Filippou & Lucaciu

EVI FILIPPOU   vibes, marimba

ROBERT LUCACIU   bass

Filippou-Lucaciu-4-credits Leon Maria Plecity

 „They are angels in the real, always effortlessly elevating the real with magical cathartic power. In many respects and high degree the ideal festival act.“

Henning Bolte 01/24

The dynamic collaboration between the Greek vibraphonist and the German-Romanian double bass player has birthed an artistic partnership that defies the constraints of rigid genre categorizations. Their musical journey is an exploration that draws sustenance from a myriad of sources, ranging from the intricate compositions of 20th and 21st-century classical music to the spirited rhythms of jazz and the evocative tales woven within folklore traditions. This union of sonic exploration transcends the limits of predefined labels, for the essence of their work lies in the realm of boundless creativity.

The intertwining of their unique backgrounds results in an exquisite tapestry of sound, where the vibrancy of balkan heritage converges with the cosmopolitan influence of contemporary european musical landscapes. Like a delicate thread of free improvisation, their performances unfold in an unscripted dance that mirrors the flow of life itself. In this tapestry, notes cascade like rivulets of emotion, merging and diverging, encapsulating moments of sorrow, joy, and the indefinable spaces in between.

The duo’s exploration resonates with a shared pursuit of personal expression. In a world colored by their diverse influences, they craft an auditory experience that is both timeless and contemporary—a testament to the way musical traditions and innovations intermingle at the rhythmic core of human experience.

(Text by Maria Filippou)

stern_gr

Evi Filippou(*1993) started playing percussion at the age of 7. With scholarship from Athens Concert Hall she graduated from Volos Conservatory and moved to Berlin in 2011, where she continued her Bachelor and then Master studies at the Hochschule für Musik “Ηanns Eisler” (BA and MA degree with honors). Along the way, Evi took jazz vibraphone lessons. As well as playing with orchestras and chamber music ensembles throughout Europe, her professional experience includes solo performances and duo collaborations (“ff duet” with Katerina Fotinaki, Filippou & Lucaciu, BISOUS with Lara Alarcón). Also active in the jazz scene, Filippou has worked with Chris Dahlgren, Arne Braun, Elias Stemeseder, Uli Kempendorff, Angelika Niescier, among others. Evi is also part of the Nïm Dance Company of the Austrian choreographer Naïma Mazic. 

Evi performs her own music and arrangements with her project inEvitable. Her first record, released on August 2022, has received immediate critical acclaim and won the German Jazz Prize as Debut album of the year.

As a curator, Filippou is committed to diversity in jazz and the improvisation scene in Berlin since 2019 with the concert series Balance for Better (WdK 2019), Das ist nicht eine Frauen Konzertreihe (ZigZag Jazzclub, 2021) and together with Jacobien Vlasman the Bitches Brew Festival (House of Music 2021, Gretchen 2022). Interdisciplinary and contemporary music theatre is also a big part of her artistic life. She participates in numerous music theater productions (among others in the Neue Werkstatt of the Staatsoper Berlin, Rimini Protokoll, Hauen und Stechen Musiktheater Kollektiv, DNT Weimar). 

Since 2016 Evi has also been an instructor in elementary schools in Berlin sponsored by “Vincentino e.V. – Culture strengthens children in Berlin”. Constantly busy with the coexistence of composition and improvisation, precision and authentic personal expression, Evi lives and practices in Berlin. 

Robert Lucaciu is a versatile musician who has established himself as an integral part of the German jazz scene in recent years. Particularly noteworthy are his collaborations with the vibraphonist and percussionist Evi Filippou as well as his sextet “Fallen Crooner”. With Filippou he shares a creative approach to jazz and free improvisation. The duo is characterized by a unique musical chemistry. In the sextet “Fallen Crooner”, Lucaciu explores themes such as masculinity and humor together with musicians from Cologne and Berlin. In addition to these projects, Lucaciu is also active as a sought-after sideman in various European band projects. His musical spectrum ranges from contemporary jazz to classical music to experimental sounds. Lucaciu has received several awards for his work, including the Leipzig Young Jazz Prize and the Kathrin Prize. His influence can be heard on over 20 albums and his concert tours have taken him to over 30 countries around the world.

photo by Peter Hundert

photo by Peter Hundert

The quality stayed high, but there was one special experience from which could I see every audience member emerging with a smile on her or his face. I was hearing words like “Spielfreude” (joy in playing), “Leichtigkeit” (lightness) being repeated all around me. This was the duo set from Greek-born, Berlin-based vibraphonist Evi Filippou and bassist Robert Lucaciu, born in Saxony and of Romanian origin. The pair have worked together for three years and seem to spark off incredible positive energy in each other. They played Geri Allen’s “Feed the Fire” near the end of the set, and I can’t wait to hear that on the radio. Lucaciu and Filippou both give huge energy, and the vibraphonist has a wonderfully light touch on the instrument (I can’t think of another player who plays quite that weightlessly).

Londonjazznews (01/24)

In their charming, smiling, wild and playful discursiveness they ARE what they PLAY, every single moment: EVI FILIPPOU + ROBERT LUCACIU, vibraphone + double bass, PLAY what they ARE causing freeing effects.  They can fly high as well go for small and humble, connected with each other in deep lively rhythm. Crossing through a lot of layers and spheres, they spark trust and desire with their admirable movability. They are angels in the real always effortlessly elevating the real with magical cathartic power. In many respects and high degree the ideal festival act.

Henning Bolte 01/24

On the Sunday morning, Berlin based vibraphonist Evi Filippou and bassist Robert Lucaciu began the first of two matinee concerts with a perfectly fitting set of music. They opened slowly, as befits a Sunday morning, with a song penned by Lucaciu that began with gently flowing melody from the vibraphone. This was followed soon thereafter with Filippo ringing tiny bells and applying a bow to the bars of her instrument. creating an eddying pool of ringing over tones. The arc of the set was rather perfectly crafted, from the easing in of the first tune to the energetic free improvisation in the middle, and then at the end a return to form but with a bit more power.

Freejazzblog 01/24