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.

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.

The Necks: “The balance among the three of us is just too perfect”

“Our approach to music making is very open. Whatever the members bring to the group is welcome. We each lead diverse music lives outside of the band and when we come together the things we’ve been doing individually find voice in the overall sound. This is intuitive and encouraged and it means that the sound of the group is changing in ways that keep things interesting. We always sound like the Necks, but we also sound different from tour to tour – in ways that we can’t predict.”

Nick Haywood: “Charlie Haden and the Liberation Music Orchestra have been an inspiration”

“Charlie Haden is a significant figure in 20th Century music and has been a huge influence on me throughout my career. The theme of songs of protest that we are presenting at the festival also fits well with Haden’s music we will be performing – LMO music inspired by the Spanish Civil war and the Cuban revolution amongst others, as well as some Australian songs of protest by the likes of Midnight Oil and Archie Roach.”

The Senegambian Jazz Band: “Every gig we see people losing themselves in our music”

“For us jazz is about a willingness to explore new possibilities with only a moment’s notice, whether it be inviting a guest on stage who has no idea what they’re getting themselves into, or intentionally playing something that goes against what would normally be done, say in a piece of music that has become well known. As a more broad ranging metaphor this can be used as an invitation to leave past mentalities behind that were potentially stifling, freeing us to move forward in life.”