Martha Mavroidi Trio
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Martha Mavroidi Trio

Berlin, Berlin, Germany | INDIE

Berlin, Berlin, Germany | INDIE
Band World Jazz

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Music

Press


Martha Mavroidi's first album -The Garden of Rila (2009)- was a record that seemed to spring fully-formed and fresh out of Martha's creativity, like Athena from Zeus' bonce. One of the best albums of the last decade, the seamless synthesis of her Greek music with adjoining Balkan and Anatolian had consistently strong and distinctive self-composed songs and arrangements, played by perfectly matched empathic musicians. Mavroidi's exceptional voice, lafta and saz playing then lifted it about as high as music gets. [...] Now working with jazz-inflected double bass and drums in a superb trio, her latest album "Portaki" is an ensemble work of pure pleasure: a rising Greek star. - fRoots magazine


“album of the year”
- Charlie Gilett's The Sound of the World


“...young and talented...” - www.avopolis.gr


“...a wonderful, sweet voice...” - Jazz&Tzaz


“... a triumph of sympathetic arrangement, gentle instrumentation and quiet confidence.”
- fRoots magazine


“...rare and beautiful voice...mesmerized the audience” - Bulgarski Glas


“...extraordinary voice...” - www.europeanjazz.net


...in the first rank of folk musicians from her native Greece… You could be in Athens, Istanbul, Sofia, Manhattan –but the truth is that, with Mavroidi, you are in all of them at once. - The Scotsman


Discography

"The garden of Rila" (2010, WE SAW Productions)

"Portaki" (2012, WE SAW Productions)

fRoots Radio compilation album (UK): The song "Rain" from "Portaki" album has been included in it
http://froots.podomatic.com/

BBC (London, UK): “A World in London” by Ian Anderson

fRoots Radio (UK): playlists for the months of July and August 2010

PBS-FM (Melbourne, Australia): “Global Village” by Roger Holdsworth

KDVS-FM (Davis, California, USA): “Crossing Continents” by Gil Medovoy

WOMM-LP The Radiator (Burlington,Vermont, USA): “World of Music” by Cheryl Willoughby

Photos

Bio

Martha grew up listening to folk music from around the world. Her father, Marios Mavroidis an ethnomusicologist and radio producer, introduced her to the music of the world's cultures, bringing home from his radio shows music records from Asia, Africa, the Balkans and the Middle East. She graduated from the Music High School of Athens where she specialized in Greek folk music, singing and playing various types of folk lutes. While still a student she developed an interest in the music of Turkey. She studied the saz with Periklis Papapetropoulos and attended seminars with Talip Ozkan. Later she focused on the lafta, the Greek and Turkish folk lute which became her main instrument.
She graduated from the Department of Music Studies of the University of Athens, and took her diploma in Byzantine Music with Ioannis Arvanitis. After the loss of her father, she edited his last book Musical modes in the Eastern Mediterranean that was published post-mortem. At the age of 23 she left Greece to pursue graduate studies in ethnomusicology in London at the School of Oriental and African Studies, where she found herself in a multicultural environment, interacting with musicians from different cultural backgrounds. In London she began her long-lasting relation with Bulgarian singing, studying over the years with some of Bulgaria's most renowned singers (Galina Durmushliiska, Tzvetanka Varimezova, Dessislava Stefanova). Her need to explore music beyond the boundaries of tradition led her to Amsterdam where she completed a Masters in Contemporary music at the Conservatorium of Amsterdam. She specialized in improvisation using non-western techniques in contemporary music contexts. There she began composing her own music, combining her folk music background with contemporary music trends. Her fascination with world music persisted, however, and she moved to California to continue her graduate studies in ethnomusicology at UCLA, specializing in the music of the Balkans. In Los Angeles she became a part of the vivid Balkan music scene, performing and recording as a singer and lafta player.
In 2005 she returned to Greece and started collaborating with some of Greece's most celebrated musicians in concerts and recordings (Savina Yannatou, Antonis Apergis, Kostas Theodorou, Himerinoi Kolimvites, Pantelis Thalassinos). At the same time she put together her own band, playing music from the Balkans and her own compositions. In 2008 she had built an electric lafta, which has become her signature instrument. On the electric lafta she has incorporated different techniques that she has mastered as a folk musician with elements of contemporary music, creating a unique style of performance. Her compositions also reflect the multiplicity of her musical influences, blending folk melodies with jazz harmony and improvisation. She has composed music for films (Princess' Taste, Tomorrow already, Pink River, The Guide), documentaries, dance and theater shows (M, Parrot, Tchehov and Olga, Guard Dog, Vacchai, Metapolitefsi). In 2011 she was chosen to participate in Berlinales Talent Campus, a series of intensive workshops for artists working in the film industry. She has composed and arranged music for vocal ensembles, and she runs a workshop on vocal polyphony at the Music Village. As a singer she combines the rich colors of Bulgarian singing, with the ornaments and the microtonal subtleties of Greek and Middle Eastern singing. Both her vocal qualities and her virtuosity on the lafta have been praised by critics and fellow musicians in the Balkan-jazz music scene.
In the beginning of 2010 she released her debut album The Garden of Rila at WE SAW Productions. The album received enthusiastic reviews in world music magazines and it has been aired on radio stations in the UK (BBC, froots radio), the USA (KDVS-FM, WOMM-LP), Canada (CBC/Radio-Canada), Australia (PBS-FM), Turkey (Acik Radyo) and Greece (ERA, Kosmos, Melodia). The track Ballada was included in fRoots compilation cd for the magazines issue of August/September 2011.
In November 2010 she formed the Martha Mavroidi Trio with Giorgos Ventouris on doublebass and Giannis Aggelopoulos on drums, and herself on electric lafta, saz and voice. The trio has performed in a number of venues and jazz festivals in Greece and Turkey. In January 2012 they released their new album Portaki at WE SAW Productions.