Yiorgos Fakanas is a Greek musician, bassplayer, composer, orchestrator, author, producer, publisher, professor of Bass and Jazz theory.
To give you a flavor of Yiorgos musicianship, listen to the following videos and sound clips:
Y.F.G. performing “footprints” Live @ Cotton Club (Tokyo, Japan, 2011)
The musicians are; Yiorgos Fakanas – Bass Guitar, Anthony Jackson – Contra Bass Guitar, Horacio “el negro” Hernandez – Drums, Takis Paterelis – Alto Sax, Antonis Andreou – Trombone and Dimitris Sevdalis – Keyboards
This video is from Greek television (April 2013) and the music is between 1:03 – 5:10 (incl. an interview with Anthony Jackson)
Here is a sound clip from Yiorgos album “Domino” (2006) and the tune is “Passion Groove”
Musicians are; Yiorgos Fakanas (b), Mike Stern (g), Brett Garsed (g), Dave Weckl (dr), Bob Franceschini (sax), Chistos Rafalides (vib)
Below is a longer story about Yiorgos Fakanas:
YIORGOS FAKANAS BIOGRAPHY
1980: He participates in the historic recording of Manos Hadjidakis’ “Lilipoupolis”.
1981-1984: Participates in the Jazz orchestra EUROJAZZ, as the only Greek representative, touring all of Europe.
1984-1988: Forms the group ISKRA, which was to become the first jazz-fusion group in the country, giving concerts throughout Greece and abroad. Records two albums ( A NEW DAY and PARASTASIS) Takes part in numerous recordings by other composers, in over 400 albums. He co-operates with the majority of the Greek music scene, mainly though with M. Hadjidakis, K. Sfetsas, M. Plessas, Th. Mikroutsikos, El. Karaindrou, G. Markopoulos, and others.
1988: Releases the double album HORIZON with his own compositions and arrangements for Big Band, with the contribution of many Greek and foreign musicians. It is essentially the first recording by a Greek Big Band, performing original compositions by a Greek composer.
1988 – Gives many concerts throughout Greece with his band Y.F.G. Many musicians have participated in these performances, and some began their career in this orchestra. Participants include: Drummers N. Kapilidis, G. Maniatis, S. Panagiotopoulos, Saxophone players T. Paterelis, D. Lynch, A. Ladopoulos, D. Dimitriadis, D. Tsakas, Pianists P. Benetatos, Ach. Wastor, D. Kalatzis, G. Zahariou, G. Kontrafouris, Agg. Tsourelis, Chr. Rafalides (vibes).
1992: Releases the album AMOROSA with his compositions for sextet and small symphonic orchestra. At the same time he takes a leading part in the formation of the jazz club TAKE FIVE, which became the instigator of live jazz venues in Athens, after the Barakos Jazz Club.
1993: He performs his works TOPAZI and DIZZY MILES (a request by OMMA) at the Athens Megaron of Music, with a large mixed orchestra (strings and jazz orchestra) conducted by first conductor A. Baltas.
1995: Releases his album STAND-ART with classic jazz standards.
1996: Composes music for the performance FANTASIA & FUGUE- Dimitris Mitropoulos (requested by DIMITRIA of Thessaloniki).
1996: Arranges and co-ordinates the contemporary orchestra in the work of P. Koukos, for the Athens Megaron of Music with soloist Maria Farantouri.
1997: Composes and performs two new works (requested by the National Orchestra of Greek Music)- ECHOES and EAST OF THE NEW LAND.
1997: Founds the Art School Y. V. .Fakanas, where he teaches and is the Artistic Director of the Contemporary Music Department, and ATHINA LIVE. Since 1984, he has been teaching the electric bass and modern theory at various music schools, whilst simultaneously writing 17 books on the electric bass and modern theory. Over 500 bass players have studied with him, some of whom, today, are outstanding professional musicians.
