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Dennis Pol

About Me

Dion Berardo (Dionysios Polygenis-Berardo) is a jazz guitarist and composer based in New York City. He is the leader of the Dion Berardo Trio and is also involved in duets, solo works, and other side projects locally and around the world. His style incorporates elements of bebop, gypsy jazz, contemporary jazz, blues, jazz fusion, and he cites Wes Montgomery, Django Reinhardt and Biréli Lagrène as having the biggest impact on his music.

Dion was born in Campobasso, Italy and raised in Megara, Greece. He grew up listening to Eric Clapton, the Beatles and Pino Daniele with his parents who were rock and blues fans. Though they were not musicians themselves, his father Leonidas and his mother Massimiliana wanted him to learn the guitar: they gave him his first instrument when he was six years old.

Dions interest in music took a drastic turn in 2010 when he started studying jazz guitar with Vasilis Arsenides and Yiotis Samaras. His life changed after hearing Wes Montgomery’s solo on No Blues, which he transcribed and learned note by note, and soon afterwards he discovered Biréli Lagrène’s Live Jazz à Vienne, which completely captivated him. At age eighteen, he enrolled at the prestigious Conservatorium van Amsterdam, went on to win first prize at the Bucharest International Jazz Competition with the AG Quintet in 2017, and completed his BFA in performing arts in 2018.

In 2019, Dion released his debut album, New York City, featuring Alina Engibaryan on vocals, Omer Ashano on violin, Joe Bussey on bass, and Josh Kaye on rhythm guitar. In 2021, he recorded his second album Dig! as a duet with bassist Kimon Karoutzos – with liner notes by legendary jazz bassist Ron Carter. His third album, Guitarology, is a guitar duologue between Dion Berardo and fellow Greek jazz guitarist George Koutsi with liner notes by Neal Miner, the great New York native jazz bassist and owner of Gut String Records. Standards at the Honey Road Studio, is Dions fourth album in a trio setting with Dimitris Angelakis on vibraphone and Kimon Karoutzos on the upright bass. On this album Dion plays ten of his most favorite jazz standards and one original composition of his. Dion is currently touring with singer Tatiana Eva-Marie, featured in her latest project Djangology – a tribute to the compositions of Django Reinhardt – with an album release planned for January 2023 at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Legendary jazz bassist Ron Carter on “DIG!”:

“…I am often asked by music listeners what jazz records do I listen to…and believe me there are many choices!! However if I had to settle on a select few, this CD of a bass and guitar duo would most certainly qualify as belonging in this list…”

“It’s the wonderful sound of a solo guitar that introduces the next song “‘O Sole Mio”, which demonstrates the grasp of solo guitar on display…this is a track that will command your attention”

—Ron Carter

New York born jazz bassist and owner of Gut String Records on “Guitarology”:

“The guitar duo of Dion Berardo and George Koutsi is a truly special ensemble. Supposedly opposites attract, but in this case these two young Greek Jazz guitarists have a unique and effortless simpatico… It is rare to hear young players with such a deep understanding of the Jazz tradition, who also internalize the music and its language and communicate it in such a personal fashion.”

—Neal Miner

“Dion Berardo is T-riffic…He has Taste, Tone, Time, Talent, and carries on the Tradition of mainstream and gypsy jazz. I had the pleasure of playing with Dion in Harlem and he got the joint jumpin’.”

—Bill Wurtzel - Director of the Jazz Foundation of America


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