Andreas Kapsalis : Click Here> to check out a video preview of Andreas' Acoustic Chicago track "Nubian "
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Andreas Kapsalis, born to first generation Greek parents, grew up in a musical family in the suburbs of Chicago. His mother had countless Greek records that influenced Andreas from his earliest memories. His father, a violinist, taught him classical music which instilled fundamentals and discipline to lead him along his musical journey. Extended family enriched Andreas’ youth with poetry, painting, sculpture, as well as, respect and love for all artistic mediums.
Kapsalis began teaching himself guitar as soon as he could hold the instrument, using his natural abilities to learn by ear: rock, classical, jazz and Mediterranean music. He was soon composing and transcribing songs from as many musical genres as he could handle.
When he was 18 years old, the self taught musician severed a tendon in his left hand while working as an apprentice to a luthier. It was during this time that he decided to turn that accident into an advantage. "I started to experiment with playing chords and scales, and relearned the guitar while I was in the cast," Kapsalis explans. "I had no use of my left hand, so my right hand was all I had to produce sound. I just started writing songs and reworking songs I had composed earlier on with my new found (eight-finger) technique. All of a sudden, I was doing things I couldn't dream of - I could harmonize with myself."
For the next six years Andreas continued to champion the two handed acoustic guitar technique, gaining inspiration . from keyboard players like Jimmy Smith and Dave Brubeck, alongside modern composers including Copeland, Prokofiev, and Steven Reich. "There are so many things that you can do with the technique. It enabled me to learn how to play scores and piano pieces that I previously had trouble with earlier on, due to the lack of available digits - to fill out the range. You cannot play more than six notes at once, but some of the harmonies and scale runs that were impossible before are now possible, so the advantages keep opening up."
Andreas, backed by unique and daring percussionists Jamie Gallagher and Darren Garvey , insists on settings trends and creating music that conveys a level of intensity and emotion that is truly one of a kind. Not only have they become a force representing Chicago's vast music scene, but they continue to branch out, performing in venues across the Midwest and beyond. His virtuoso acoustic guitar playing has even garnered accolades from the very artists that initially influenced him such as Dave Brubeck.
Renowned for his experimental 8-finger tapping technique, Andreas seamlessly weaves bass lines and chord changes with melodies on top, combining sounds and styles with odd-meters and complex compositions to create some very cool music. He performs in Chicago with his trio playing an unorthodox mix of jazz, flamenco, Americana, Latin, and Mediterranean music. Andreas’ track; “Nubian”, is the perfect addition to the Acoustic Chicago collection. Through his unorthodox style of songwriting, he expresses the diversity and personality of the Chicago music scene.