Andrea Romani flute, ney
Based in Paris, born in Cremona, Italy (1975), Andrea is a self-taught musician who abandoned a promising career in an investment bank in Italy in the ‘90s when he first bought a flute. In 2003 he won a scholarship to the Siena Jazz summer workshop. The next year he joined the Winter Lab of Improvisation in Siena, directed by the pianist Stefano Battaglia. He established in 2008 his first Parisian quartet with Antoine Paganotti - drums, Daniel Benoit - piano, Nicolas Moreaux - bass). He then formed a duet with the guitarist Maxime Fougeres, one of the best guitarists who came from IACP, the school of the Belmondo brothers.
In 2007, he was the flutist on the album Southern Avenue, directed by Fabrizio Cecca’s sextet in Paris, published by Chrystal Records. For this recording (on which the great flutist Nicola Stilo is a guest), Andrea met the French trumpet player Julien Alour and the Italian pianist Giovanni Ceccarelli. Mostly in France and Italy, he has performed many times with the Italian guitar player Federico Casagrande. He also has performed with Gautier Garrigue, Stephane, Lionel Belmondo, Nico Morelli, Karl Yannouska, Sofie Alour, Marco Vaggi, Mauro Gargano, Gaetano Partipilo, and Samy Thiebault.
In the last few years Andrea has travelled many times to Greece and Turkey. In these countries, under the influence of the two great masters of makam and modal music, Ross Daly (Crete) and Omer Erdogdular (neyzen in Istanbul ), he learned the Turkish ney and performed oriental classical and traditional music, with musicians like Harris Lambrakis, Ross Daly, and Nikos Andrikos.
In particular in 2011 he recorded two tracks as a guest of Harris Lambrakis Quartet in the album “Meteora” and performed many concert in Greece with the same group.
Andrea recently ( 2014) created “Alonisma” a collective of international artists from Europe and middle east and Brazil including musicians, painters, film makers, dancers actors, academics.
Apostolos Sideris, double bass
Apostolos Sideris was born in 1978 in Athens, Greece, where he had his first musical training, playing the classical flute. By the time he was 15 he had switched to the electric bass. It didn't take long for him to fall in love with the instrument, and he was soon playing with various rock bands around Athens. By the time he was 17, his focus was directed towards jazz, which led him to move to Boston in order to attend Berklee School of Music.
During his time at Berklee, he picked up the upright bass, which since then has been his main instrument. Following his stint in Boston, Apostolos moved to New York and earned his Master's degree in Performance, while being instructed by bass virtuoso John Patitucci.
Since then he has been freelancing around the States as well as abroad. He has performed with a wide array of musicians ranging from jazz masters such as drummer Clarence Penn, guitarists Lionel Loueke and Rez Abbasi and pianist Leo Genovese, to world music sensations such as composer and oudist Ara Dinkjan, Greek ECM recording artist Savina Yannatou, Syrian vocal master Youssef Khasab and Lebanese composer Ziad Rahbani.
In addition to being a performer, he is a devoted composer, writing in many different styles, ranging from jazz to Middle Eastern and Latin influenced music. He currently resides in Istanbul and has been directing his creative energy mainly toward working with an Ethnic-Jazz group he co-founded, called MESEL, as well as preparing his own album. It will consist of his own compositions and improvisations, based on Middle Eastern themes refracted through his own jazz-influenced perspective.
Stratis Skourkeas, percussions
Stratis Skourkeas, percussionist, was born in Athens in 1987 and at the age of 8 moved to the island of Lesvos, his parent’s home. He began his musical education by studying the piano.
At age 10 he was attracted by Greek traditional music and started studying the Tzoura as well as Byzantine music. In 2004 Stratis entered the Department of Folk and Traditional Music at the Technological Institute of Epirus, and started studying Middle East percussion with his first teacher, Lefteris Pavlou.
In 2006 and 2008 he attended seminars with the well-known percussionist Zohar Fresco. Since then Stratis has worked as a freelance musician as well as a percussion teacher in Lesvos.
He has collaborated with various Greek artists, giving concerts in Greece and Turkey. In 2014 he was percussionist for the album “Motivasyon,” directed and composed by Nikos Andrikos and brought out by MLK Productions. In 2015 he participated as a percussionist in the making of the documentary film “Amanes at the Northeast Aegean” (Aegean University, Department of Cultural Technology and Communication –North Aegean Region), and in 2016 in the documentary film “Janus’ Legacy: Refugee Passage to Europe” (also at Aegean University).