Dimitri Vassilakis Biography highlights:
“An internationally acclaimed, award winning Greek saxophonist, vocalist, researcher, educator and composer”
Has recorded 5 albums for historic jazz label Candid Records.
Awarded album of the month from BBC Music magazine and 2nd jazz album of the year from the BBC for "Labyrinth". This album has become the subject of study at several universities and has been presented at Yale University and at musicological conferences.
"Parallel Lines" album has received great critical acclaim, a trio suite with Jeff "Tain" Watts and Essiet Essiet dedicated to Sonny Rollins.
"Across The Universe" included songs from the Beatles, Nina Simone, Doors songbook, with an international line up from all continents, and has produced 2 years of world touring and some of the best reviews.
Read recent discography tribute at Downbeat:
Recent Jazz Times interview:
Presenting “Jazz Democracy” @ The London Jazz Festival 2015
Has played and recorded with jazz greats like: David Liebman, Jeff «Tain» Watts, Abdullah Ibrahim, Ralph Peterson, Marc Johnson, Essiet Essiet, Dave Kikoski, Dan Wall, Ron Affif, Andy Sheppard, Theodosii Spassov, Milcho Leviev, Adam Nussbaum, Benito Gonzalez, Jamie Cullum, Deborah Davis, Juliet Kelly, Mina Agossi.
Has appeared at New York clubs Birdland, Lincoln Center Dizzy' s, Zinc, Smalls, Kitano, Jazz Showcase Chicago and major festivals worldwide such as London Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scott's, Smithsonian Festival DC at the American History Museum. Has appeared for 2 Greek presidents and USA ex-president Bill Clinton during his official visit and dinner.
Read 2012 east coast USA tour:
Has collaborated for many of his educational and concert projects with the Onassis Foundation, Niarchos Foundation, The British Council, The American Embassy and the Hellenic Foundation For Culture, Hellenic Ministry Of Culture, Hellenic Ministry Of Foreign Affairs.
Other programs included Delphic games, Herodion, Lycabettus for the Athens festival,
Playing and producing programs at Dizzy' s and Jazz at The Lincoln Center, with the aid of the Onassis Foundation and artist residencies at New York Chicago and Atlanta Colleges and Universities.
Jazz at Lincoln Center Dizzy' s Club 2013
Zinc Bar New York April 2016
Branding with Bentley for festivals and concerts worldwide, producing a jazz compilation "Jazz for Bentley" to celebrate Candid Records 50th anniversary:
"Jazz democracy" @ TEDx Athens
A talk/concept/presentation by Dimitri Vassilakis to showcase how jazz - this great American art form - has become global and has embraced the broad democratic values that were first established in ancient Greece. Also how jazz as a universal language can teach us again how to develop dialogue in equal terms, communicate in a more humane, democratic and creative way.
Previous TEDx talks about "Jazz Democracy" @ TEDx Tokyo:
TEDx Tokyo 2103
TEDx Tokyo jam session 2013
Presenter of “jazz democracy” for AITION TV
Since 2015 organizer and artistic director of Mirabello Jazz Festival (Crete) and Rhodes Jazz Festival, plus special researcher at Georgia Institute Of Technology Atlanta USA for jazz and artificial intelligence/robotics.
2017 Ambassador for Famous Grouse «Famous For A Reason» campaign.
Συνέντευξη στο Πρώτο Θέμα:
“Infinite grace poetry and passion”
“Greek saxophone prodigy Dimitri Vassilakis is revered as the Hellenic god of post-modern expression. A rhapsodic stylist of immense power and authority.”
BBC Music Magazine (labyrinth – album of the month)
“Leader Vassilakis’ compositions offer a perfect platform for post-modern expression…whiz-kid tenor player from Greece…his style is the post-Coltrane, post-Rollins style…high-energy and immensely fluid.’’
New York Press (labyrinth Live at Birdland, June 2001)
Greek saxophonist and composer Dimitri Vassilakis was born in Athens 21 October 1961 and studied Chemical Engineering at the Athens University obtaining a Bachelor's Degree (1986). Until 1985 has leaded with brother Pantelis Vassilakis the avant gard new wave band Art Of Parties on bass/vocals. He then moved to London and studied saxophone, piano and composition at the London College of Music with the aid of the Onassis Foundation. He graduated with Honors with an additional Diploma in Classical Saxophone (1990) and won national UK competitions and the LCM Society prize. He continued his studies at the Royal Academy of Music (Advanced Studies in Jazz Saxophone and Composition) gaining a scholarship from the British Council and was awarded the LRAM diploma in jazz teaching (1991). Being one of the key members of the International Association of Schools of Jazz and representative for Greece, he has traveled extensively playing at many Festivals and conducting workshops in the US, England, France, Germany, Spain, Ireland and the Balkans. He has taught at Ph. Nakas conservatory (1991-2000) directing the big Band and presenting a series of educational programs at the Athens Concert Hall. Has taught at the music departments of the Athens, Aristotle and Macedonia Universities (2000-2007) as a lecturer, while completing a Ph.D. and is the author of awarded educational books for saxophone and jazz.
