Nikos Fotakis

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king. Also a father, a husband, a writer, an editor, a coffee addict, a type 1 diabetic and an expat. Born and raised in Athens. Based in Melbourne. Jazz is my country.

Grace Knight: ” I have a fantastic job, I make people happy for a living.”

“I think the hardest was getting over my insecurity that I was a bit of a fraud, that I was a pop singer masquerading as a jazz singer. Quite some time ago, I just gave up on the labels and decided I was a story teller… I found that quite liberating, it meant I didn’t have to conform to any preconceived notion of what a jazz singer should be.”

7 reasons to love “Uptown Jazz Cafe”

Uptown Jazz Cafe celebrates its 7th birthday today, with an appropriately festive gig. Joining in the celebrations we thought of seven reasons that make this club one of the best in Melbourne. It wasn’t hard. Bopstretch Wednesdays. A fiery, swinging, hard-bopping outfit that keeps the straight jazz flame burning. Their residency, every Wednesday, is one …

Jamie Oehlers: Walking the tightrope

Jamie Oehlers: “Everything we do is enveloped in the arts, from the music we hear on the radio, the television shows we watch, the community events that draw people together, the phone we put in our hand. Art is all around us and inspires new thought and communication. This is how we create an identity as a national – not through digging up coal.”

Paris Combo: “l’Australie, c’est loin!

Paris Combo is a delight of a band, blending the best of the french chanson with a bubbly version of swing in an uplifting, joyous, jazzy way. Led by the Australian trumpeter and pianist David Lewis and the perky singer and accordeonist Belle DuBerry, the quintet features the fiery guitarist Potzi,  drummer François Jeannin and bassist …

Gemma Farrell: “I took up the saxophone and it kinda went from there”

Perth born and based Gemma Farrell is one of the most promising figures of the Australian Jazz Scene; as a sax player and band leader, she has found her own voice, creating a sort of post-bop that merges the american and european tradition with lyricism and audacity. Tonight she is playing at the Perth International Jazz …

Melbourne International Jazz Festival’s sax appeal

The reports were true. Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock are among us, walking in the streets of Melbourne, even checking out Bopstretch’s electifying-as-usual performance at the Uptown Jazz Cafe. Their sold-out concerts are, of course, the highlights of this year’s edition of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, accounting for its labeling as pianocentric. Though it’s true that …