loxandra pic 2Loxandra is a Greek music group from Thessaloniki. The band was established in 1997 originally by bassist Loukas Metaxas and kanun player Dimitris Vasiliadis. The latter left the group after a while. In the meantime, the band has a line-up of 8 permanent members.
 
The band’s name Loxandra comes from the main character and title of a novel of the same name by the Greek writer Maria Iordanidou from 1962.
 
The band works primarily with the varied and very rich music traditions of Greece, re-interpreting those in a contemporary fashion. Rembetiko, Roma music, traditional Greek folk music, classic Ottoman and Turkish folk music, Sephardic music, as well as music from the Caucasus and Balkans are all reflected in the music of Loxandra. They use traditional instruments such as the kanun and oud, as well as modern instruments such as the clarinet, drums and e-bass to perform their pieces.
 
The ensemble has already released several albums. Their first album came out in 2006 and was entitled “Shedon Opos Palia...” On the album the band concerns itself mainly with the music of the Greeks living in Smyrna (today’s Izmir) and Istanbul in the early 20th century. That album was followed in 2011 by another called “Meyhane - Kafe Aman”, which reached #8 in the World Music Charts Europe in September 2012, and #41 in the Annual World Music Charts Europe. A number of guest musicians are featured on the album including Sokratis Sinopoulos, Nikos and Giasemi Saragoudas, Katerina Papadopoulou, Areti Ketime, Panagiotis Lalezas, Theodora Athanasiou, Efren Lopez and Brenna MacCrimmon.
 
Their third album "In Transition" was released in 2018. The album was released by the Swiss World Music Label Dalit-Music and for the first time also contains original compositions of the band. The album again attracted international attention and immediately took third place in the World Music Charts Europe in May 2018.
 
The members of Loxandra (either as a group or as individuals) have collaborated with a highly diverse range of artists in a number of projects over the years. Those include Ross Daly, Ziad Rajab, Chico Freeman, Kudsi Erguner, Kariofillis Doitsidis, Domna Samiou, Chronis Aidonidis, Christos Tsiamoulis, Nikos Kipourgos, Giorgos Dalaras, Eleni Tsaligopoulou, Eleni Vitali, Eleni Karaindrou, Thomas Korovinis, Sol Hasan and many others. The group is esteemed not only in their native Greece for having transferred the music traditions of the region to the present day with great respect and sensitivity. Loxandra is also in demand as a live band, playing regularly in Greece and abroad.
 
 
 
Members:
 
Nikos Angousis - clarinet
Foivos Apostolidis - percussion
Makis Baklatzis - violin / vocals
Ria Ellinidou - vocals
Thanasis Koulentianos - kanun
Loukas Metaxas – bass / vocals
Dimitris Panagoulias – percussion
Kyriakos Tapakis - oud
 
 
 
Loxandra Ensemble on Spotify
 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text: Robert Lippuner / Global Music Network

Translation: Jamie Davies

 

References:

http://www.loxandra.gr/

https://www.facebook.com/Loxandra.Ensemble/

http://www.dalit-music.com/de/allartist/90-artists/106-lox

 


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