GoJam Group
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GoJam Group

Athens, Attica, Greece | SELF

Athens, Attica, Greece | SELF
Band World Jazz

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The GoJam Group was formed in 2002 by Yiorgos Tsiatsoulis and Petros Varthakouris. Their repertoire was then comprised mainly of jazz covers as well as their own versions of pieces for accordion and bandoneon by Galliano, Piazzola, etc. In 2004 Lefteris Chavoutsas and Yiannis Angelopoulos joined the Group and it evolved into GoJam, developing an original repertoire comprised of original compositions by each member. Their desire for direct artistic expression has shaped the band’s unique, complex sounds. The music that arises is a mixture of elements from Greek musical tradition and the traditions of other countries as well as of the individual influences, listening and musical experiences of the group’s members. - jazzonline.gr


The one is a uniquely talented group called GoJam Group from Greece that will appear for the first time in Cyprus. We, the organizers, checking their website on My Space fell in love with their music which fits perfectly with our location. A young pleasant group that always on their live performances they create a special atmosphere with their virtuoso technical play & the transmiting enthusiasm perfomance . The night starts perfect for things to follow. - 10th Paradise Jazz Festival


Most younger Greek musicians love jazz and can play jazz expertly, and have adapted it to their own needs. GoJam comprises four musicians, all highly skilled, with the rhythmic cohesion that comes from many hours woodshedding together. They are Yorgos Tsiatsoulis on accordion, Lefteris Chavoutsas on guitar, Petros Varthakouris on contrabass, and Yannis Angelopoulos on drums. Petros, of course, is Parian, and often performs on his beloved home island with his own group or with others. And he usually takes the trouble to bring his acoustic standup up bass with him, rather than the bass guitar, which is more popular, easier to carry, and easier to play. Many jazz groups, I am glad to say, are replacing the bass guitar with the rich, reverberant, propulsive sound of the real thing. Petros’ sound is full and his intonation unerring.

The band’s style is their own. Based on Brazilian jazz, it is really a kind of world music, but without the empty figuration and avoidance of harmony that rubric implies.
In their two sets, they played mostly their own tunes; these were clear, melodic, and catchy. Petros did the arrangements. And each of the musicians brings his own background.

Yorgos, for example, comes from the world of Greek music, and there are plenty of Anatolian tinges in his fluent solos. Lefteris obviously likes Spanish guitar (what guitarist doesnt?), and let go with a passionate solo in flamenco E-major on one tune - his own. Yannis knows how to keep the drum kit, too often brutish, mostly quiet and swinging; he locks rhythm with Petros.

I caught the April 12th performance, and stayed up with great pleasure way past my bedtime. The Hotel Zannet was a friendly and comfortable venue for GoJam. Because jazz groups usually play in clubs rather than in concert venues, they don’t receive the same kind of attention. But the club atmosphere is conducive to creativity, if the audience is there to listen and not to have fun (fun means low concentration); the concert atmosphere can freeze experimentation and even collaboration. Here things were cooking.

All four are active in the musical world of Athens and abroad; GoJam is a labour of love, and indeed I loved it. Petros will be back on Paros, avec bass, during the summer, and GoJam’s other members will probably join him for several nights of music. So keep a lookout. On the way home, my head was full of good tunes, infectious rhythms, and skilled, serious musicianship.
- Jeffrey Carson


Discography

"GoJam Group's Debut Cd'" release date:05-05-2009.

With the use of local “materials”, authentic or borrowed, four musicians prepare every day’s soundtrack.
Through rehearsals, gigs and love for music, these friends have become “GoJam Group”. The recording of their first album, a natural consequence to the group’s route, was done live in Athens studio “Sierra” during spring 2008 together with sound engineer Giorgos Kariotis. It includes ten original compositions. The production and arrangement it is collective work from all the band members. The artwork it is based on paintings and manuscripts of Lefteris Havoutsas. Important and invaluable was the contribution of: Alexandros Arkadopoulos (clarinet), Sokratis Sinopoulos (kementche), Nikos Tsiatsoulis & Angelos Polixronou (percussion), Martha Mavroeidi (vocals), Haralampos Bouras & Dimitris Mitrousis (graphic designers).
Nothing would have been as it is without their contribution.

Enjoy…!!!

Photos

Bio

GoJam Group
Yiorgos Tsiatsoulis: accordion, Lefteris Chavoutsas: guitar, Petros Varthakouris: bass, Giannis Angelopoulos: drums.

The idea of creating the group appeared from a need to express the inner culture of our country, which is at the same time indirectly linked with the musical inheritance of all other nations around Greece. Our task was the formation of a new musical proposal as well as the creation of a new sound and a fresh look towards the musical scene.
The GOJAM GROUP makes an effort ?f bridging the culture ?f Mediterranean Sea, influenced at the same time by the Balkan music, flamenco, oriental music and jazz.
The group was created during 2002 by the accordion player Yiorgos Tsiatsoulis. At the very beginning its repertoire did include only musical transcriptions and arrangements of big jazz composers, as well as of masters of accordion. Very soon, however, a need for a deeper and more personal artistic expression by the members of the group, lead them to the creation of their own compositions as well as to the formation of a specific character of the group. Each member of the group participates in it actively, with his own compositions and ideas.
Yiorgos Tsiatsoulis, born in Athens May 1975. He plays accordion since the age of 8.Started studying classical music, showing at the same time great interest for all the types of traditional and folk Greek music. He studied piano and harmony. He also finished a complete circle of accordion studies.
Lefteris Havoutsas, born in Pireaus July 1968. He plays the guitar since the age of 13, particularly interested in flamenco. At the same time he involved playing bouzouki, oud and violin, studying the traditional music forms of Greece.
Petros Varthakouris, born in Paros January 1974. He started playing jazz piano from early on. Switched to guitar and electric bass at the age of 17 and studied jazz harmony. He finally discovered his true passion (contrabass) 26 years old.
Giannis Angelopoulos born in Veroia February 1973. Started playing in a local marching band and soon he was playing the set. Had many lessons in Athens and Rotterdam’s Conservatory where he graduated, June 2002.
All the band members collaborated with many known and unknown Greek artists, playing and recording traditional and popular Greek music.

Email: gojamgroup@gmail.com
Tel: +302106821747, +306974121781