1998: Performs his works MAESTRO and AMOROSA at the Athens Megaron of Music, in the “Dimitris Mitropoulos” Hall with the “Yiorgos Fakanas Group”.
1998: Stages a concert at the Herodion, where he conducts the ERT Big Band, with his own compositions.
1999: Writes music for theatrical performances.
2000: Performs the works ECHOES and EAST OF THE NEW LAND at the PALLAS THEATRE, conducting the National Orchestra of Greek Music (KOEM).
2001: Composes new works, records new works and performs with his various orchestras. At the same time, he orchestrates, conducts and stages a series of commendable musicals with students of the Art School at the ATHINA LIVE.
2002: He participates in two Seminars-Concerts with Mike Stern at the ATHINA LIVE. Mike Stern takes part in the recording of the album CANTABILE at the Megaron of Music recording centre.
2004: Releases the cd ECHOES with the participation of trumpet player Wallace Roney.
2004 – 2007:As Artistic Director of ATHINA LIVE, he stages a series of concerts with some of the biggest names in the international scene, such as Alan Holdsworth, Mike Stern, Scott Henderson, Frank Gambale, Steve Smith, Dave Weckl, Dennis Chambers, Victor Wooten, Bireli Lagrene, Pat Martino, Buster Williams, Lenny White, John Abercrombie, Larry Coryell, John Patitucci, Allan Pasqua, Billy Cobham, Joe Zawinul, Steve Gadd and others. All these musicians undertake seminars and private lessons for the students of the Art Music School, establishing it as a true centre for contemporary music study.
2005: Begins recording the cd DOMINO with the participation of Dave Weckl (drums), Mike Stern (guitar) Brett Garsed (guitar) Bob Franceschini (sax) and Chritos Rafaelidis (vibes). He performs as a duet with Victor Wooten at ATHINA’ LIVE. Composes the music for Stavros Tsiolis’ film “FTASAME”.
2006: Records the album STAND-ART 2, a sequel to the previous STAND-ART album, containing jazz standards with new arrangements.
2007: Records his new album with Vassilis Rakopoulos and the participation of Lenny White on drums.
He gives numerous concerts with his group YFG and the participation of Mike Stern, Bob Franceschini, Barry Finerty, Mitch Forman, Brett Garsed, Bulgarian Horns, Yiorgos Trandalidis, Nikos Touliatos and Christos Rafalides. He publishes the first three issues of the magazine JAZZ FUSION MOOD.
He composes the music for the opera“Knight Fir…are you sleeping?”for the Spring Theatre.
A NEW DAY- iskra- 1986- polygram
iskra’s first album with two compositions by Yiorgos Fakanas
HORIZON- Yiorgos Fakanas- 1989- bmg records
double album with the participation of 20 greek and foreign musicians. Contains 7 compositions and arrangements by Y. Fakanas with the feel of a contemporary big band
PARASTASIS – iskra- 1990 utopia
iskra’s second album with 3 of his own compositions.
AMOROSA – Yiorgos Fakanas – 1991- sony music
four of his compositions and orchestrations for a jazz sextet and a small symphonic orchestra.
STAND ART – Yiorgos Fakanas- 1996- eros music
his contribution to the discography of jazz standards
ECHOES –Yiorgos Fakanas –2004 – libra music
With the participation of Wallace Roney on trumpet
DOMINO – Yiorgos fakanas-2006 -Ars Nova Athina Music(ANAM)
With the participation of Dave Weckl on drums, Mike Stern on guitar, Bob Franceschini on saxes and Brett Garsed on guitar.
Yiorgos has participated in recordings for the theatre, cinema, television, and in over 600 albums. Some of these are:
“lilipoupoli” –manos hadjidakis
“liriki souita”—kiriakos sfetsas
“live at the herodion”—eleni karaindrou
“duo for bass and alto sax”—thanos mikroutsikos
“from east to west”—mimis plessas
“music stories”—thanos mikroutsikos/ gary burton