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Take Five With Petros Klampanis

Petros Klampanis By

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After two days of delayed train departures, a night sleeping on a bench at Zurich's Central train station and traveling with probably the oldest ship in existence from Ancona to Kerkyra, I ended up hitchhiking in Greece for a ride to Athens. Finally, a track driver accepted me, my bass and my stuffed suitcase and he eagerly started sharing his experiences from his road travels from the past 20 years, while I was trying to get some rest. When I finally arrived to Athens it was just a couple of hours before the first concert.

Favorite venue:

Carnegie Hall.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

My favorite recording in my discography is my album Contextual. I learned a lot by doing that CD. I worked with wonderful musicians, I composed and arranged extensively and discovered new things on the bass and how to capture them on an album. I am very happy with that album and I am really looking forward to the recording process for the next one.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Dave Brubeck's Time Out

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

A proposition of combining jazz, classical and world music sounds.

Did you know...

I really like visual arts. I make most of the posters for my shows.

CDs you are listening to now:

Fred Hersch, Plays Jobim (Sunnyside Records);

Tomatito, Agua Dulce (Universal);

Tigran Hamasyan, A Fable (Verve);

Brad Mehldau, Highway Rider (Nonesuch);

Dhafer Youssef, Digital Prophecy (Enja).

Desert Island picks:

Keith Jarrett, Live in Tokyo (ECM);

Radiohead, OK Computer (Parlophone);

Elis and Tom, Tom Jobim (Philips);

The Cleveland Orchestra, Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un Faune (Deutsche Grammophon);

Miles Davis, Kind of Blue (Columbia).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

I think that there are many creative musicians nowadays, maybe more than any previous time of jazz history. What occurs to me is that one of the hazards that Jazz music is facing is the extreme growth of intellect in comparison to the musical instinct and emotion.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Like Thelonious Monk said, once you groove make sure you groove more. This quote could be interpreted in terms of musical quality. Musicians should always try to keep the music level as high as possible.

Schools should support music and encourage young individuals to be exposed to various musical genres.

What is in the near future?

I am planning to release my second album with music for string quartet and a jazz quartet, consisting of Jean-Michel Pilc on the piano, Gilad Hekselman on guitar and John Hadfield on percussion. I am also working on a tour with my trio, Gilad Hekselman and Bodek Janke, in Europe during May/June, 2013.

I am also currently recording a duo album with vibraphonist Christos Rafalides. This new project is called Point 2.

What's your greatest fear when you perform?

My greatest fear is not being able to project the sound that I have in my mind.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

"Blame it on my Youth."

What is your favorite song to whistle or sing in the shower?

Hard to believe, but: "Ain't Nobody," by Chaka Khan.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

A Cook. I think composition and music delivery is a very similar process as the preparation of a dish. Both processes demand creativity, fantasy, skills, instinctual decision making and always keeping in mind the ones you are feeding.

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Petros Klampanis


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