefeli Fasouli is one of the young singers of jazz and folk music in Greece. A year and a half after the release of her first personal album, “O Kosmos sou” (lyrics and music by Foivos Delivorias), and living between New York and Athens, Nefeli Fasouli is back where she started to present her favourite genre: jazz music. As a Fulbright scholar with an art scholarship, she has spent the last year in New York studying jazz and collaborating with the New York Gypsy All Stars, producer Misha Piatigorsky, trumpeter Benny Bennack and others.
After a particularly successful year with sold-out performances in Greece, tours in Greece and Turkey and live shows in New York, Nefeli Fasouli creates this year an anthology of her different selves and, starting from improvisation, presents again tracks from the album “O Kosmos sou”, along with brand new compositions, in which she has written either the music or lyrics. With her newly formed group, representative of the live jazz scene of Thessaloniki, she shares the same passion for jazz and Greek folk music as an everlasting starting point.
Thomas Mitrousis Quartet – Greece / New music proposal
Thomas Mitrousis: guitar / Kostas Giaxoglou: piano / Paraskevas Kitsos: double bass / DimitrisKlonis: drums
The new music proposal of Athens Jazz is the Thomas Mitrousis Quartet.Guitarist and composer Thomas Mitrousis introduces himself through his debut album, “The Seed”, consisting of eight compositions with clear references to modern jazz and classical and post-rock music influences. The continuous alternations of emotions and images, the Baroque elements and the impressionistic mood are an integral part of the quartet’s first work, which, although it combines heterogeneous elements, has a single and solid musical foundation. Exploring the different timbres and instrumental possibilities, the Thomas Mitrousis Quartet manages to maintain an impressive sound diversity with a modern aesthetic approach through its imaginative orchestrations.