Lakis Zois: Esoteric Jazz With Blues Feeling
Greek Jazz musician Lakis Zois was born in Piraeus. His musical pursuit began in his childhood when he sang in choirs and played various musical instruments like the drums, guitar and bass. He has been a member of many know groups of the time between 1969 and 1974 like Gannini Baronetti, Peloma Boque, etc and collaborated with many members of notable bands of the time like the Playboys, Chrms, Idols, Socrates, Sounds, etc. He found his calling in Jazz music and formed the first Greek Rock-Jazz group “Lakis Zois Group”, at the Volcano Club with Lakis Zois – Guitar, George Filippidis – bass, George Gavalas – trumpet, Chris Stasinopoulos – drums and Paul Alexiou – piano. During that period other musicians played with the group G. Trantalidis, N. Mitsopoulos J. Labizzi and N. Visvikis.
Interview by Michael Limnios
In 1975 Lakis Zois formed the Jazz group “Lakis Zois trio” with G. Fillipidis and G. Trantalidis and played at the famous and historic Baracos Jazz Club for several years. There followed “Lakis Zois quintlet” with C. Heras – bass, M. Morris – tenor sax, L. Compass – percussion and G. Trantalidis – drums and “Lakis Zois sextet” with C. Heras – bass, G. Trantalidis – drums, D. Zafeirelis – guitar C. Liakis – wind and V. Kutsotolis – winds. Other musicians like L. Tzimas L. Diakogiannis, M. Katsibardis, J. Labizzi played with these groups as well. J. Labizzi offered great inspiration and support to the Greek jazz music scene of the time.
Photo: Lakis Zois & Markos Alexiou
He played with the finest of Jazz musicians like: Szcakcski (Bela Lakatos), Fursty Balogi, Tony Lakatos, Harry Socal, Laszlo Gardony, Pino Latucca, Nick Grevenites, Gianni Gavalaro, Imre Kosfegi, Demis Visvikis, Balazs Berkes, John Zorbas, Claude Salmieri, George Vukan, Vladimir Horguiz, Dejeo Jarka, Ray Dramon, Kenny Washingnon (members of the Johhny Griffins Band) and later at the Hilton Hotel in Athens, support with Dizzy Gillespie. In 1979 he studied with Mihalis Vourtsis and Julien Fulk at the Conservatoire of Umip music school in France. In 1980 he returned to Greece and became the fourth voice in the second record of the renowned group “Sphinx”. He established himself as the best Greek Jazz guitarist. Since 1983 his works at his personal studio where he composes, orchestrates and records his music.
Discography: In “Esoteric”, his first personal LP, he works with some of the best Greek Jazz musicians to form his compositions. There followed “Alone”, a new collection of Lakis Zois compositions and arrangements. After that came “Epifoticic”, a collaboration with his longtime friend and colleague Markos Alexiou, together they sing compositions and arrangements in a music route of mature and minimalistic artistry. Along with M. Alexiou he orchestrated “Back To Jazz” Aleka Kanellidou’s latest LP where he also participates as a composer.
Photo: Lakis Zois, Giorgos Trantalidis & Dizzy Gillespie