The music of Andeas Georgiou is placed in the framework of the so-called ethnic jazz implying a form of ethnic music which incorporates elements from the traditions of several musical cultures such as:

  • Melodic, harmonic and rhythmic features and often loans of unedited traditional melodies.
  • Traditional musical instruments. Georgiou has been experimenting extensively with the use of various traditional instruments in his own music such as, among others, the Greek tambura, the Cretan mantoura, the Cyprian pithkiavli, the Indian sitar and shahnay and the African sansa.
  • The different approach of the very act of a musical performance (i.e. the importance of the season of the year and the time of the day during which a raga should be played to the people of India).

    It is important to be stressed right from the outset that the use of the above elements is by no means binding. The objective pursued is not the precise production of the music patterns but the expansion of expressive potential and the enrichment of the final musical output.

    A distinctive feature of ethnic music is the freedom of use as regards the material that is summoned up. When traditional music is played in its authentic mode it is not ethnic music. It is instead the so-called world music.

    The ethnic approach on jazz dates back to the end of the 50s. The first substantial ethnic approach was the so-called bosa nova, a new Latin American rhythm created by Joao Gilberto The success of the "'Orfeu negro" film, which was released in the 50s, contributed to the popularity and the dissemination of this rhythm as well as of the Latin American music in general. In the same year, Gilberto released the epic album "Chega de sausade" introducing bosa nova, a new kind of more relaxed samba combined with lush jazz harmonies.

    This new rhythm had soon a major impact. However, it is most important the fact that this turn toward Brazil's music signalled the beginning of the study of other musical cultures such as Africa's and India's which eventually had a considerable influence to the western world.

    All the above had a significant impact on Georgiou's music, too. His collaboration with Airto Moreira , the leading Brazilian percussionist, is most crucial. Africa is echoed in many of his compositions as it is often evidenced by the titles of his works. Andreas has been definitively influenced by India's cosmic approach to the origin of the universe.

    Nevertheless, if the ethnic approach to music is characterized by the tendency for experimentation, this tendency in Georgiou's music is not limited only by the traditional ethnic aesthetics but it expands to encompassing many other elements. His experimentation with various instruments, which is generated by the need for the expansion of the expressive potential of his music, is distinctive.

    As already said, Georgiou uses to this purpose various traditional instruments. Yet, the most important one was the construction of a guitar which he invented.

    In his own words: "Almost from the beginning of my career, in 1980, I had set certain goals. As a result in 1982 I invented my own 16-string guitar. This guitar did not exist anywhere until that time. I had contemplated on how I should apply certain harmonic systems as well as produce multiple rhythms at the same time so that the guitar could assume a different identity [...] It's just a different instrument which in fact I had been studying for many years [...] Still new questions were raised again and again such as: what could be the configuration or the arrangement of the strings so to speak. Thus I experimented with different tunings".

    Georgiou's tendency for exploring different music capabilities finds a wider expression in the sector of orchestration whereas his relevant musical pursuits have been developing from album to album.

    In conclusion, his music is characterised by the harmonious co-existence of influences from different worlds (each one of which he explores in its entirety):
  • From jazz with its intensive rhythms and the ingenious improvisation which is based on the utilization of any musical element.
  • From traditional music.
  • From classical European music, where his music is rooted, as it is often the case in contemporary jazz. His studies include also Byzantine music, which is a form of eastern classical music, an element that is easily detected in his work.

    In general, Georgiou's music relies primarily on the rhythmic element insomuch that it calls to mind rather the traditional jazz although it's sound is quite different.

    His compositions, which are dominated by the melodic element, are fewer. Their inner strength though is far greater. Their essential asset is the use of simple melodies which render greater immediacy. Besides, artistic creation aims at approaching simplicity which characterises whatever is beautiful.



Although Andreas Georgiou's performance drifts from acoustic guitars (of 15 or 16 strings) to the electric guitar, from solo to the small ensemble as well as the free-traditional jazz mix of the 80s (including the dual aspect of the jazz of this period) he seems to disregard this transition. The process he follows is characterized especially by his sense of listening, dialogue and a tendency to search for (and find) a natural ecology of sounds.



[...] This is the case of Andreas Georgiou, who has marvelously depicted this primeval music which diffuses its resonances in various cultures of the Old World.
Andreas, using different guitars (acoustic and electric) along with the Indian sitar, the shahnay, the African mbira, marimbula and various percussion instruments, dives into the roots of the Greek modes in a rhythmic pulse which echoes dances of millennia.
Andreas returns with unction and merriment to this territory which from the Aegean Sea was launched to the entire world a music system that was enriched in the course of centuries. It's a ceaseless back and forth, a miraculous journey guided only by the hand of the chosen.
Mar del Jazz seems to find in this group of the protagonists its reason of existence.

