About the members of the group:
Leo Genovese - piano
Leo Genovese, piano
In less than a decade’s time, Argentinian pianist Leonardo Genovese has already established a solid reputation as an instrumentalist and composer who is not afraid to explore the lesser known corners of the musical landscape. Genovese’s new album, Seeds showcases his ability to move effortlessly between the melodic and the chromatic and celebrate the inherent mystery and beauty in epian
Born and raised in Venado Tuerto, Argentina, in 1979, Genovese discovered music through a variety of sources. At home, his mother played classical piano. In addition, he gravitated to the rock and pop – and later the blues and jazz – of his native country as well as the U.S.
He began playing piano when he was only five or six, although he admits that he didn’t practice much and didn’t really appreciate the range and versatility of the instrument until his teenage years. When he was 15, his older brother started playing the piano as well, and made his way into a series of rock bands. Suddenly, music had an energy and an appeal that Genovese hadn’t recognized earlier.
At the University of Rosario in Argentina, Genovese pursued the unlikely dual track of music and accounting. It was then that he quickly realized how important music was to him. “The accounting only lasted for a few months,” he says. “I remember calling my mother one morning and saying, ‘Listen, I can’t do this anymore. I’m sorry. I need to be playing the piano more seriously.’”
The creative awakening took him to Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2001. “Looking back on that period now, I don’t know if I really had it clear in my mind yet exactly what I was doing or what I was about,” he recalls. “Maybe it was an alien who took my hand and walked me through all that, and just led me there somehow. I woke up in this cold town, and everyone spoke in a language that I could barely understand for the first six months.”
Despite the language and cultural barriers, he learned plenty at Berklee – under the tutelage of numerous high-caliber teachers, including Danilo Perez, Joanne Brackeen, Frank Carlberg and Ed Tomassi. He graduated in 2003 and immediately began performing and recording.
His first album was a small, independently released set called Haikus II, released in 2004. Unlocked followed in 2008. In hindsight, Genovese sees these two recordings as little more than quickly crafted snapshots of where he was on the artistic continuum at the time.
“I recorded each of them in maybe six hours,” he says. “Imagine taking a couple hours to set up, doing one take of each song, and then calling that a record. Maybe it was just a way to document where I was at the time.”
In between the two recordings, Genovese developed a collaborative relationship with Grammy winning bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding, a fellow Berklee alum. Since 2005, he has toured with Spalding throughout the U.S., South American, Europe, Asia, Africa and elsewhere. Spalding returns the favor by providing vocals on numerous tracks on Seeds. In addition, she also assists with the songwriting on “Portuguese Mirror” one of the most satisfying tracks in the 11-song set.
When he’s not touring with Spalding, Genovese – who is currently based in New York – also plays with a loosely assembled group called the Chromatic Gauchos, whose core membership includes Bob Gulloti, Dan Blake and John Lockwood. This threesome, along with Spalding and percussionist Sergio Miranda, appears prominently on Seeds.
While Genovese is still early on his career arc, he hopes that his music could eventually be more than just a source of entertainment, but also a force for change in a world that is troubled by economic, social and political challenges. “I would like it to go somewhere positive, somewhere helpful,” he says. “I would like for people to really gain something worthwhile from it. There are so many people around the word in need. Most of us never realize it, because most of us have the basic necessities and much more. But some people – many people – have very little.
He adds: “I want to make people more aware of the many different circumstances – and sometimes difficult circumstances – that other people face every day. A lot of it has to do with having the right intention. Music is a lot like people in that way. If it comes from a good place, it’s more likely to bear good fruit.”
Dimitris Klonis- drums
Dimitris Klonis was born in Athens in 1984. By the age of 14 he begins his studies on the drumset under the guidance of Petros Daktilidis. Later on the great John Floros enters his life and as a result he passes him the drumming knowledge and legacy that he was taught from the great master Alan Dawson.
In 2010 and slightly after Dimitris’ graduation from National Technical University of Athens, he is immediately accepted in Conservatorium Van Amsterdam but also in Rotterdam Jazz Academy. He studies for a very short period in Amsterdam where he had the chance to take lessons from Lucas Van Merwijk, Maurcel Serierse and Victor Oskam. He has also studied jazz harmony with Gregory Batsis and holds a degree in harmony (2009) and a degree in counterpoint(2012). He has attended clinics an private lessons with giants like Adam Nussbaum, Kendrick Scott, Jojo Mayer and Akira Jimbo.
Within the years he has collaborated with great local jazz musicians such as Yiotis Samaras, George Kontrafouris, Pantelis Mpenetatos, Takis Paterelis, Kostas Konstantinou, Dimitris Sevdalis and Vasso Dimitriou as well as some foreign artists like Femi Temowo (Roots,Amy Winehouse), Michael Weisberger(Milo Z), Aline de Lima, Adedeji Adetayo, Yoel Soto. He has also collaborated with Foivos Delivorias, Martha Fritzila , Petros Theotokatos and Doros Dimosthenous. He currently lives in Athens, where he is envolved in lots of projects, gigging, recording and teaching.
Giannis Poulios - violin
Giannis Poulios was born in Bruschal, Germany and grew up in Katerini, Greece. He attended the Music High School of Katerini and later the department of traditional music at the University of Arta as well as Yildiz National Conservatory in Istanbul. Currently he is an active member of both the Greek and the international music scene both as a performer and as a recording artist, having collaborated with a number of bands such as : The Vitaux project, the 'Σummation project of Apostolos Sideris , Iliodromio, LappinoProject and Ali Perret’s DU.DU in Istanbul. Also he has collaborated with the bands: 'Psihi ke Soma(Body and Soul) Ensemble' fronted by Mattheos and Kostas Tsahouridis at the National Concert Hall in Athens, Loxandra ensemble and with a number of artists suchas: Alkinoos Ioannidis, Apostolos Rizos, Haig Yazdjian, Antonis Apergis, Nikos Paraoulakis, Marina Dakanali, Nadia Karagianni, Kostas Plousios and many more prominent musicians of the Greek music scene.
Andrea Romani - flute, ney
Based in Paris, born in Cremona, Italy (1975), Andrea is a self-taught musician who abandoned a promising career in an investment bank in Italy in the ‘90s when he first bought a is the flutist on the album Southern Avenue, directed by Fabrizio Cecca’s sextet in Paris, published by Chrystal Records. For this recording (on which the great flutist Nicola Stilo is a guest), Andrea met the French trumpet player Julien Alour and the Italian pianist Giovanni Ceccarelli. Mostly in France and Italy, he has performed many times with the Italian guitar player Federico Casagrande.
In the last 10 years started studying Greek, and then Turkish language, music, dance - and wandered across Greece, and then Turkey, hosted by friends, following alluring hearsay and word of mouth. Since 10 years he is student of the ney master Omer Erdogdular, In 2011 he recorded two tracks as a guest of Harris Lambrakis Quartet in the album “Meteora” and performed many concert in Greece with the same group.
In 2014 created in Paris “Alonisma” a collective of international artists from Europe and middle east and latin America including musicians, painters, film makers, dancers actors, academics.
After years of experiments he recorded his first Album in december 2017 released by Z-Kalan, an imprortant turkish label.