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October 25, 2005

ANDREAS GEORGIOU Composer, Guitarist

Written by
cindy mcleod

Andreas Georgiou and Airto Moreira
*photo courtesy of Airto Moreira

Several years ago I ‘met’ composer/guitarist Andreas Georgiou through a dear friend when I was visiting Cyprus. Andreas and I spoke on the phone a number of times throughout my stay in that beautiful country of warm hearts, and have kept in touch by email ever since. He wrote me a lovely note yesterday from his home in Athens, which inspired me to write about him today.

A hero in his homeland, Andreas is one who went on to create a global profile in the jazz music genre as a master guitarist in the modern jazz idiom. He is one who never forgot his roots, returning regularly to his homeland to perform concerts, headlining this last spring at the Paradise Jazz Festival in Pafos, Cyprus.

Andreas Georgiou, composer and guitarist, was born in Famagusta, Cyprus, and began his musical journey at the age of ten, when he discovered his love for classical guitar and piano. These beginnings formed the foundation for a musical journey that has taken him from Classical through Byzantine, African to Indian music, and is now fused with his own textural, rhythmic and spiritual jazz voice.

His fascination with the traditional music of other cultures spurred him on to learn to play a number of traditional and percussion instruments, and he in turn blended the primitive with the modern to create a whole new sound. His passion for the poly-rhythm inspired him to design 13, 14, 15, 16 and 19 string acoustic guitars, and a fretless electric known for its “ethereal” quality created by layering the harmonics unique to the instrument.

Georgiou has a long list of composition credits for radio, theatre, and dance. He released his first CD, Yananda in 1987. This debut recording, picked up by jazz label Libra Records in Greece (whom he is still signed with), featured the great German bassist Eberhard Weber, spawning a life-long friendship and musical collaboration. He has since recorded six more projects under his own name, featuring such masters as percussionist Airto Moreira, drummer Reto Weber, pianist Rainer Bruninghaus, bassist Peter Bockius and Sabina Giannatou. Highly respected as a composer, his works have been recorded by Germany’s Weber, Salvadoran Virginia Rodrigues, and America’s Chris Smither, among many others.

In great demand as a sideman, he performs regularly with such jazz and world music projects as “Sansa Quartet”, “East-West Wind”, “Szabo Sandor Duo”, “Hermae”, “Embryo”, “Aeora”, “Trio Kutsukuta”, “Trias”, and “A European Story”.

Andreas resides outside of Athens, Greece, and has been teaching jazz improvisation and harmony at the Muncipal Conservatory of Patras since 1989. He continues to headline major jazz festivals and venues throughout Europe, UK, Russia, Japan, and Argentina.


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