Q&A with Greek drummer-composer George Trantalidis - one of the major figures of the European jazz scene

George Trantalidis is the living history of the Greek jazz: one of the major figures of the European jazz scene.

George Trantalidis: Global Jazz

George Trantalidis is the living history of the Greek jazz: one of the major figures of the Greek jazz scene. George Trantalidis started his career  playing with the rock group Socrates. In 1978, he records the first greek Jazz music record with the “Sphinx”. In 1980 he represents Greece in international Jazz Festivals and also records in Hungary his two first personal records ” Clarification” and “One, Two, Three, Four”. In 1983 he becomes the first to merge greek traditional with Jazz music in his records ”Hores”, “Mesogeios”, “Hairetismos” and “Erisma” with the participation of the great traditional musicians G. Koros and N. Saragoudas. These records resulted George Trantalidis to be invited by Y. Menuhin, R. Shankar, S. Rollins to play in the world famous “Jazz India Festival” and “Singapore Jazz Festival”.

From 1984 to 1989 he produced the radio show “Jazz B programa ERT" with guests some of the best jazz musicians like:M. Alexiou, G. Filippidis, P. Samaras, G. Kontrafouris, , T. Paterelis, Chip Jackson, John Hicks, J. Williams, B. Lakatos Szalski, T. Lakatos, D. Linch, L. Zois, N. Neratzo-poulos, P. Benetatos, etc. Since 1989 he holds his personal studio producing his own records as well as making productions for selected Greek and foreign artists. Meanwhile he has created a core of Greek and foreign artists with whom he performs in Greece and abroad gaining always the best critics. In 2004 he participated as composer and arranger in the starting ceremony of the Athens Olympic Games with his composition “Karpos” (a remake of Manos Hatzidakis “To asteri tou voria”). George Trantalidis  played with many great musicians such as Socrates, M. Alexiou, G. Filippidis, Lakis Zois, P. Samaras, T. Paterelis, G. Kontrafouris,  B. Lakatos, T. Lakatos, George Vukan, Kuno Schmid, Alex Foster, Attila Laszlo, Laszlo Gardony, Gilad Atzmon, Nick Gravenites, Chip Jackson, John Hicks, J. Williams, Andy Sheppard, P. Benetatos, Toto Blanke,  Rudolf Dašek,  and many others. George Trantalidis last CD, Global Vision, released in 2011 got very good reviews. This project features a unique gathering of great jazz musicians including Tony Lakatos, Alex Foster, Barry Finnerty, Ron McClure, Fred Lipsius, Pantelis Benetatos, Panagiotis Samaras, Harris Lambrakis, Andreas Polyzogopoulos, Antonis Andreou, George Kontrafouris, Nikos Neratzopoulos, Sophia Lambropoulou, Manuel Orza, Kiki Cha, and Nikos Sidirokastritis.

Interview by Michael Limnios - Συνέντευξη στον Μιχάλη Λημνιό

Ο συνθέτης, παραγωγός και ντράμερ Γιώργος Τρανταλίδης, άρχισε την καριέρα του στην δεκαετία του '70, παίζοντας με το κορυφαίο αγγλόφωνο ροκ συγκρότημα των Socrates. Το 1979 ήταν μέλος των Sphinx όταν ηχογράφησαν τον ομώνυμο πρώτο δίσκο jazz στην Ελλάδα. Η προσωπική του διαδρομή αποτελείται μέχρι σήμερα από 8 δίσκους, με πιο πρόσφατο το Global Vision (2011), που πήρε εξαιρετικές κριτικές διεθνώς. Ήταν ο πρώτος που «πάντρεψε» την ελληνική παραδοσιακή μουσική και τη jazz, κάτι που οδήγησε σε συμμετοχές στα Jazz India Festival και Singapore Jazz Festival με τους Y. Menuhin, R. Shankar και Sonny Rollins. Για 6 χρόνια ήταν παραγωγός της ιστορικής εκπομπής H Jazz στην ΕΡΑ 2 ενώ το 2004 συμμετείχε ως συνθέτης και ενορχηστρωτής στην τελετή έναρξης των Ολυμπιακών Αγώνων της Αθήνας.

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