Paradise Jazz Festival

Alexander Gagatsis


I was born in Chambéry, France and raised between Thessaloniki (Greece) and Nicosia (Cyprus), growing up in a multicultural environment. I benefited from early musical studies on the piano and subsequently studied drums with Brian Abrahams and mallet percussions with Daniela Ganeva. I hold masters degrees from the Trinity College of Music, King’s College London and an Artist Diploma from the State University of New York where I was fortunate to study with Hal Galper, Jon Faddis and John Abercrombie. I have been generously supported by the Nicolas Economou Foundation, the State University of New York and Trinity College of Music. Aside from maintaining a busy performing and teaching schedule, I have carried out community work in London, first with the Grand Union Orchestra (2007-2009) and later for ReachOut, a mentoring charity.

Alexander Gagatsis

Although I am musician at heart, I recently completed a PhD at the University of Nottingham where I was awarded the Vice-chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence and the Leventis Foundation doctoral scholarship. My PhD focused on the life and work of vibraphonist Milt Jackson. In 2019 I was awarded the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship to research spatial navigation in improvising musicians, as well as a Berger-Berger-Carter research fellowship for my work on the Modern Jazz Quartet. I am currently a lecturer in music at the University of Manchester where I teach jazz historiography, improvisation, theory and analysis, and on topics in Balkan and popular music(s).

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