Quest" and "Radio Art - Greece" featured artist and co-winner
of the "Dig Your Roots - Creative Jazz" cross-Canada project,
Canadian Jazz Guitarist/Oudist George Koufogiannakis has been performing,
producing, and touring for more than 30 years and has appeared on dozens
of recordings. He is a graduate of both the Grant MacEwan and St. Francis
Xavier University Jazz Music programs, and also holds a B.Ed. Degree
from Dalhousie University. George has recently returned to Canada, after
some time abroad in the United Kingdom, where he completed his Masters
of Music Degree in Jazz Performance from Leeds College of Music, University
of Leeds. [One
Page Printable Press-Kit Bio]
Art - Greece]
- a world inspired music ensemble
that fuses together the depth and exploration of Modern Jazz
with the energy, playfulness, and strong rhythmic foundation
of Traditional World genres.
more info, visit us on the web at:
EPK - click here
on morning Global TV
World Jazz - YEG
soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, harmonium, electronics,
melodica, oud, Greek bouzouki, guitar, synth guitar, fretless
guitar, banjo, fretless and fretted basses, cajon, djembe,
tabla, bongos, electronic percussion, frame drums.
Album of the Year" -
Edmonton Music Awards
Recording of the Year" -
Western Canadian Music Awards
Audio Samples - click here
- Two Line Pass (4:01)
2 - He Who Buys Land (4:08)
3 - Miss Melody (6:23)
4 - Ha'oup (4:43)
5 - Music Takes Flight (5:32)
6 - Djun Djun (7:03)
7 - Fractals (1:38)
8 - Finnugreek (4:45)
9 - Summer (4:21)
10 - Autumn (3:11)
11 - Winter (3:35)
12 - Spring (4:43)
13 - YEG (4:18)
four contributed compositions to the 13 tracks on d'Cana's
debut disc Earthtone, drawing on inspirations from some of
the players' own ethnic roots (Koufogiannakis's Greek heritage,
Porkka's Finnish ties) to a common grounding in jazz training
and improvisation. But that only hints at the influences on
display from Vivaldi to Rush, from African and Latin grooves
to Bill Frisell. The result is really an amazing, uplifting
global music soup." - Roger Levesque (Edmonton Journal)
Greek Oud Jazz:
a mix of Modern Jazz and Greek Traditional Music from and
inspired by the Island of Crete.
Western Canadian Music Awards nomination, "World Recording
of the Year": WCMA
for Jazz Album of the Year at the 9th Annual Independent
Music Awards: IMA
Canadian Folk Music Awards nominee, "World Solo Artist
of the Year"
News stories: CityTV
George Koufogiannakis - oud, guitar, bouzouki / Dan
Skakun - drums / Thom
Golub - acoustic bass
Special Guests: Charlie
Austin (retired Head of Keyboard Studies, GMCC) - piano
& organ / Jeremiah
McDade (JUNO & Canadian Folk Music Award winning multi-instrumentalist)
- saxophones & violin / Joel
Gray - trumpet / Terry
McDade - harp / Jessica Rogers - flute / Kevin
Parkinson - hand percussion / The Cosmopolitan
Music Society Monday Night Band
by: George Koufogiannakis & Terry McDade / Engineered,
Mixed, & Mastered by: Cam Ambrose at Braindead
Digital Studios / Graphic Design by: Jason
Grilo at Primal
Tribe / Special Thanks to the Alberta
Foundation for the Arts for their support in the making
of this project.
wish I were Greek, and not only because I have a thing for
spanakopita. With Generations - Greek Oud Jazz, George
Koufogiannakis makes me wish I'd grown up with the music he's
absorbed from the old country. Koufogiannakis has his feet
firmly planted in Greek tradition... This album isn't straight-up
world music, however: Koufogiannakis adds kick to some of
the tracks with his own jazz signature. The result is like
mixing Red Bull with your ouzo: extra energy and an added
kick of flavour... Tasty." - Jen Hoyer (SEE
Koufogiannakis' World Exploration with Charlie Austin, Thom
Golub & Dan Skakun was brilliant... fabulous playing,
real fusion - no song was as you thought it'd be... great
vibe, wonderful show" - Kirby (Ramparts
Entertainment) at the 2010 Edmonton International Jazz
keyword is good taste without compromise. George K. is not
merely juxtaposing traditional and modern themes and rhythms,
his arrangements rise beyond a colorful kaleidoscope of eclectic
sonorities to achieve inclusiveness, a new compositional structure
that merges together the essence of Greek dances and the spontaneity
of jazz orchestrations. There is a flavor of infused Eastern
musical spirituality flowing, which gives the music a distinctive
dimension." - JazzWorldQuest.com
unusual, heart-warming and virtuosic, George Koufogiannakis'
new album "Generations" will take you on a fast
World/Jazz train from Athens to New York!" - Terry
Your Roots - Creative Jazz
latest release from the "Dig Your Roots" project,
featuring a mix of Canadian independent artists from across
the country exploring the more creative side of jazz and improvised
music. "Dig Your Roots" is a production of The
National Campus and Community Radio Association and is
sponsored by Corus
Entertainment and Canada
Council for the Arts. This Creative Jazz Compilation CD
marks the 6th release in the "Dig Your Roots" catalog.