Rene Vargas Vera


CD Reviews


Andreas Georgiou


Available from CD Baby.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

I've noted Andreas Georgiou's CD background here, here, and here, so this time I'll jump straight into the virtues of this disc, which ushers back Eberhard Weber and inducts Airto Moreira and Savina Yiannatou, also luminaries in the chamber jazz / ECM worlds (Moreira possessing an even longer history, a years-past alum of the illustrious CTI label and a very in-demand percussionist). The disc is of a piece with everything else Georgiou has done, and not a single cut in any of his many releases veers one inch from the highest standards.

Where Paul McCandless appeared with his sax on Jua Ni Juu, Harris Lamprakis plays the caval, a flute, here on two cuts redoubling very strong Grecian, Mediterranean, and even Arabic airs. Yiannatou dubs in her angelic melismas, and Moreira is as lush and ingenious as he's ever been. Georgiou has a way of bringing that out even in already hallowed stalwarts, his compositions and shimmering guitar playing re-mounting a drive to perfection that has been sadly decaying in much of the music world in toto in the last couple decades.

Relying mainly on his beloved 15- and 16-string axes, he also pulls in a standard classical guitar and plies it in several spots. While I've referred to the many more other well-known moderns he sits well with, I should also mention that his inventions are kindred to Michael Hedges' ground-breaking work and sit beautifully with the CandyRat label boys, lads and gents who are breaking the ground for the guitar's next milieu. Ah, but there's one more, a long-forgotten ace: Alain Markusfeld, who issued only a few European LPs and, if memory serves correctly, sat in here and there and then disappeared after fusing the old and new in ways that were then (late 70s & early 80s) not widely accepted. The guy was an unorthodox virtuoso and so is Georgiou.

Weber gets some great solos, Georgiou plays like a demon, and Yiannatou is extremely pleasant, but Moreira almost steals the show. His work in Rainforest is incredible but the rest of the showcase spots him just as impressively. The guitarist couldn't have chosen a more suitable accompanist, and one can only hope that future works will bring Airto back again.

Track List:

  • Nea Selini (3:53)
  • Dhoro Exagnismou (3:23)
  • Let the Spirit Flower (7:00)
  • Rainforest (10:54)
  • Anthos Porfiron (2:46)
  • ISA (10:30)
  • Asate (8:37)
  • Sukuma Twende (4:50)
All songs written and orchestrated by Andreas Georgiou.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society. This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

Jua Ni Juu

Andreas Georgiou

CON 1087

Available from CD Baby.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker


For a bit of commentary on Andreas Georgiou's wherewithal, refer to the review of Modus Vivendi (here), a release concentrating heavily on his gifts as a guitarist. This release, Jua Ni Juu, reveals his facility in ensemble work with fellow masters Eberhard Weber and Paul McCandless. Weber is responsible for one of the landmarks of chamber jazz, the incomparable Colors of Chloes on the pristine ECM label, and McCandless was a founding member of the seminal world music group Oregon, another ECM staple. If its not already obvious, the point is that once you've made it to the estimable Editions of Contemporary Music, there's nowhere else to go, you've reached the top, and, to be honest, this disc is worthy of immediate induction into that nirvana.

Jua Ni Juu vividly recalls the wild, woolly, heady days of Manfred Eicher's earliest masterpieces, the times when Keith Jarrett, Ralph Towner, John Abercrombie, Jan Garbarek, Terje Rypdal, and a panoply of others were busy fusing the folk, classical, jazz, and progressive genres into a new music form. Jua is musically literate in the stratospheric sense and can't help but evoke a step backwards to when the barriers-breaking spirit of the 60s and 70s still infected the arts, a time when quality and intelligence were hallmarks, not coincidences. Georgiou's guitar work here is fulsome and atmospheric while McCandless turns in one of his most arresting performances outside Oregon, Weber accompanying both with a melodically equal-tempered bass demonstration.

Mark Walker turns in an infinitely engaging session on drums and percussion, a combination of Jack DeJohnette, Jon Christensen, and Jeff Williams (Dave Liebman's old sticksman) in a rare example of exactly why drums shouldn't be merely the metronomic adjunct of an ensemble—in the hands of a visionary, they partner equally in the musical conversation. What's most surprising, though, is Georgiou's turn to the electric guitar in the middle of Jua a Furaha, a rock-fundamented solo that finds its closest contemporary in the Sky releases (featuring John Williams and Kevin Peek) as it welds Fripp with Santana and Abercrombie.

The four cuts here are orgies of artistic imagination and Renaissance entablature, long tapestries of old and new country vistas, spirited pastorales acting like opium dreams for the listener fortunate enough to run across them. If you've been longing for the good old days when you could hardly wait for the next ECM release, the age when the label wasn't enmeshed in weird business contretemps and screwed by pelican-brained imbeciles among the functionaries, then that longing is now fulfilled, here, in this and the many other CDs being issued by Andreas Georgiou.

Track List:

  • Kua Ni Juu (10:53)
  • Jua a Furaha (9:56)
  • Jua Ni Kuchwa (9:17)
  • Shauri Yia Mungi (21:39)
All songs written by Andreas Georgiou.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society. This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.


