ALEXANDRE GAGATSIS (musician, scholar, educator)
(click on the photo to visit his official web page)
Alexander Gagatsis was born in Chambéry, France and raised between Thessaloniki (Greece) and Nicosia (Cyprus), growing up in a multicultural environment. He benefited from early musical studies on the piano and subsequently studied drums with Brian Abrahams and mallet percussions with Daniela Ganeva. He holds masters degrees from the Trinity College of Music, King’s College London and an Artist Diploma from the State University of New York where he was fortunate to study with Hal Galper, Jon Faddis and John Abercrombie. He has been generously supported by the Nicolas Economou Foundation, the Leventis Foundation, the State University of New York and was a Trinity College of Music scholar. Aside from a busy performing and teaching schedule, he has been carrying out community work in London, first with the Grand Union Orchestra (2007-2009) and later for ReachOut, a mentoring charity.
He has performed among others with the Grand Union Orchestra, an experience which he considers to have been a learning platform, in which he had the opportunity to make music with a special group of people: Brian Abrahams and Claude Deppa to name two. As a freelance musician, he had the chance to perform with several distinguished artists, among others with Savinna Yannatou and Primavera en Salonico and with Michalis Siganidis' group.
Although a musician at heart, Alexander has recently completed a PhD that examined jazz improvisation as situated cognition, in which he focused on the life and works of vibraphonist Milt Jackson. He has published in both academic journals and the public press and is currently working on a monograph on the Modern Jazz Quartet. His academic work includes topics in music theory and cognition, popular and world music(s), music on screen, music and migration, and music in Northern Greece and the Balkans. He is currently a teaching affiliate at the University of Nottingham where he held the Vice-Chancellor’s award for research excellence. He endorses Istanbul Cymbals, Bergerault vibraphones and Canopus drums.