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Giorgis Manolakis

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Couleur Locale

Experimental Traditional Mediterranean Music

Giorgis Manolakis: acoustic and electric lute, voice
Giannis Kapetanakis: double bass
Vasilis Papadourakis: drums

Giorgis Manolakis is one of the most important Cretan lute virtuosos. He was born and raised in the island of Crete where his father, himself a renowned lute and lyre player, groomed him into the world of music since the age of 8. Manolakis boasts studio and stage collaborations with contemporary Cretan music world ambassadors such as Psarantonis, Giorgis Xylouris and Ross Daly. He has published three personal CDs, each time going further musically and gaining more critical acclaim. “Couleur Locale” is his first attempt as a band leader of a typical modern western music trio (lute as the solo voice, accompanied by double bass and drums). In this work, Manolakis stretches the instruments traditional limits by creating unexpected musical compositions, often with the help of amplifiers and pedals.

Τhe Couleur Locale project is not just a blend of world and jazz genres. Instead, it aims to smoothly advance Cretan music to a next creational step. The trio focuses almost entirely on creating new compositions instead of merely using different genres to make covers of well known Greek tunes. Manolakis’ collaborators are both Cretan music lovers and experienced jazz and rock musicians. The three of them have spent many years experimenting with Manolakis’ lute compositions, creating a unique and warm sound that stretches and in the end merges the different aesthetic mediums.

The band’s first album was recorded live during a single weekend in Heraklion, Crete. In addition to the lute, double bass and drums core, the album also features Cretan lyra virtuosi Kelly Thoma and Giorgis Giannadakis who participated in two of the tracks.