Tuesday, 23 April 2013

An Interview With Katerina Pavlakis, Producer and Programmer For The 'Making Tracks' Concert Seasons

We here at Curiosity of a Social Misfit are proud to have Katerina Pavlakis, producer and programmer for the 'Making Tracks' seasons of concerts and Director of KAPA Productions pop in to talk to Patrick Challis about the wonderfully eclectic concerts they put on.

PC:  To someone not familiar with Making Tracks, how would you describe yourselves?

KP:  Making Tracks is a 'travelling concert series' - a season of concerts aiming to bring a varied programme of world music in all its forms out of London and into regional venues. Touring is complex and expensive, and not many artists get the opportunity to tour in the UK and therefore people living outside London often don't get a chance to experience some of the wonderful music coming from around the globe. Making Tracks aims to change that.

PC:  How do you chose the musicians who appear at the concerts?

KP:  That is a rather difficult question, as there is not set 'procedure' for programming the Making Tracks seasons. It happens somewhere between looking for first class musicianship, original style, a taste for the unexpected and keeping the range and variety as wide as possible. We would like people to experience all the many different 'sounds' that world music can have, from almost classical to hot and groovy, from big and energetic bands to small and intimate ensembles.

PC:  You're known for  the sheer variety of musicians that you work with.  Is there a dream musician you would like to work with?

KP:  I don't think I could pin point one single musician or band that is the one dream artists. There are so so many wonderful artists out there, so much brilliant music, that I only really wish we could put on more tours each year, and get more people interested and enthusiastic about being open and curious to experiencing music they may not necessarily have heard about before.  

PC:  You're at the end of Season 3 of your shows.  What have been the highlights of the seasons so far?

KP:  Each tour and each artists are brilliant and unique in their own way, so again, it is really impossible to pick a favourite. The season started with Krar Collective, a three-piece Ethiopian band based in London that have the punch of a whole orchestra. Melingo from Argentina must be one of the most theatrical performers out there; describing his music as 'punk tango poetry' is not a PR gimmick but actually quite accurate. Earlier this year we had the Yiddish Twist Orchestra on tour, who not only have a genius name, but also play an irresistible  mix of Latin-klezmer-ska-jazz that got them raving responses from the audience. Last but not least the current tour features the delightful and ingenious Johanna Juhola from Finland, and her truly colourful band Reaktori.

PC:  The amount of shows you put on is massive but do you have any funny stories to tell our readers stemming from any of these?

KP:  Funny stories happen all the time,  but they are often only funny from an insiders' point of view, i.e. for those that actually spend hours and hours every day sitting in that tour bus, so it's quite difficult to recount them.

We once had a suitcase full of costumes get lost somewhere between planes on the way to the UK; the costumes were lost for the duration of the tour, but the suitcase actually turned up in London 8 months later, believe it or not!

PC:  What do your fans have to look forward to from the upcoming Season 4 of concerts? 

KP:  We think we have put together a great programme for the next season, and quite wide ranging too, even if it has a bit of an African slant. First on will be a Brazilian duo on piano & percussion: Adewale& Taubkin play their own take own experimental, jazz-tinged take from bossa nova to samba and beyond. In November we bring over kora master Ballake Sissoko from Mali and his 4 piece band. He has played with many a famous name before (from Taj Mahal to Ludovico Einaudi, and from Sting to Jools Holland); his own music is quietly assured and softly powerful. In spring 2014 we are very proud to have been able to book the rising stars from Zimbabwe, Mokoomba, a young band full of explosive energy and a real passion for what they do. Completing the season is Indian slide guitar maestro, Debashish Bhattacharya, a true musical traveller who has been weaving many influences into a glittering  musical career of over 25 years. 

PC:  Many thanks for joining us here today.  It's been a pleasure.

Making Tracks 2013-2014 Tour Dates

Adriano Adewale and Benjamin Taubkin
From subtle to sumptuous
on piano and percussion
On Tour: 26 September 2013 - 10 October 2013

Ballake Sissoko - At Peace
Classical soundscapes of African beauty
On Tour: 20 November 2013  - 1 December 2013

Rising stars from Zimbabwe:
Electrifying, intoxicating, irresistible!
On Tour: 30 March 2014 - 12 April 2014

Debashish Bhattacharya
Global adventures on a slide guitar!
On Tour: 7 - 18 May 2014

For more information their website can be found here 
For their official Facebook page click here   

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