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Hopeful Dutch jazz act in Athens for club shows February 8, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Greek.
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Marzio Scholten and his quartet play two more shows at the Jazz Upstairs/Guru Bar tonight and tomorrow.

Hailing from the Netherlands, young musician Marzio Scholten rates as a worthy prospect on the European jazz circuit. The Dutchman, a guitarist who studied in Amsterdam and has written music for film and television, played his first of three shows at Jazz Upstairs/Guru Bar last night. The visiting musician, here with his quartet – Floris van der Vlugt (saxophone), Lucas Dols (bass) and Bob Roos (drums) – also performs at the venue tonight and tomorrow. Most of the set list is from a forthcoming album, «Motherland» scheduled for release in June.

The Dutchman’s work sounds fresh and pure but he cites the intensity of fusion acts as a major influence. «There’s a musical game constantly going on between us at the live shows, and, generally, our concerts are very fiery and intense,» Scholten said.

Born in Spain in 1982, Scholten, like most youngsters of his generation, grew up listening to pop and rock music. «My father turned me on to the blues, which excited me because of the guitar’s importance in this music,» said Scholten. «Then, my music teacher suggested that I try something more demanding and guided me to jazz. I really liked it because you have the freedom you get with the blues, but within a more harmonic framework. It’s been the music I’ve played ever since. But that doesn’t mean that I only like jazz. I like good music.»

Scholten described his work as «modern creative jazz.» «Everybody in the quartet is on the same wavelength, which really does help,» he said. «Our generation grew up on rock, hip-hop and so on. I think that, subconsciously, we’re bringing all these elements into our music, which is why young people like it.»

When the discussion turned to the music industry’s future trends in the era of the Internet and extensive downloading, Scholten appeared troubled.

«Recordings are a wonderful part of music, and we need them. As I see it, live music is the best way to plunge deeply into music and I think that jazz always relied on live performing, and will continue to do so. I don’t think that the Internet and downloading will have a negative effect on the situation,» Scholten remarked. «The Internet is a great channel for getting your music to large audiences, and people who download your music can end up attending one of your shows. That’s very important. Of course, there’s a difference between legal and illegal downloading. Musicians ought to get paid for the music they play.»

Jazz Upstairs/Guru Bar, 10 Theatrou Square, Athens.

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