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Take Five With George Stavroulakis

Take Five With George Stavroulakis
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Meet George Stavroulakis:
George Stravoulakis was born in Athens in 1978 and has been active in the Greek jazz scene since 2006. Stravoulakis has played with renowned Greek artists like Kostas Konstantinou, George Georgiadis, Seraphim Bellos, Dimitris Pantelias, Pantelis Benetatos and many others. Outside of his jazz-oriented activities, Stravoulakis also performs in rock groups and has toured Greece, Cyrpus and Belgium. He is currently performing with O3 and The Burning Sticks while working as a sideman for various ensembles.

In June 2013, Stravoulakis won the "Best Guitarist" award at Ukraine's world jazz festival/contest. The festival featured famous jazz improvisers from 16 countries including Hernan Jay Rodriguez, Melvin Taylor
Melvin Taylor
Melvin Taylor
b.1959
multi-instrumentalist
, Roberto Garcia, Alexis Bosch and many others.

Instrument(s):
Electric guitar.

Teachers and/or influences?
I am self taught and have studied privately with Yannis Ekmektsoglou and Yiotis Samaras. I had the chance to have some private lessons with Mikkel Ploug
Mikkel Ploug
Mikkel Ploug
b.1978
guitar
, Mike Moreno
Mike Moreno
Mike Moreno

guitar
and Tim Miller
Tim Miller

guitar
. I've also been able to watch clinics of Kurt Rosenwinkel
Kurt Rosenwinkel
Kurt Rosenwinkel
b.1970
guitar
, Allan Holdsworth
Allan Holdsworth
Allan Holdsworth
b.1948
guitar
, Scott Henderson, John Scofield
John Scofield
John Scofield
b.1951
guitar
and others.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I first touched a black USA Fender Strat!

Your sound and approach to music:
I really love the sound of contemporary jazz guitarists like Adam Rogers
Adam Rogers
Adam Rogers

guitar
, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Jonathan Kreisberg
Jonathan Kreisberg
Jonathan Kreisberg
b.1972
guitar
. On the other hand I am really fascinated by Tim Miller and Allan Holdsworth so I have both approaches and sonic influences.

Your teaching approach:
I think that everyone should be taught and exposed to jazz greats, including the bebop era. Students should familiarize themselves with basic forms like blues, rhythm changes. Transcriptions are also a must.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
Really hard to pick but I would say John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
's Coltrane's Sound (Atlantic, 1964) is my favorite.

The first Jazz album I bought was:
Kurt Rosenwinkel's The Next Step (Verve, 2001).

CDs you are listening to now:
Tim Miller, Trio Vol. 2 (CD Baby, 2008);
Kurt Rosenwinkel, Standards Trio: Reflections (Wommusic, 2009);
John Coltrane , Coltrane's Sound (Atlantic, 1964);
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
, E.S.P. (Columbia, 1965).

Desert Island picks:
Miles Davis, Kind of Blue (Columbia, 1959);
Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
1917 - 1993
trumpet
, Stan Getz
Stan Getz
Stan Getz
1927 - 1991
sax, tenor
, and Sonny Stitt
Sonny Stitt
Sonny Stitt
1924 - 1982
saxophone
, For Musicians Only (Verve, 1958)
Kurt Rosenwinkel, The Next Step (Verve, 2001)
Mark Turner
Mark Turner
Mark Turner
b.1965
sax, tenor
, Dharma Days (Warner, 2001).

What is in the near future?
I am very busy doing music with the O3 Jazz Trio, comprised of Michael Evdemon on electric bass and Dimitris Klonis on drums. Our record company is now on the process of booking us at some festivals in Europe.

What's your greatest fear when you perform?
Not hearing my other band mates clearly and a bad guitar sound.


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