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Who pays attention to the bass player?

Petros Klampanis reaches for emotion rather than intellect, and groove rather than form

Petros Klampanis
Petros Klampanis

Petros Klampanis has a long resume that includes time spent with front-line jazz acts like Snarky Puppy and Greg Osby and Antonio Hart, which is all good, but who pays close attention to the bass player? Right — other bass players. So, what do they have to say about the 37-year-old bassist? Bass Musician Magazine reviewed Klampanis’s debut album Contextual and noted the “amazing sounds you can get from a spruce wooden shell.” Klampanis performs on the double, or upright bass. His use of one hand to slap and pound rhythms on the body of his bass while percussively fingering the strings is singular.

He says he learned music as a child by figuring out the melodies to Greek TV shows on his sister’s keyboard. This explains why a random Klampanis set may include music by Hoagy Carmichael, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Paul McCartney, his own originals, and the Balkan folk he heard as a child. Born and raised on the Greek island of Zakynthos, Klampanis bailed on engineering school and re-enrolled in music school when he reached college. Athens hosts a robust jazz scene, and that’s where he went to gain his bass playing chops. And Greece was a good launch pad into European tours and jazz festivals, which have likewise been a saving grace for American jazz masters.

Klampanis is rich with solo ideas he realizes with the help of an electronic recording-replay device called a looper. He told an interviewer the first album he owned was Dave Brubeck’s exotic tempo collection Take Five, which introduced Klampanis to the random time signatures and tempos he favors to this day.

Past Event

Petros Klampanis

He now lives in New York. If a concert goer is concerned about having to endure an evening of jazz clichés, take heart. Klampanis reaches for emotion rather than intellect, and groove rather than form. There are aftershocks of Thelonious Monk-mind all over Klampanis’s own musical voice.

Petros Klampanis: Saturday, September 8, Dizzy’s, 858-270-7467, 8 p.m., $20

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Petros Klampanis
Petros Klampanis

Petros Klampanis has a long resume that includes time spent with front-line jazz acts like Snarky Puppy and Greg Osby and Antonio Hart, which is all good, but who pays close attention to the bass player? Right — other bass players. So, what do they have to say about the 37-year-old bassist? Bass Musician Magazine reviewed Klampanis’s debut album Contextual and noted the “amazing sounds you can get from a spruce wooden shell.” Klampanis performs on the double, or upright bass. His use of one hand to slap and pound rhythms on the body of his bass while percussively fingering the strings is singular.

He says he learned music as a child by figuring out the melodies to Greek TV shows on his sister’s keyboard. This explains why a random Klampanis set may include music by Hoagy Carmichael, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Paul McCartney, his own originals, and the Balkan folk he heard as a child. Born and raised on the Greek island of Zakynthos, Klampanis bailed on engineering school and re-enrolled in music school when he reached college. Athens hosts a robust jazz scene, and that’s where he went to gain his bass playing chops. And Greece was a good launch pad into European tours and jazz festivals, which have likewise been a saving grace for American jazz masters.

Klampanis is rich with solo ideas he realizes with the help of an electronic recording-replay device called a looper. He told an interviewer the first album he owned was Dave Brubeck’s exotic tempo collection Take Five, which introduced Klampanis to the random time signatures and tempos he favors to this day.

Past Event

Petros Klampanis

He now lives in New York. If a concert goer is concerned about having to endure an evening of jazz clichés, take heart. Klampanis reaches for emotion rather than intellect, and groove rather than form. There are aftershocks of Thelonious Monk-mind all over Klampanis’s own musical voice.

Petros Klampanis: Saturday, September 8, Dizzy’s, 858-270-7467, 8 p.m., $20

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