Kostas Klagos joined us halfway in our project, and it turned out to be more than a bit of luck. Kostas is a steady and skilled bassplayer, who approaches everything in a relaxed and professional way. It became clear very soon after we met, that Kostas was going to play more than one or two songs on the CD, as he prepared thoroughly and quickly for anything we threw at him, and came with creative parts and sensible suggestions.
Kostas is very much active in Athen’s jazz scene, playing with something like 8 to 10 different ensembles at a time, for each of which he is always well prepared. But one more band is apparently no problem and Kostas is also involved in creating the program, and booking shows. On the CD he plays on ‘The sea’s embrace’, ‘Your restless eyes’, ‘Passion’s routes’, ‘You are not forgotten, I don’t forget you’, and ‘Wish I was there, wish you were here’. He is also part of our band for the live shows.
Giorgos Floudas played many instruments from a young age, and worked most of his life as a professional violinist, guitarist, teacher (he wrote a series of educational books for the violin which are highly appreciated) Apart of Greek traditional styles, Giorgos studied also classical violin, which allowed him to perfect his technical skills and broaden his musical horizons. A sensitive soul and a life of hard work have made him a very special musician, known through all of Greece, who can impress both with virtuosity and with slow, soulful cries which he tears from his strings.This link https://youtu.be/g09QjAO9a4I contains an older recording of Giorgos improvising over a slow groove which is laid down by laouto and percussion. By now, he leads a more quiet life, but is still highly sought after for his unique touch at weddings and panigiria (festivals), where his haunting sounds dance around the equally mesmerising tones of the klarino, on the beat of the laouto’s and drums. On our CD, Giorgos played a fantastic improvised part on ‘Whatever you see, whatever you touch’, and an equally colourful part on ‘Your restless eyes’.
Gerwil Kusters is one of Holland’s most respected Balkan – and – Beyond – reedplayers. He was for many years a core member of Parne Gadje, which is often referred to as one of the most original and adventurous world-music bands in the Netherlands of the past decade. He is an excellent and much sought-after teacher, with his own teaching practice. On his site you can reed (mwahaa..) about his other projects Yabani and Zor. As a player, Gerwil stands out through his sensitive and supportive playing interchanged with energetic solo’s, his thoughtful choice of instrument and color in each song, and his playful interaction on stage with both bandmembers and audience. On ‘The Wolf’, Gerwil participates in ‘Commandmends’, and ‘As far as it goes, wherever it goes’, on the low and gritty bariton sax.
Marc Constandse is an artist of extremes. He performed music and theatre in various ways before getting into a fight with a bandoneon, from which initially the bandoneon emerged as the victor. But Marc instead of giving in, fought back for many years, the results and progress of which can be heard on numerous records. Through the years he has been part of various projects, ranging from Industrial Punk to the Holland Baroque Society, but most notably his own Balkan-band Parne Gadje, which made 5 CD’s and did shows throughout Europe. Marc is also known as a passionate singer with knowledge and understanding of lyrics in several languages. In the case of Kranides it has to be said that Marc was the one who singlehandedly put Michiel on the trace of music from the Balkans and Greece. Marc and Michiel played for 12 years together in Parne Gadje, which, one can imagine, affected both musicians to some extent or another. As Kranides we are thrilled to have Marc contribute some of his magic bandoneonism on ‘Passion’s routes’ and ‘The dwelling of the soul’. To hear some of Marc’s music, you can type his name into youtube
Brice Soniano is a virtuoso contrabass player, from the region of Narbonne in the south of France. He currently lives in Danmark, and travels a lot with his bass. He is an incredible improviser, very focussed and inspired. The past years he has done many projects with equally gifted improvisors, creating new and exciting music which exists only ‘in the now’. Brice has played on ‘Whatever you see, whatever you touch‘ both a plucked bassline and some melodic bowed parts. At the end of the song, his bow hitting the strings rhythmically (ricochet technique) provides the main drive of the outtro over which the violin goes crazy.
In ‘Journey‘, Brice has played plucked and bowed bass parts throughout the song. What you may think is a violoncello playing up high, is in fact the bass (the claudeviol also plays some parts, but sounds more ‘electric’ and can easily be distinguished from the bass parts)
More info on Brice can be found at his website
Giorgos Kotsikas grew up in a musical family where he played, like Marifenia, from an early age, traditional Greek music in the family band. Whenever such a band would be a musician short, it was common practice to borrow each others violinists, klarino players etc – so Giorgos was no stranger to Marifenia. After many years of playing traditional music, he decided to take his chances and went to study the classical violin, from which he has recently graduated. Giorgos is an excellent player with a broad musical taste, including mambo and other Latin styles – which we are looking forward to hear him play on his violin 🙂
On our CD he plays a violin part in ‘Commandmends’. Giorgos will be joining us for upcoming shows in Athens.