Modus Vivendi

Andreas Georgiou

CON 1089

No online source found for this 1994 release

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker


Though virtually unknown on these shores, Andreas Georgiou is a master guitarist who has—through not only unorthodox and innovative approaches but also deeply traditional reverences to the instrument—managed to attract some of the cream of the European chamber jazz establishment to his recordings, particularly Eberhard Weber, Paul McCandless, and Savina Yannatou, though they don't appear here. Even just the briefest listen to this CD illustrates why, however, they readily flock to his work.

Georgiou plays 15 and 16-string guitars (as well as a standard electric), instruments sporting a fretboard wider than most men's forearms and, thus, not always the easiest axe to grapple, though he makes it seem as though such were childplay, his fingers disporting themselves a la Ralph Towner, Egberto Gismonti, Alain Markusfeld, or any of the most accomplished fretsmen. To listen to Georgiou's work is to understand the wider implications of the possibilities of the instrument. Modus Vivendi is basically a solo performance augmented occasionally by Dimitris Karaganis' flute and sax, but, hearing Karaganis, it's evident why the guitarist would then attract McCandless: only the most conceptually adept could possibly work in tandem with him.

More arrestingly, the entire CD was recorded live in straight takes with no overdubs, the equivalent of older documents from LP audiophile labels that presented immaculately recorded two-track of-the-moment events breathtaking for their vivacity and freshness. Modus Vivendi indexes perfectly with those. At no point in the entire recital are his powers less than extremely impressive. Even the simplest passages ring with nuance and authority while the complex runs and chordings are luxurious and mesmerizing. This CD, and every single release by Georgiou, is an immersion in modern classical structuring and post-classicalist thought and exposition…nonetheless clearly retaining the timelessness of long bygone days.

Track List:

  • Gyula's Systea (5:17)
  • Modus Vivendi (12:29)
  • Nostalgia (6:33)
  • Pragmatism (4:32)
  • Sunshine (6:54)
  • Andro's Systema (5:17)
  • Stile me Mana sto Nero (3:17)
  • Painters II (2:48)
  • Space-Time Continuum (5:28)
All songs written by Andreas Georgiou except Stile me Mana sto Nero (traditional. arr. by Georgiou).

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society. This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.


Andreas Georgiou

LM 016-2

Available from Trehantiri Music.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker



I'm running out of adjectives and adverbs to adequately encompass Andreas Georgiou's blindingly brilliant work. Having run through the marvelous Jua Ni Juu, Asate, and Modus Vivendi, Vananda now makes its way to the fore and features not just the usual stellar sessioneers but also the Yeravan Symphonic Orchestra. Does this guy never stop topping himself?!?!

A strong side attraction here is Floros Floridas' spectacular but unfortunately brief sax work on two cuts, especially Constantia, a direct correlate to Paul McCandless' legendary prowess and, to my ears, infused with an outside edge not unlike Steve Lacy's (whom I strongly suspect McCandless also found inspiration in). Eberhart Weber's back, thank goodness, as his colorations are inimitably complementary to Georgiou's playing and composing, as is Savina Yiannatou with her gently vaulting wordless vocals. Pianist Kora Michaelian joins in on a pair of tracks to add a ghostly dimension in tonal / atonal tinklings and ornamentation.

Three cuts here harken back to Modus Vivendi, two duets with Weber and a solo from the bassist. Gathering sounds akin to Alex Skolnik and Stanley Clarke popping, pinging, and pizzicato'ing their nimble fingers off, then Georgiou switches to a highly abstract Ralph Towner mode and Weber keeps the burbling skittering bass pyrotechnics going. For over 15 minutes, they keep up an interplay that's terrifyingly agile and as beautifully chaotic as Picasso's Guernica until settling into a long tranquil mid-section that's a cornucopia of stylistic improv.

Lament, at the close of the disc, is another duet, this time arising from a spectral landscape eerily similar to some of Towner's Solstice work, a chiaroscuro of Penderecki-esque creepiness and poltergeists. The guitar sounds like a bass, and the bass becomes an unsettling creature far off in the dark. Somehow the two also manage to convert their axes (5-string electric bass, fretless electric guitar) to a shenai and tanpura! Don't ask me how. Bowing? I couldn't say but it's unreal, absolutely amazing. Once again, Georgiou is singlehandedly resurrecting the high period of ECM, and if that alone isn't reason to check into his work, then I'm completely stumped as to what it will take.

Track List:

  • Constantia (Composer: Georgiou / Orchestrator: Georgiou) (6:37)
  • Vananda (Composer: Georgiou / Orchestrator: Kora Michaelian) (3:52)
  • Gathering (Georgiou / Weber) (15:32)
  • Knowledge (Composer: Georgiou / Orchestrator: Georgiou) (1:50)
  • Afro (Composer: Georgiou / Orchestrator: Georgiou / Michaelian) (12:47)
  • Crossing the Nile (Composer: Georgiou / Orchestrator: Michaelian) (2:59)
  • Lament (Andreas Georgiou) (17:30)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society. This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.