Take Five With George Stavroulakis
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, Roberto Garcia, Alexis Bosch and many others.
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, Mike Moreno and Tim Miller. I've also been able to watch clinics of Kurt Rosenwinkel, Allan Holdsworth, Scott Henderson, John Scofield 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, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Jonathan Kreisberg. 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'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, E.S.P. (Columbia, 1965).
Desert Island picks:
Miles Davis, Kind of Blue (Columbia, 1959);
Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, and Sonny Stitt, For Musicians Only (Verve, 1958)
Kurt Rosenwinkel, The Next Step (Verve, 2001)
Mark Turner, 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.