Pavlo’s Mediterranean style music is a combination of genres including flamenco, latin-based rhythms, greek-based rhythms, using guitar, greek bouzouki, keyboard, bass and latin multi-percussion. It gets audiences motivated and taking part.
Pavlo began playing guitar at the age of 10. After playing many styles of music, including rock, Pavlo says his writing honed in on the style he calls “Mediterranean Music,” as he finally combined many different influences into one style of composition.
Since he settled on this style, he hasn’t looked back, selling seven albums, half a million records, earning two gold records in Canada and touring solidly for the past ten years. Audiences love it.
Pavlo’s own PBS Special, entitled – “Pavlo: Mediterranean Nights” aired last month on KCET – LA’s PBS station and again on Sunday, August 17 on KIXE TV9 (Redding and Chico PBS Station). www.pavlo.net
NewsBlaze: What got you started playing guitar?
Pavlo: My parents were Greek immigrants and I was born in Toronto. My father was a music lover. He wasn’t a musician, but he loved music. I would go to see Paco De Lucia with my dad, Jose Feliciano, Sting, all kinds of music. I think my dad influenced me the most, because he was a guitar lover.
So you can imagine how much pride I had to introduce Paco De Lucia to my father, introduce Jose Feliciano to my father. I became friends with Liona Boyd, the classical guitarist and introduced him to my father.
NewsBlaze: It’s nice to introduce someone who has inpired you to the people they admire.
Pavlo: Yes. He also introduced me to the music of Elton John and Billy Joel. He was just a great music lover and he opened up my ears to a lot of wonderful sounds and that influenced what I write.
NewsBlaze: Do you play other instruments as well?
Pavlo: Yes, I play a little bit of everythng, but mostly, I play guitar – I’m a guitarist and composer, that’s what I do. I play a little bouzouki.
NewsBlaze: I play the bagpipes and a friend of mine plays many different styles of bagpipes, so I understand how you experiment with different styles.
Pavlo: Absolutely, there are no barriers when it comes to music. I just came back from a tour of Germany – music is its own language – especially in my genre. Sometimes I put in a 2,000 year old greek instrument with contemporary percussion. There are no boundaries, as long as you’re open minded about what you’re hearing and what you’re playing, you can make great music.
NewsBlaze: What influenced your writing?
Pavlo: I grew up in a Greek family, so there was a lot of that. Greek music can be very complex, 7/8 rhythms, 9/8 rhythms. Western ears aren’t totally comfortable with that. The beatles were also a big influence on me, with straight 4/4, but incredible melodies and harmonies, so there was a colliding of these two worlds. So in composing, I love to bring these together, bouzouki, flamenco guitar and mix latin guitar and flamenco guitar.
Melody is my main focus. First and foremost, the melody is the first thing that comes into my head and then I start adding different types of instrumentation, that I think complements that melody the best.
NewsBlaze: Do you take a band with you.
Pavlo: I have a very dedicated band and we’re starting this tour soon. Folsom is the first of 85 cities throughout the US and this time the band is five musicians. On the PBS special we just did, you’ll see seventeen.
NewsBlaze: Well, we’re privileged to be number one on your tour.
Pavlo: And we’re excited, I’ve never been to Folsom before, I’ve never played in most of these 85 cities before. Playing somewhere for the first time has a special aura to it.
NewsBlaze: Where did you play in Europe?
Pavlo: I focused on two countries – Germany and England. I played in Germany five times in two years. I have an extensive career in Canada and I haven’t toured the US since 1998. This will be the biggest tour ever, with 85 in a row and I just did the PBS special, so these have been my priorities.
NewsBlaze: What size venues do you generally play?
Pavlo: In Canada, often 2,000 – 3,000 seats, in Germany, around 400 to 600 seats, a little less in England, usually around 200 – 300 seats. We also do larger concerts, around 20,000 – 30,000.
NewsBlaze: Do you play a lot of festivals?
Pavlo: Over the years, I’ve played a lot of Greek festivals in the US. One of those is the Cincinati festival, I played five years in a row, with around 10-15,000 people every night. In Atlanta, sometimes they draw up to 20,000 people. I also played Hartford Connecticut.
NewsBlaze: What’s the composition of the band?
Pavlo: you’ll hear guitar, bouzouki, bass, keyboard and multi percussion.
NewsBlaze: What special things do you do in concert?
Pavlo: The show is definitely interactive. Its not going to be five guys sitting down. What we do is interactive, we stand up, dance around, we get the audience involved. We’re serious about it but we have a lot of fun, let our hair down. We do about 200 concerts a year, so we always make it a lot of fun, engage the audience.
This isn’t the style of music the commercial radio plays, so people don’t get a chance to hear it very often, so we love to tour. What we’re asking for is a chance to be heard and people discover they really like it.
We really appreciate your support, helping bring more people.
NewsBlaze: It’s my pleasure, I’m really looking forward to meeting you.
Pavlo: Thank you, see you there.
Editor’s Note: This is a great concert, let’s give Pavlo a great start on his US Tour. See below for location and tickets. By the way – the cost to join the Folsom Lake Community Concert Association is extremely low and membership gives you free access to all the concerts.
September 2, 2008 at 7:30pm
Jill Solberg Performing Arts Center (seats 692)
Folsom High School
1655 Iron Point Road
Folsom California USA
Phone: (916) 934-0869 – call for tickets.
Pavlo Touring Schedule
Pavlo: Mediterranean Nights Trailer (PBS Special)