Information About Jazz & tzaz Magazine

Jazz in Hellas is a new story. 
Allthough there were jazz inspired musicians  
and fans a long time ago, only during the last twenty years there's a strong 
jazz movement creating a local tradition that is worth mentioning.  
Jazz in Hellas , nowadays is taking an interesting ethnic 
path that is both creative and conventional, retaining an identity of its own. 
The real jazz story in Hellas begins in mid-seventies, after the fall of the  
military junta. In a strong cultural,social and musical background that included  
folk songs like rembetika (referred often as the greek blues), excellent folk  
musics from the mountains and islands and contemporary urban 
songs by top Greek songsters and composers like Manos Hadjidakis,  
Mikis Theodorakis or Dionyssis Savopoulos, it was difficult for a strange  
improvised type of music in the jazz tradition to become a status.  
But the very nature of the Hellenic folk music, that is also 
improvisational, opened the door to jazz in an easier way.  
The freedom of expression in jazz gave a way to experimentalist Greek  
musicians to open their horizons. A movement of both 
mainstream jazz and improvised music started and developed in Athens, 
Salonica and other cities around Hellas. The second half of the  
seventies was a period of exchanging ideas with 
a lot of visiting musicians from the United States and Europe. 
It was also a period that a Hellenic jazz discography and concert  
production started to develop. 
All took shape around the now legendary George Barakos Jazz Club in  
the ancient district of Plaka in Athens -a joint that now is history. Some  
Greek musicians, like pianist Sakis Papadimitriou and reed player 
Floros Floridis, are well known around the European scene,  
the former recording albums with Leo or Adda Records and the latter  
playing with prominent modern jazz musicians of the caliber of Cecil Taylor,  
Evan Parker, Peter Kowald a.o.With a quantity of about 20 jazz 
(and jazz related) records per year (made by independent or major 
companies), with a lot of young musicians and groups playing in a small number 
of jazz clubs,with artistic tendencies that cover a wide spectrum of tastes  
(from post-bop to avant garde, from rhythm and blues to acid jazz),  
the Hellenic Jazz Scene is searching for identity. 
It's a hard way, but it seems to find a route in the last years.  
The Hellenic jazz magazine Jazz & Tzaz is published monthly (and continously)  
from April 1993, covering a broad range of musics in a 
special jazz way. There is also the specialized radio station Jazz FM  
and from time to time articles are appearing in local newspapers and periodicals. 
The important thing about greek jazz is the opening to ethnic traditions,  
trying to make an interesting summary of Hellenic folk melodies in a jazzy background. 
That tendency is more profound in the case of improvising 
musicians than is in the case of straight jazzmen.  
This is a problem that will take some time to find an acceptable solution -but time  
is on our side!The presence of steady annual jazz festivals is a little problematic. 
Salonica International Jazz Festival and Patras International 
Festival are in a way of financial crisis -but everyone is hoping for the best!  
I mean, we are hoping for the best... 
George Charonitis 
Editor Jazz & Tzaz magazine 


Martini S. Pan. & Co. OE
46 Tsami Karatassou Str. Athens 117 42 Greece
tel.+30 2109238808 
fax.+30 2109241847 
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