ALEX CHRISTIDIS – percussion, drums, vibes

Alex was born in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia to Greek parents. Later he moved with his family to former Czechoslovakia. It was there, in the city of Prague where as a child he became fascinated by music. Prague oozed with music and culture:  classical music, Dixieland jazz, big bands playing in the street, a magic atmosphere.  Alex sung in a choir at the age of 5

Another move followed, this time to Tashkent in the former Soviet Union. His parents bought a radio and Alex begun to spend countless hours of listening music. At the age of 12 he enrolled in the music school to learn the accordion which was very fashionable at the time. He also began to collect the dance records of the time (which were jazzy). Listening jazz records and watching big bands playing live, he became fascinated with rhythm and the drums. Then he used every piece of wood available in the house to play rhythms while listening the radio. He started to have more contact with musicians and enriched his self-taught drummer knowledge.

Later, he continued his studies in classical percussion in the preparatory School of the Musical Academy of Kiev. He collaborated with the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of Kiev and with the Opera and Ballet Chamber Orchestra of Kiev. At the same time, Alex was also very active in the jazz scene: he played in various bands with the top Soviet jazz musicians appearing in clubs and festivals all over former Soviet Union like Tallinn Jazz Festival in 1967. In 1973 he played in the first jazz record for jazz combo ever recorded in Ukraine (Kolesnikov-Novikov-Molotkov-Christidis quartet).  Besides music, he graduated as an engineer of optical devices from the National Technical University of Ukraine “KPI”.

In 1978 Alex repatriates to Greece with his wife and kids. He took his Diploma in percussion from the Conservatory of Athens where he studied under the guidance of Nikolaos Korantzinos. As a member of contemporary music ensembles, he has participated in numerous recordings, concerts and festivals in Greece and abroad (MIDEM 1987, Napoli, Como, London-festival of Greek Music, Cannes, Music Days of Orleans 1987 and many others).

He has extensively performed with the Music Group ESSYM (Greek Association of Contemporary Music) and the Ensemble of the Greek Composers Union premiering the works of many composers. He has also performed with many foreign orchestras such as the Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra, Cannes Symphony Orchestra, Belgrade Symphony Orchestra, Romanian State Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi and other orchestras in various festival and concerts.

Alex was principal percussionist in the Greek National Opera from 1982 till 1987. He also played as principal percussionist and timpanist in the National Symphony Orchestra of the Greek Radio and Television for many years. He is a member of Percussive Art Society (PAS) since 1981 and was also Vice President of  Greek Percussion Union 1992-2013 he was the principal percussionist of the Athens State Orchestra.

He is the first Greek musician that performed Psappha for solo percussion of Iannis Xenakis. He was also a permanent collaborator of the Oscar-winning composer Manos Hadjidakis for 16 years. Their collaboration began with playing and recording for the prestigious State Radio’s Third Program show “Edo Lilipoupoli”, a legendary radio show for children. Alex toured all over Europe with Hadjidakis and singers such as Nana Mouskouri and Maria Farantouri. He is a member of the Manos Hadjidakis ensemble from the early 80’s and from 1989-1992 was also a member of the Orchestra of Colours (a symphonic orchestra founded by Hadjidakis).

Alex is very active in the music scene and has various projects. He is the founder of the band Cammer-Ton, a band created in 2000 that combines a classical string quartet and a jazz quartet. With his bands Cammer-Ton and Allegro String band, Alex has performed in the Athens and Thessaloniki Concert Halls (Megaro Mousikis) and in various festivals all over Greece. He also performs with free improvisational avant-garde ensembles.  He has frequently performed and toured all over the world (USA, Japan, Brazil, Australia, China, Europe…) with the Greek National Theater in prestigious productions such as Antigone and Electra (starring famous Greek actress Lydia Koniordou).

Alex is also active in the jazz scene and performs frequently in Greece and abroad. Hic current projects include Voyage Jazz Group, a jazz trio or quartet with Penelope Tzanetaki on vocals. Voyage Jazz Group has successfully presented various programs and special tributes of great diversity such as “The Great American Songbook (Porter, Gershwin..)”, “From Spirituals to Ellington sacred concert”, “Around Jazz in 80 minutes”, “Tribute to Manos Hadjidakis”. Voyage Jazz Group use jazz as their base and explore all exciting other music styles such as swing, bebop, latin, pop, blues, bossa, funk etc. “Rhythms of the world”; it is a musical journey throughout all influential 20th century popular rhythms (African, Mediterranean, Brazilian, Latin American rhythms…). It was presented January 2013 at Megaron Athens Concert Hall.

Since 2015 I have been the project leader and presenter of the “Jazz for kids” thematic concerts, performed throughout Greece education programs “Rhythm is everywhere” “Drums Around As”

ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ ΧΡΗΣΤΙΔΗΣ  –  Κρουστά, Drums, Vibes  

Ο Αλέξανδρος Χρηστίδης είναι ένας μουσικός για τον οποίο δεν υπάρχουν σύνορα στη μουσική.  Με την ίδια άνεση και δεξιοτεχνία παίζει κλασσικά έργα σαν σολίστ της Κρατικής Ορχήστρας Αθηνών και αυτοσχεδιάζει στα δικά του Jazz σχήματα.

