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13 Oct

Nikolas Anadolis Interview

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Nikolas Anadolis is one of only 5 jazz pianists who have been awarded the Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris (=1st prize) of the prestigious Concours de piano-jazz Martial Solal  in October 2010, a worldwide jazz piano contest taking place only once every 4 years. Jazzonline had the opportunity to get  an interview with this very promising young musician.

Born in 1991 in Thessaloniki, Greece, he used to improvise on the piano since he was 4 years old and already was a passionate and conscious jazz listener. At the age of 5 and a half he started lessons in classical piano and in 2002 he became a student at the national conservatoire in Thessaloniki. In 2001 he started lessons in jazz piano. He followed master classes with many well-known musicians. In 2004 he won the first prize in the Greek-Cypriot piano contest "Filon". In 2008 he won the "presidential scholarship" for jazz piano and composition at Berklee University in Boston, where he graduated in May
2012. In 2009 he was one of five winners of the contest for composition and interpretation at Berklee University.  His American Trio has recorded for the label Jazz Revelation records.  Recently he started lessons with David Callahan in orchestra conducting. He has composed pieces for solo piano, duo with saxophone, piano trio and brass and string Ensembles and recently for big band (performed and recorded with Berklee students).  He has performed in jazz clubs, a.o. also Blue Note in New York as opening
group for the pianist Michel Camilo; at the Rabat Jazz Festival in Morocco and at the European Jazz Festival in Athens, in 2011 Greece.

1- What lead you to jazz ?
NA - Jazz was the music that I grew up with. My father, as a jazz musician (drummer), introduced me to the world of jazz by playing old jazz records for me and later on he was accompanying me as a guitar player while I was playing the piano.

2- Which jazz musicians had or have a great influence on you, and why?
NA -The first artist I listened to in my life was Oscar Peterson. I was hooked for a lot of years listening to him and during this period I didn't listen to other kinds of music. Oscar Peterson’s playing made me so happy that I couldn’t even realize that other artists exist. When I started playing the piano I tried to play in his style and discover how he swings so nice. He is definitely my musical hero mainly because I got a vision of what I am going to do in music, and the fact that he helped me discover myself into music makes him even more important in my heart. When I finally got over Oscar Peterson, I started to approach other great piano players like Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea , Brad Mehldau and some others, all of them in different periods of my life and separate to each other so far.In other words I used to listen to just one artist for a long period without listening to anyone else, but I never spent the amount of time I did when I was listening to Oscar.

3- You won the 1st prize of the prestigious Concours de piano-jazz Martial Solal in 2010. What has changed after that for you ?
The first prize of the "Concours de piano-jazz MARTIAL SOLAL" in 2010 gave me great confidence and more freedom in my search on improvisation in my music and my musical experiences. Until then I was listening mainly pianists (solo or with a trio), and after that I started listening to more of orchestral music (except jazz and classical - modern and older styles). In other words, I opened my ears in to new sounds which is still helping me to discover better myself in music. Also the first prize in this competion helped me (as a promotion) to start playing in big festivals marking this way the real beggining of my career.

3- Where is the finest country to play your music ?
Whenever there are people that like what I am doing. I can not really say anything about a specific country (at least not now).

4- Where do you think the audience is the best and why ?
Almost all the concerts I have played so far (in Europe, United States of America, and Africa) were sold out and audiences were great. Same again here, I am not able to evaluate something like that. Every audience were great in their own unique way. Nothing is the same but I appreciate the difference between audiences.

5- A comment on Greek jazz musicians you know ?
I remember when I was attending the middle school my father used to take me in jazz concerts almost every Tuesday. I could never stay for the entire concert because I had to wake up early to go to school on the next day but attending those gave me a sense of what's going on in the local scene and not only. In this concert series on Tuesdays, I have listened great Greek musicians such as Oleg Chaly, Lakis Tzimkas, Giotis Kiourtsoglou (Human Touch) and many others. I am a big fan of George Kontrafouris and I saw him live many times playing both on piano and Hammond (he was coming to play usually once a year).

5- What are your plan for the next months ?
I am currently studing for my Master Degree in New England Conservatory, Boston (this is my final year) and at the same time I am travelling mostly in Europe playing concerts. I am about to play in Romania and Germany three concerts in 2 weeks from now and then I am returning on Germany for an other concert in December. Also I am playing in Switzerland and Montreal early on the next year.

Interview Patricia Graire – October 2013

More about Nikolas Anadolis http://jazzonline.gr/en/musicians/item/77-anadolis-nikolas.html

Last modified on Thursday, 29 September 2016 15:42