Past projects include: Hip Hop, Spoken Word, Electronic Dance,
Roots, and Aboriginal. It is an honour to be a part of this
amazing project with such a talented and accomplished group
of artists. Cheers to Melissa Kaestner and everyone at "Dig
Your Roots" for their great work! "Creative
Jazz/Yo, Mo' D." - Review
Koufogiannakis - Explorations in Improvised Music
internationally influenced, energetic, and playful approach
to improvised jazz music featuring some of the most talented
and creative improvising musicians from across the U.K.
and Canada. - Featuring: George
K... - gtr, soprano sax, & slide whistle/ Richard
Skilbeck - tpt & flugelhorn/ Darren
McCarthy - acoustic bass/ David
Cottrell - drms/ With Special Guests: C.
Andrew - piano/ J.
Dubyk - ten & alto sax/ R. Ceilin & L. Creswell
- bass/ R. Thompson - keys/ Tinok - vocals, keys, &
turntables/ M. Scholz & J.
Grilo - drms/ R.
Cardinal - sound design/ produced by George K... with
assistant production by C.
Ambrose Edmonton Journal
Roger Levesque Article
name of the CD 'Explorations in Improvised Music' captures
the essence of this adventurous yet well structured performance
combining the sparkling creativity of a group of fine Canadian
and British musicians... An album full of energy to the
delight of modern jazz lovers." - JazzWorldQuest.com
MacEwan College - Coming Home
- a compilation featuring MacEwan Music alumni and faculty. Produced
by Marcel Hamel
very eclectic collection of recordings features such artists as
Rud, and The
Corb Lund Band. It also features an enhanced portion to learn
more about the artists and their music.
Big Breakfast Boogie Band
Tyler - voc / Stephen Antle - voc / Joel Gray - tpt / Don Berner
- sax / Andrew Latonni - tbn / Rob Thompson - keys / George K...
- gtr / Don Marcotte - bass / Mark Scholz - drms / produced by George
collection of Soul, Jazz, Swing, & Blues from one of Edmonton's
most entertaining, creative, & in-demand ensembles.
Groove Quartet - Live from Cam's Kitchen
Tyler - voc / Rob Thompson - organ & keys / George K... -
gtr / Mark Scholz - drms / produced by George K...
cool collection of Soul, Gospel, & Jazz in the tradition of
the organ quartets of the 60's.
Craft - Degrees of Freedom
Withnell - voc / Joel Gray - tpt / Aaron Keyes - tpt / Jerrold Dubyk
- tenor sax / Ken Hoffman - bari sax / Rob Thompson - keys / George
K... - gtr / Ron Ceilin - bass / Ryan Vikedal (Nickelback) - drms
/ produced by The Craft - This Edmonton ensemble was engineered
to produce that phat, funky Tower of Power sound. This debut release
showcases that power as well as their strong composition, arranging,
and production talents.
Fogden- For Good Reasons
Fogden - voc / Kim Brophy - tpt & keys / Jim Olson - bass /
Kelly Brophy - sax / Jarret Brophy - sax / Tomas Brabec - sequencing
/ George K... - guest gtr / produced by Dumage for Octavo Productions
was a pleasure working with such a great group of people on this
rich, eclectic, roots recording.
303 - Trip To Temple
Holterhus - voc & gtr / Dean Park - voc & gtr / Cam Ambrose
- keys / Michael Ricketts - bass / Todd Chisholm - drms / produced
by Cam Ambrose & Exit 303
had worked with these fellows in a few different ensembles prior
to this recording. I was thrilled to guest on their Exit 303 debut
release. Their great songwriting skills and crazy live shows have
brought exit 303 to the attention of audiences and radio and record
executives alike. Check out their new release, "Into the Circle".
Hamilton - Under Christ (1996)
by Dan Bagan
young gospel side of this Canadian Idol Finalist. It was such a
great experience having the opportunity to work with Tyler. His
huge wealth of talent was evident, even in his earlier years.
