Sunday 28 March 2021 20:30
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The SNFCC’s Lighthouse Sessions series of musical events was launched in January to demonstrate the power of the language of music
Each month, the composer and drummer Alexandros Drakos Ktistakis hosts a handpicked guest from the domestic scene at the SNFCC Lighthouse and, using jazz as the starting point, talks to them about their life and musical pursuits, while inviting them to engage in a musical dialogue, open to improvisation and creative experiments, and accompanied by a jazz trio and a string quartet. Thus, each session becomes a unique musical portrait of the guest artist, connecting Greek traditional music and rebetika songs with jazz and classical music.
All sessions in the series are recorded and uploaded on the SNFCC website, to create a unique “music library” that music lovers can come back to again and again.
Drakos Ktistakis’ third guest on Sunday, March 28, at 20:30, will be the lutist Giorgis Manolakis, creator of Couleur Locale, and joining him for subsequent sessions will be the musical band Takim, and Dimitris Mystakidis.
Giorgis Manolakis was born in Irakleio, Crete, in 1982, and was introduced to music by his family. At the age of eight, he began taking lute lessons with his father, Kostas Manolakis, a virtuoso of the lyra and the lute, and accompanying him to traditional Cretan fêtes. At 14, he took up the bouzouki and discovered the masters of Cretan music (Foustalieris, Koutsourelis), who also served as major influences in his subsequent musical career. From the age of 16 and for several years after, he performed mostly rebetika on music stages, night clubs and rebetika clubs in Irakleio. In addition to the lute and the bouzouki, he also plays the mandolin, the tzouras, the baglamas, the guitar, the bulgari, and the saz.
His first contact with a larger and more diverse audience was with the Chainides and their tours in Greece and abroad. In 2005, he joined them in recording their album O giteftis kai to Drakodonti, where he performs “Syrto tou Ouranou”, a song with music and lyrics by Dimitris Apostalakis (Chainis), as well as the album O Karagiozis sti Eurovision, in 2007.
In 2009, he met Ross Daly and began a close collaboration that they continue to this day. That was also the year when he released his first personal record, To Spathi, with twelve songs; the album’s title track is performed by Psarantonis. His double album Ditto: O kafkos kai i medousa was released in 2013, and followed by another five personal records: Kokkines Plakes, Couleur Locale, Nefalo, Ta prepei de mou prepoune, and Havas.
He has contributed to several recordings by other artists (Other Side and Tin anoiksi perimenes by Ross Daly, Ama kopasoun oi kairoi by Kelly Thoma, etc.) and collaborates with leading musicians and bands, such as Nikos Sidirokastritis, Sokratis Sinopoulos, Babis Papadopoulos, Psarantonis, Andreas Polyzogopoulos, and many others.
Nowadays, he mostly makes appearances with his personal music projects (Couleur Locale and Nefelo), which are based on his own, strongly improvisational compositions, as well as with the “Ross Daly Quintet” as one of its regular members.
The composer, orchestrator and drummer Alexandros Drakos Ktistakis, with an academic background in the Music Studies Department of the Ionian University and musical education, is active in teaching, using his creativity to inspire the new generation that will become the fresh blood of the domestic music scene. Five years after his discographic debut, with the album Tora and the Alex Dracos Trio, which he co-founded with double bass player Dinos Manos and pianist Giannis Papadopoulos, and in anticipation of his upcoming release, Alexandros Drakos Ktistakis explores global sounds and music anew, starting always from jazz and guided by improvisation and rock, traditional and classical music influences. This makes Ktistakis the perfect host for the Lighthouse Sessions, the series of unusual musical meetings that bring together diverse music genres in an unexpected result.
Dinos Manos – Bass
Giannis Papadopoulos – Piano
Alexandros Ktistakis – Drums
Dionysis Vervitsiotis – Violin
Kostas Panagiotidis – Violin
Ilias Livieratos – Viola
Marina Kolovou – Cello
Alexandros Drakos Ktistakis: Composition & string orchestration
Giorgis Manolakis & Alexandros Drakos Ktistakis: Adaptation
Sunday 28/03, 20.30
You may watch the event live on this page, as well as on SNFCC's Facebook page and YouTube channel.