"Secret Path" was released (1999) by one of the most important and historic jazz labels based in London and New York: Candid Records.
"Daedalus Project-Labyrinth" -produced by David Liebman- was recorded in New York with Ralph Peterson, Mark Johnson, Andy Sheppard, Theodossi Spassov and other top US, UK, Greek and Balkan jazz musicians - released 2001 and was voted 2nd jazz album of the year 2002 at the BBC Internet poll.
"Parallel Lines" a jazz trio suite with Jeff "Tain" Watts on drums and Essiet Okon Essiet on bass was released 2006 and was presented round the globe with great success.
On his latest recording "Across The Universe" (2011) he sings and plays songs from the Beatles Doors, Nina Simone and Chet Baker repertoire, to celebrate Candid Records 50th anniversary, recorded in New York with a cosmopolitan line up of top jazz men from all continents. His collaborating with Bentley produced the new compilation "Jazz For Bentley" (2011) that includes the best from his discography and new unreleased material.
He has played at Birdland, Dizzy' s Club at Lincoln Center, Ronnie Scott' s, Sweet Rhythm, The Kitano, Zinc, Tonic, Cutting Room and other New York Clubs, at the "Onassis Cultural Center" in New York, at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, during Jazz appreciation month at the American Museum of Natural History, at the Jazz Showcase, HotHouse, Barnes & Noble and Uncommon Ground Chicago, at the Athens Concert Hall, Onassis Cultural Center Athesn - Stegi, Niarchos Cultural Center, Lycabettus Theatre, Herodion Theatre, 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Delphic Games, at the Royal Festival Hall, Pizza Express, Purcell Room, Spice Of Life for the London Jazz Festival (2005/2007/2009) at Queens, Columbia College, DePaul, Skidmore and Yale Universities. Has worked on jazz and educational projects with the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, The British Council and the Greek Foreign Ministry.
His recent talks and performances for TEDx Tokyo and Athens on "jazz democracy" was worldwide viewed and has created much interest and discussion.
He has played with some of the best international jazz musicians such as: Jeff "Tain" Watts, David Liebman, Abdullah Ibrahim, Theodosii Spassov, Ralph Peterson, Marc Johnson, Dan Wall, Andy Sheppard, Essiet Essiet, Ron Affif, Adam Nussbaum, Ron McClure, Jamie Cullum, Sylvia Cuenca, Juliet Kelly, Alex Foster, Milcho Leviev, Tia Fuller, Kim Thompson, Craig Bailey, Deborah Davis, Rex Richardson, Nikolas Simion, Ed Schuller, and more. His albums and tours have received excellent reviews from publications such as the 'Jazz Times', 'All About Jazz', 'New York Press', 'BBC Music Magazine', 'Jazz Journal', 'Jazzwise', 'Jazz Heritage', 'Time Out', London Jazz Festival, Smithsonian Festival and from top jazzmen as Michael Brecker, Bobby Watson and David Liebman. He has performed for 2 Greek Presidents and leading a string quintet, for the official visit of the President of the US Bill Clinton to Athens (1999), at the Greek Presidential Residence. He is the first acclaimed international Greek jazz artist and in Athens has presented a live jazz Radio Program for Radio 3 also broadcasted by National TV NET, where he performed with and presented top Greek and International visiting jazz musicians. He was also the presenter of 'All that Jazz', a program on Channel 7, live from Athens jazz clubs and concert halls, with discussions on the history and aesthetics of jazz.
Read recent tribute at Downbeat:
Recent Jazz Times interview:
London Jazz Festival 2012 & Ronnie Scott's and mini tour
Read 2012 east coast USA tour:
Dizzy' s Club Jazz at The Lincoln Center!
Ongoing and new projects:
Jazz Democracy: a talk and performance
@ TEDx Athens
@ TEDx Tokyo
In English: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6-3P-uvFQs
In Japanese: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOhTAWcgQ20
Stream Of Life: music for Isadora Duncan International Institute Ballet IDII
Balkan Mosaic: a series of concerts at the Balkan Countries with local bands supported by HFC
The Greek Gang! a jazz platform for young Greek jazzers, have played at the Hellenic Center in London and for the London Jazz Festival 2009 & 2012.
ArtEscape: a unique retreat program for the arts and nature