& Witchcraft - Hardcore Grooves
& Sprock - voc, beats & scratchin', 8 Hz,low frequency decoding,
rhymes, kick / Waxxx O'Williams - cut creator, low frequency oscilator
/ Stephanie Suchy, L.s.H, Heidi Brandley, Louise Dawson - voc /
George K... - gtr / Ron Ceilin - bass... / produced by Tinok &
of the most unusual sessions I've ever been on, but the results
are amazing. A very cool disc.
Picks - Power 92 Radio Compilation
original Rock Band I was working with in 1996 called "4 Degrees
K" won the chance to appear on this radio station compilation
CD. The disc also included the local acts C4 & The Jupiter Crash,
Kelen, Picasso's Life, State of Affairs, and The Next Big Thing.
Produced by Greg Kavanagh.
Staples Quartet - Eastern Passage
Goodspeed - woodwinds / Dave Staples - piano / Jamie Gatti - bass
/ Tom Roach - drums / with guest appearances by John Cuming - tpt
& flugel / Jeff Reilly - bass clarinet / George K... - gtr /
produced by Jeff Reilly
the "Best Jazz Recording" honours at the 1996 East Coast
Music Awards. This is one of my favourite projects I've had the
pleasure to be a part of. My hat is off to Jeff and Dave for creating
such a wonderful recording.
also had the good fortune to have performed with a number of other ensembles
over the years including the Edmonton
Symphony Orchestra, the Garth
Prince Band, Middle Eastern and North African Music Ensemble (MENAME),
the River City
Big Band, Edmonton Creative Musicians' Collective (ECMC), the LCM Cuban
Ensemble and the LCM Swing Band, Jeff
Hendrick and the New York Groove, CO2, The Rock Island Blues Band, Moment's
Notice, the Dalhousie Univ. Jazz Band, Queen's Univ. Big Band, the St. FX
Univ. Jazz Ensemble, the Grant MacEwan College "A" Big Band /
Guitar Band / & Trombone Band, Trembita, 4 Degrees K, Risky Business,
Guide to the Dictionary, as well as a number of theatre companies across
AOB Rock Album - NOW and THEN
release features a compilation of some of the best Rock Bands and
Artists from the AOB student body, spanning the last 10 years.
Planet - The Hip Class
Jr. High School CD, including Concert Bands, Jazz Bands, Choir,
and School Rock Bands. It was a huge hit.
High School CD, the sequel. The kids did a great job handling the
studio once again.
O'Brien School - Diggin' on Soul
High School CD. Includes a multimedia component featuring the Music,
Drama, and Art departments. Was released to rave media reviews.
extremely talented group of young players who show a great sense
of form and direction in their compositions.
Breakfast Boogie Band
you can get into the studio with such a great group of musicians
as this lot, you know something special is going to happen.
Love To Forfeit
fantastic new band on the Edmonton music scene. This recording showcases
their wonderfully contagious energy and strong sense of awareness
of the world around them.
also composed and produced the music for a television comedy
special called "Mark and Steve: Media Pass", which
aired in 2001 on the Comedy Network - starring Mark Scholz
and Stephen Antle. A great project put together by two of
the hardest working people in television.
- Released Blessed Kateri Jr. High School Music Department
CDs, "B.K.'s Planet - The Hip Class" & "B.K.
- "Alberta Excellence in Teaching Award" Finalist.
- AOB Jr. Brass Ens. named Finalists in the National CBC
Hockey Night in Canada Theme Song Performance Contest.
- Released Austin O'Brien High School Music Department CD,
"Diggin' On Soul Food".
- Student awarded the honour of "Edmonton Symphony
Orchestra Young Composer in Residence".
- Nominated a second time for the "Alberta Excellence
in Teaching Award".
- The Austin O'Brien High School Concert Ensemble and Senior
Jazz Band both finish in 1st place in their category at
the Anaheim Heritage Music Festival Competition, in California.
- Featured CTV Interview Click
- Released AOB Rock Compilation CD, "NOW and THEN -
The AOB Rock Album". Sandra
Sperounes Journal Article. / Joelle
Tomek Examiner Article.
- The Austin O'Brien High School Concert Ensemble receives
the Gold Medal Superior Standing at the Orlando Heritage
Music Festival Competition, in Florida. Brian
Swane Examiner Article.
- Arranged and Conducted the accompanying music for the
featured traditional Ukrainian Dance program with the ECS
Senior All-City Concert Band at the district-wide Celebration
of the Arts performance.
- Nomination by colleagues, students, and band-parents for
the "Alberta Excellence in Teaching Award".
- Co-conducted the Edmonton Catholic Schools All-Star Jazz
of our Ska Performance.
- Released Austin O'Brien High School Fine Arts Department
CD, "AOB - PLAY ART LOUD".
