New album from London-born jazz artist Katerina Polemi fuses Brazilian and Greek music with Gypsy jazz
July 26, 2011 (Boston, MA) Written by Robert Sutton. Katerina Polemi met her first love as soon as she had entered this world. "I was surrounded by the sound of guitars from the day I was born," Polemi recalled. "I would listen to my family play for hours around a table after a meal."
It was this early affection for the guitar that would trigger Polemi's career in jazz, eventually resulting in a powerhouse debut album, Spread the Music, Not the Name, which finds her paying homage to her multicultural roots.
Born in London, England, Polemi's musical background is steeped in the culture of Brazil and Greece, two of the countries that she was raised in. "My initial influences were a lot of traditional songs that my parents, family, and friends would sing around a dinner table - popular Brazilian and Greek songs which are filled with amazing harmonies," Polemi said. "I was always intrigued by the beauty of people's raw voices, and the interlocking and intertwining of sounds that naturally just ‘happen' and somehow form a magical whole."
The richly layered rhythmic flow that left Polemi spellbound in her youth left its fingerprints on her record as well; it is unified by her marriage of Brazilian and Greek music and Gypsy jazz, the latter she has developed nearly a spiritual kinship with. "You don't know why you fall madly in love with somebody or something," Polemi explained. "What you know is what you feel. If it feels good, and it feels like ecstasy, it is right. That is why I know it's for me. I remember listening a lot to one of Madeleine Peyroux's earliest albums and being instantly fascinated by the sound and rhythm of Gypsy jazz. I guess from that point on my soul started mixing together with it."
More Information: http://www.katerinapolemi.com