NEW YORK – Guitarists Peter Douskalis and David Rogers presented a fantastic evening of multi-genre duets and solos at Club Bonafide in Manhattan on May 2. Douskalis, whose father is from Piraeus and mother is from Cyprus, spoke with The National Herald about the show. The program included jazz and rock standards, and Classical works, plus traditional Cypriot pieces played in a non-traditional way.
When asked how the show came together, Douskalis noted that he had performed with Rogers on a gig in California and when the opportunity to perform in New York came up, Rogers called Douskalis and invited him to play. The blending of the three genres, jazz, classical, and world music attracted a diverse crowd. Douskalis played electric guitar in the show which is unusual for him lately since his more recent performances have been on acoustic guitar. For the last ten years he has been playing Greek and Cypriot music as well as jazz and world music. The interplay between Rogers’ West Coast classical and Douskalis’ East Coast jazz and world music was impressive. The richness of influences so skillfully played by the two artists created a beautiful and moving effect.
The guitar solos were also outstanding with Rogers performing arrangements of J.S. Bach and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, among other lovely pieces, and Douskalis performing arrangements of Cypriot songs at once familiar and all his own.
The musicians gave brief explanations of each piece, adding a charming touch to the performance with some inside information. Rogers noted that he likes Bach for three reasons- Bach had a coffee shop gig, he taught kids, and his granddaughter moved to Oklahoma.
When asked what was next for both musicians, Rogers told TNH that he was heading back to Oregon, and Douskalis mentioned a musical version of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. The two guitarists also looked forward to working together again, perhaps on the West Coast next time.
Douskalis is a musician, arranger, and educator. He is a substitute guitarist at the Broadway shows Dear Evan Hansen and School of Rock and Off-Broadway at Desperate Measures. He has arranged music education materials for Hal Leonard Publications and has given two TEDx Talks about multicultural music education. Douskalis performs Greek music with Pericles Kanaris and Synolon, Armenian music with Hooshere, and Cypriot music with Sounds of Cyprus. His solo jazz guitar CD The Dance of the Sea received national and international acclaim in Just Jazz Guitar Magazine, Los Angeles Jazz Scene, Jazz Journal (UK), and Cadence Magazine. He can be seen performing regularly around New York City. More information on Douskalis is available online at: www.peterdouskalis.com.
Termed, “a prominent guitarist,” by the New York Times, David Rogers fuses classical, jazz, early, and world music elements into powerful, moving, and virtuosic performances. The Washington Post has praised his “astonishingly florid” improvisations. He has been called a “modern master of the classical guitar” by 20th Century Guitar. Classicstoday.com has praised his “first rate instrumental artistry,” and the Lute Society of America Quarterly has called his technique “formidable.” More information on Rogers is available online at: www.davidrogers.com.