- The AOB "Zombie Prom" Pit Band nominated for
"Outstanding Orchestra" at the 2011 CAPPIES AWARDS.
- Conducting the AOB Concert Ensemble Live at the Winspear
Centre - Videos: Hallelujah
- Marks the 7th straight year the AOB Senior Class has written
and recorded their own original Graduation Song. (Video)
- The AOB Sr. Jazz Band achieves the highest Gold Excellence
rating at the 2013 MusicFest Canada National Competition.
- The AOB Pit Band nominated for "Creativity"
(Original Music) at the 2013 & 2014 Cappies Awards.
- The AOB CORAM BOY CHAMBER ENSEMBLE Pit Band wins the CAPPIES
AWARD for Most Outstanding Orchestra.
- AOB music student Marc S. awarded the honour of "Edmonton
Symphony Orchestra Young Composer in Residence".
- AOB's 12th straight year of an original Gr. 12 Graduation
Song. Given a featured performance, 2015, at the Winspear
Centre as a tribute to all Gr. 12 Graduates for the entire
school district. (Excerpts
from 2015's composition) / (2017
- The AOB Pit Band nominated for "Most Outstanding
Orchestra" at the 2017 CAPPIES AWARDS.
- AOB Sr. Jazz featured performance for the Heart of Glee
Stollery Children's Hospital Fundraiser (Live
- The following are a
collection of some of the artists and their works that have had an influence
on me over the years.
- Bill Evans & Jim Hall
Hall LIVE! (1975) - Jim Hall
Sister -The Brand New Heavies
People - Miles Davis
- Lyle Lovett
Backyard - Mose Allison
Want Miles - Miles Davis
- Lina Allemano Four
Uptown - George Benson Quartet
Abercrombie/Marc Johnson/Peter Erskine Live (1988)
at Formerly's - Jack Semple
the Breaks...Live! - Stan Rogers
Live - Leonard Cohen
at the Sands with Count Basie
Metal Be-Bop - Brecker Brothers
Miracle Cure - Buddy Wasisname & the Other Fellers
Blue Impressions - John Coltrane
of Me (Steve Martin)
to Be... You and Me
of the Lost Ark
Wee's Big Adventure
Kid's Are Alright
Logo - Naomi Klein
Standing Up - Steve Martin
of Pi - Yann Martel
Tourist's Guide To Glengarry - Ian McGillis
and Crake - Margaret Atwood
Through Slaughter - Michael Ondaatje
Thanatos Syndrome - Walker Percy
Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
of Lawino/Song of Ocol - Okot p'Bitek
Dot & the Line - Norton Juster
Brief History of Time - Stephen W. Hawking
Day - Dr. Seuss & Jack Prelutsky
Society - Ivan Illich
White Men: and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation!
- Michael Moore
the Greek - Nikos Kazantzakis
Links to some more of the most talented and innovative young jazz
musicians, from across Canada and abroad, that I have come across
over the years:
Gallery - Click on image to enlarge:
Argaleios - Generations - Greek Oud Jazz, written
by the Great Master of Cretan music, Kostas Mountakis (1926-1991) who
went on to influence a generation of Lyre players and all island musicians
with his passionate compositions, performances, and philosophies about
the emotional inspiration and connection to cultural music. Arranged
by G. Koufogiannakis.
on a Train - Generations - Greek Oud Jazz, written
& arranged by G. Koufogiannakis.
Blues - Generations - Greek Oud Jazz, written &
arranged by G. Koufogiannakis - This piece was written for a fantastic
drummer I had worked with in England named Dave Cottrell, who has an
amazing ability to navigate through unusual shots and time/feel changes.
Mo' D. - Explorations
in Improvised Music, written
& arranged by G. Koufogiannakis. This piece was inspired by Didrik
Ingvaldsen and Petter Frost Fadnes. May they continue to open our eyes
and ears to new and exciting possibilities in Improvised Music.
Up - Remix - Explorations
in Improvised Music, written
& arranged by G. Koufogiannakis. I wrote this piece around a back-cycling
symmetrical dominant approach to a 12 bar blues. It was inspired by
a great guitar player, Jim Head, who has a knack of being able to weave
a line effortlessly through a forest of related & unrelated changes.
Dots... (abridged) - Solo Guitar.
- Jazz Fest excerpt - Explorations in Mediterranean Jazz.
Weep for Me - Vocal / Guitar Duet with Louise Dawson-MacLean.
Ya Baladi - Jazz Fest excerpt - Explorations in Mediterranean
GR-20 Guitar Synth Blues - Berner Bros. Play The Brecker
All content copyright © George