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13 Nov

Takis Barberis Interview

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Jazzonline talked to Takis Barberis, one of the most important Greek Jazz musician, few weeks before his performance at Onassis Cultural  Center on December 6, 2013

Takis Barberis belongs to a generation of musicians who had the chance to take their first steps in a fateful period, at the crossroads of the Greek jazz, 80s, participating in Greek known jazz bands of the era like Jazz Fusion Quintet and the historical group Iskra,  (David Lynch, George Fakanas, Farazis Takis, Takis Barberis, Nick Touliatos, Leonidas Pliatsikas) and then all the dekeatia 90s with his own ensembles involving several notable musicians (George Kontrafouris Takis Paterelis , John Vassalos, Giotis Kiourtsoglou etc). The music runs from rock and jazz goes into a creative fusion with folk and popular music, introducing transnational (mostly Indian) ichorythmikes parameters and technology - always with aesthetic measure and specifications suited to modern jazz style and composition.

1-What lead you to jazz and what were your musical influences ?
As I started playing rock guitar I think what led me to jazz was the evolution of rock music itself. It starts to incorporate elements from other music, such as latin, jazz, and even Indian music. Slowly I understood that the base of what I liked was the blues. Blues led me to black music, funk, soul jazz, jazz fusion, cool jazz, bossanova and finally to swing and bebop

2 - Which jazz musicians had or have a great influence on you, and why?
As a guitarist I have been influenced by Wes Montgomery and Joe Pass. But also, in the late 70s long before Django style became in fashion, the French school with my favorite guitar player Philip Catherine.
My biggest influence in the way of playing is probably John Scofield. But there are so many musicians I like who influenced me one way or another such as C.Parker, M.Davis, J.Hall, S.Getz, C.Brown, B.Evans, C.Haden ... and C.Mingus, W.Shorter, J.Zawinul ACJobim, O.Coleman, E.Gismonti, and Carla Bley as composers. Also the aesthetics of the company ECM with musicians like Ian Garbarek, Keith Jarret, Ralph Towner, Bill Frisell, Pat Metheny Group ...  gave another new artistic dimension. A great and decisive influence over the mix of jazz with Indian music was for me Trilok Gurtu with who I collaborated on my album Episodes released in 1994.

3- You are performing on December 6  at Onassis Cultural Centre with Ilhan Ersahin. Is it the first time you play together. Could you tell us few word about this concert?
For this concert we will present my new compositions that will be release soon, but also some pieces of Ilhan. Takis Barberis Group (Manos Saridakis,Yiorgos Georgiadis,George Polyhronakos) will work for the first time with acclaimed saxophonist Ilhan Ersahin  who literally divides his time between Istanbul and New York, playing an active role in musical scenes of those two cities. I really believe that it will be quite interesting because each of us carries varied influences from many styles of music.

4- Your last album “In Parallel” was released three years ago. What is next ? Any new project you are working on?
My new work is ready. The release of it is a matter of months. It will be release for sure in digital and maybe a CD as well.  And I have almost finished another project more experimental with many rock elements, Indian samples, tabla, electric sitar ...

5-You also teach guitar. What do you think about the new generation of musicians?  Is there any new talent ?
There is a generation of new musicians with great talent and knowledge . There was a great progress in the last two decade in the Greek jazz scene with many good young musicians of  brass, double bass, vocal,  vibraphone. This is completely new. Few years ago you could not find that !
The easy access to information and knowledge through internet helped a lot, but also the fantastic work made by some Schools of music and the Jazz department of the Ionian University has  definitely made a big difference. This is something my generation did not have.
Generally I admire a lot this new generation of musicians. The fact that they choose to be musicians which is very demanding and knowing that is hard to make a living in a such difficult time means a lot. The more important for each of them (like it was for us) is to find their own “voice”.

5- Any regrets so far in your career ? something you did not do but you should have done ?
I don’t  easily regret for what I do. All I can say is that I should probably find a way to make my music  known abroad through my records but also with live performances.

Interview Patricia Graire – November 2013 -

More about Takis Barberis http://jazzonline.gr/en/musicians/item/90-barberis-takis.html


Last modified on Wednesday, 20 November 2013 08:55