Γεννήθηκε στην Γιουγκοσλαβία. Σε ηλικία 12 ετών, άρχισε μουσικές σπουδές στην πρώην Σοβιετική Ένωση. Φοίτησε στην Μουσική Ακαδημία του Κιέβου παίζοντας στην Φιλαρμονική Ορχήστρα Νέων του Κιέβου και αργότερα στην Ορχήστρα Μουσικής Δωματίου της Όπερας-Μπαλέτου του Κιέβου. Είχε ενεργή παρουσία στον χώρο της τζαζ, καθώς το 1973 συμμετείχε στον πρώτο τζαζ δίσκο μικρού συνόλου που ηχογραφήθηκε στην Ουκρανία.

Αποφοίτησε από το Πολυτεχνείο του Κιέβου με δίπλωμα Μηχανολόγου. Επαναπατρίστηκε στην Ελλάδα το 1978. Πήρε δίπλωμα στα κρουστά από το Ωδείο Αθηνών το 1983 στην τάξη του Νικόλαου Κορατζίνου.

Ως μέλος συγκροτημάτων σύγχρονης μουσικής, έχει λάβει μέρος σε συναυλίες και ηχογραφήσεις στην Ελλάδα και στο εξωτερικό, (MIDEM, Kάννες, Φεστιβάλ Ελληνικής Μουσικής Λονδίνου, Μουσικές ημέρες Ορλεάνης, Δημήτρια κλπ) ενώ υπήρξε ο πρώτος Έλληνας μουσικός που εκτέλεσε το έργο για κρουστά «Ψάπφα» του Γιάννη Ξενάκη.

Έχει συμπράξει με πολλές ευρωπαϊκές συμφωνικές ορχήστρες σε πολλά φεστιβάλ. Την περίοδο 1982 – 1987 υπήρξε κορυφαίος στα κρουστά στην Εθνική Λυρική Σκηνή.

Από το 1987 έως το 1992, διετέλεσε κορυφαίος στα τύμπανα-κρουστά στην Συμφωνική Ορχήστρα της ΕΡΤ και από το 1992 έως το 2012 ήταν κορυφαίος της Κρατικής Ορχήστρας Αθηνών. Υπήρξε μόνιμος συνεργάτης του Μάνου Χατζιδάκι για 16 χρόνια. Έχει συνεργαστεί με τον Μίκη Θεοδωράκη ως σολίστ στο Canto General και με το Εθνικό Θέατρο στις τραγωδίες Ηλέκτρα, Αντιγόνη και Ορέστης. Είναι ιδρυτής και επικεφαλής των τζαζ συνόλων Allegro, Cammer-Ton και Voyage Jazz Quartet, με τα οποία εμφανίστηκε με μεγάλη επιτυχία στο Μέγαρο Μουσικής Αθηνών και Θεσσαλονίκης και στον Δήμο Αθηναίων και σε άλλα φεστιβάλ στα εξής προγράμματα:

‘’Από τον Mozart στους Beatles’’, ‘’Στον ρυθμό της Jazz’’, ‘’Από το Ragtime στον Piazzolla’’, ‘’Ταξιδεύοντας με τις νότες’’, ‘’ΚΡΟΥΣΤΟΦΩΝΙΑ’’, ‘’Όταν οι μουσικοί γελούν’’, ‘’Cammer-Ton σε Latin ρυθμούς’’, ‘’Θρησκευτική Jazz Μουσική’’, ‘’Ο γύρος της Jazz σε 80 λεπτά’’, ‘’Στους Ρυθμούς του Κόσμου’’, Jazz for kids.

Club and Theater Projects : (Hotel) President Jazz Nights, Jazzn Christmas , Jazz από τον Κινηματογράφο, Lounge music for cocktail parties and other jazz events. 

Αφιέρωματα : Jerome Kern , George Gerswin, Cole Porter, Μάνος Χατζηδάκης, ‘’Στους swing , funk και latin ρυθμούς’’ ,’’ Τα ωραιότερα ερωτικά τραγούδια του 20ου αιώνα’’,’’Μουσική Ragtime από τον 19ο αιώνα ώς τον 20ο ‘’(Πρώιμη Jazz).

Παιδικά : ‘’Jazz for Kids’’, ’’ Όταν οι μουσικοί γελούν’’, ’’ Ο γύρος της Jazz σε 80 λεπτά’’, ‘’Στους Ρυθμούς του Κόσμου’’, ’’ Εν αρχή είναι ο ρυθμός’’ (μουσικό-εκπαιδευτικό – διαδραστικό)

Πειραματικά : ‘’Σόλο Κρουστά με Tape και Electronics’’

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