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23 May

Panayiotis Athanatos

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Panagiotis Athanatos is a very active talended young guitarist. Jazzonline had a chat with him.
Panagiotis Athanatos started playing the guitar at the age of 14 at the  prestigious Philippos Nakas Conservatory in Athens, studying with Yiotis Samaras. He has led numerous small bands in local gigs and festivals, collaborating with prominent musicians of the Greek Jazz scene (Spyros Panagiotopoulos, Pantelis Benetatos, Kostas Konstantinou etc). As a sideman he has toured and recorded with various singers and instrumentalists in Greece and the United Kingdom. In 2015 he moved to Groningen ( Netherlands) to study as an undergraduate student at the Prins Claus Conservatory. There he had the chance to study with  Spike Wilner, Paul Bollenback, Jonathan Kreisberg, Mark Gross, Joris Teepe, Adam Nussbaum, among others. In 2016 he created the Snow White Quartet and performed in various clubs in the Netherlands.

1.How did you get involved with jazz ?
The person that got me really into Jazz was my teacher Yiotis Samaras, whom I met at Philippos Nakas Conservatory in Athens in 2010. He was the one that introduced me to the records of Miles, Charlie Parker, Wes Montgomery, the Jazz Messengers etc and from then on I knew that I wanted to make myself sound just like them. Another important person in my development early on was Spyros Panagiotopoulos since he was kind enough to support me by playing with me on my first gigs in Athens.

2. You've been studying in the Netherlands. How's the Jazz scene in The Netherlands, especially in Groningen where you were ?
The Netherlands is a great place for everybody to study. The level on the conservatories is very high and both the teachers and the students are very eager to play. Besides traditional jazz here one can find any kind of fusion of jazz with other genres. Groningen for example has a big audience when it comes to traditional jazz but even a bigger one for Free Jazz.

3. How was your trio born ?
When I came here I was excited to study in the Prins Claus Conservatory but I was more excited that I would have the chance to perform for the Dutch audience. Ilias Karkavelias, who is an exceptional bass player from Greece, was also studying here so I could say that the foundations for this trio were already layed in Greece since we had already collaborated there. Yonghen Woo was in the Netherlands as a Master student and from early on I knew I could count on him since he has a beatiful sense of time and sound.

4. On your upcoming album you are also featuring Gerben Wasser, tell us something about this collaboration
Gerben Wasser is a very young Dutch player that I met here in Groningen. Even though he is only 19 years old he has already collaborated with the most prominent musicians of both Groningen and Amsterdam and is also a member of several Big Bands. His sound is powerful and the fact that he always approaches improvising as the ultimate form of expression is something I both respect and think that adds a lot to the overall sound of this band

5. What are your plans for the next months?
We have been working on several of our own compositions for some time now and I believe that we will be able to record this beautiful material during the summer. After that  I will hopefully spend some time in Athens.
Last modified on Tuesday, 24 May 2016 16:08

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