Harris Lambrakis Quartet
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Harris Lambrakis Quartet

Athens, Attica, Greece | SELF

Athens, Attica, Greece | SELF
Band World Jazz




"Interview with Harris Lambrakis"

1. How did you come up with this quartet?

Our quartet began after a long musical relationship with Nikos Sidirokastritis, Dimitris Theoharis and Alexandros Paraskeuvopoulos, a great musician who sadly is no longer living. Since then, we collaborated with many excellent bassists, such as Lydios Damis, Hrysostomos Mpoukalis and Giannis Papadopoulos. Now, we play with Dimitris Tsekouras, but due to other commitments for these 3 shows in Half Note we will play with Harris Mermigkas.

2. The ney is a musical instrument not very common but has a fantastic sound. Would you like to introduce us to it?

I actually think that the ney is becoming very popular in the last 20 years, not as much as the guitar or the piano of course, but very significant for Greek standards. There are many reasons for that but the main one is its sound and its history. It is an instrument that is being played for 4700 years in the eastern Mediterranean and in Persia, it is an instrument that can express the folk music as well as the religious music. And also it is a very simple instrument to build since its made of reed, a very common material. It also sounds very much like the human voice

3. How did you discover it, what made you love it and how did you start playing it?

It was a chance "discovery". I found it at the Musical High School in Pallini, and was taught by excellent teachers such as Marios Mavroidis, Theodora Varsou, Sylvia Koutrouli, Theodoro Tzola, Dimitris Antoniadis etc.

4. How do you combine the eastern sound of the ney with western jazz harmonies?

I am focused on our musical tradition and on modal jazz. I can’t overcome the tradition of the ney, a tradition still alive today in Turkey, Iran and the Arabic world. But we live in another area, with many similarities to these countries but many differences too culturally and socially. Each one of us in the quartet is facing reality every day, and from this battle we get our music as a band.

5. What qualities do you seek in a musician?

Honesty, concentration, willing for communication and the feeling of being a member of a team. I don’t look at the technical ability, or musical ideas, wittiness, or individuality

6. What are your future plans as a quartet or a solo artist?

We are recording our second album which hopefully will be released in the summer and we try to book concerts and festivals abroad.

Barbara Savvidi for el.culture.gr (28, Feb.2012) - El Culture.gr (February 2012)

"About Harris Lambrakis Quartet & the c.d. "Thea""

A c.d. that travels you in landscapes and to your interior history. Icons with bass, drums, piano and ney. Ney, a magic instrument in really good hands!

It’s a c.d. that you live through it ... for anyone who has the ability to understand ...

Kornilios Diamantopoulos
Jazz & Tzaz Magazine, 207, 2010
- Jazz & Jazz Music Magazine (March 2010)

"The best c.d's of the year"

"... Harris Lambrakis Quartet presented its excellent first cd. The use of the ney, under the light of the tradition it curries and with a purely jazz wind, breaks the stereotypes.

Harris Lambrakis Quartet has been a great ensample. I was totally impressed. See you soon again ... "

11/12/2010, Vaggelis Poulios
- Avopolis.gr (December 2010)

"Harris Lambrakis Quartet"

"...I was so happy to hear about Harris Lambrakis Quartet. Harris has been the totally inspired musician, the best ney player in Greece..." - Kuk.blogspot (May 2007)

"Greek Jazz Panorama"

How is it possible to play modal jazz and yet seem to be speaking in Eastern tongues? There’s only one answer to this question and the fundamental contradiction it contains: the music of the Harris Lambrakis Quartet.

Harris Lambrakis on ney, Nikos Sidirokastritis on drums, Dimitris Theocharis on piano and Dimitris Tsekouras on double bass .

The musicians in the Harris Lambrakis Quartet have notable solo careers in common, as well as shared musical roots in the modal jazz of the Sixties and Seventies, improvisation, and the traditional music of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Their debt to John Coltrane, Bill Evans and Western harmonies, rhythms and melodies is obvious, but the combo’s unique strength lies in its ability to sound like the most contemporary group on the Greek jazz scene while fusing disparate elements, roots and influences into a compact, new, creative sound which refuses to reveal its component parts.

In short, their music is a testament to the concept of pure creativity.

- Onassis Cultural Centre (December 2011)

"About Harris Lambrakis Quartet"

If I try to describe the music of the Harris Lambrakis Quartet, I think it is too restrictive to describetheit music as jazz or something else. Their music is the result of a creative coexistence and dialogue between the members of the group and this is obvious listening to their album or watching their concert. It is interesting to consider as one's starting point, the reason for all this, but if you let yourself to hear, you’ll find the beauty of their music beyond stylistic constraints.

Harry the unique ney player, sometimes uses the pieces that "carries" the body of the organ itself and sometimes engage in solo touching the parlance of jazz and free-jazz. He has a conversation with the drums of Nick Sidirokastritis characterized by sensitivity and precision in his playing and the piano of Dimitri (Theoharis) which supports lyricism and intensity of the quartet's improvisational journeys.

The music has itis extroverted moments and refers to the paths of the 60s and other moments are abstract, almost introspective, tender. The quartet plays free, "open" and has as a vehicle the improvisation, the pieces are reasons to develop their dialogue.

The search is not, for now at least, to the side of experimentation but in the cultivation of more and more communication between the musicians during playing".
- Tar Music Magazine (March 2010)


C.D. "Thea"
Self production and distribution

Airplay at the National Radio Station and Kosmos Radio:
"Gennaioi" & "Bouroundi"

They are about to release their second c.d., under the title "Meteora"
Distribution: Artway - Technotropon / Polytropon



Harris Lambrakis Quartet was founded in 2006 and consists of four leading Greek musicians such as Nikos Sidirokastritis (drums), Dimitris Theoharis (piano), Dimitris Tsekouras (double bass) and Harris Lambrakis (ney).

HLQ has performed in major jazz clubs, events and festivals in Greece and abroad such as Kalamata First Jazz Festival, Tinos First Jazz Festival, Zante First Jazz Festival, European Day of Music in Greece and Italy, Moni Lazariston (Thessaloniki), Onassis Cultural Centre (Greek Jazz Panorama), Half Note Jazz Club etc.

The Quartet’s main reference is free improvisation and modal jazz. Moreover, the musicians of the Quartet are inspired from such artists as John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Lakshmi Shankar, Andrei Tarkovsky and share musical roots in the musics of East Mediterranean, west modal jazz harmonies, as well as the rhythms and melodies of the 1960's and 1970's.

Their first cd entitled "Thea" (View) was released in 2010 and received acclaiming reviews. Their new c.d. is about to be released by the label Artway - Technotropon / Polytropon, under the title "Meteora".