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Athens Big Band

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The City of Athens Big Band
The City of Athens Big Band is the municipality's broad jazz music ensemble comprising the four instrument families, namely saxophones, trumpets, trombones and rhythmic drums, often backed by string and other symphonic instruments.
Apart from Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman, major composers and soloists of the Big Band music genre include Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Stan Kenton, Glenn Miller, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Tommy Dorsey, Don Ellis and William Russo.
The City of Athens Big Band repertoire consists of historic compositions and orchestrations by the pioneers of the Big Band philosophy as well as modern, quality jazz works, oftentimes penned by Greek artists.
The City of Athens Big Band has appeared in all major venues and cultural festivals in Athens, Thessaloniki and regional Greece, including Thessaloniki Concert Hall, the Nafplion Festival, the Athens International Jazz Festival at Technopolis, the International Wind Instrument Seminar in Kalavryta, the American College, the Hellenic American Union, the Athens Conservatory, the Philippos Nakas Conservatory, the Arts Conservatory, etc.

Renowned maestros and composers of jazz and contemporary music have conducted the City of Athens Big Band, including William Russo and Don Owens. Meanwhile, distinguished Greek and international soloists, such as Rex Richardson, Vince De Martino, Mark Smith, Fred Hemke Jr, Yiannis Terezakis, Antonis Ladopoulos, Veronina Mortensen, George Kontrafouris, Philippas Poulimenos, Dimitra Fotopoulou, Thanassis Koulentianos and Thanassis Ioakimidis, have performed with the ensemble.

The artists who make up the City of Athens Big Band count among Greece's most formidable soloists and are renowned for their skills in jazz improvisation and flexibility in interpreting musical styles with accuracy. As most possess a classical music education, they are adept at interpreting classical and contemporary music, and not just different jazz styles. They remain active soloists or members of professional bands such as the Athens State Orchestra, the Orchestra of Colours, the Orchestras of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT), the City of Athens Symphony Orchestra and other small music ensembles which perform Greek traditional and contemporary music. Additionally, all Big Band musicians teach music in schools and conservatories. The flexibility and talent of City of Athens Big Band performers reflect the Greek approach to jazz interpretation and result in a distinctive sound.

Yiannis Terezakis is the principal conductor of the City of Athens Big Band

Last modified on Monday, 17 March 2014 17:58

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