Pandelis Karayorgis is a Boston based jazz/improvised music pianist, composer and educator.
In the last thirty years mostly led or co-led numerous groups in performances at festivals and clubs in Europe and the United States and Canada. Recordings appear on labels such as Hat Art, HatOLOGY, Clean Feed, Not Two, Leo Records, Nuscope, Boxholder, Okkadisk, Cadence, Accurate, Leo Lab, Ayler and more recently on Driff Records, an artist-run label co-founded by Pandelis Karayorgis and Jorrit Dijkstra.
Some of the most extensive recording/performing collaborations have been with Nate McBride, Curt Newton, Ken Vandermark, Mat Maneri, Guillermo Gregorio, Jorrit Dijkstra, Jeb Bishop, Luther Gray, Jef Charland, Randy Peterson and Dave Rempis.
Pandelis Karayorgis performed and recorded with Joe Maneri, Han Bennink, Damon Smith, Mary Oliver, Steve Swell, Frank Rosaly, Jason Roebke, Keefe Jackson, Tony Malaby, Michael Formanek, Forbes Graham, Matt Langley, Jeff Galindo, Taylor Ho Bynum, John Lockwood and Eric Rosenthal.
Also performed with Josh Abrams, Chad Taylor, Jason Adasciewicz, Jacob William, Laurence Cook, Eric Hofbauer, Jeff Parker, Tim Daisy, Jason Stein, Mike Reed, Josh Berman, Charles Waters, James Falzone, Nori Tanaka, Daniel Levin, Kresten Osgood, Jeff Platz and Charlie Kohlase.
Notable projects include The Pandelis Karayorgis Quintet, The Whammies, The Pandelis Karayorgis Trio (whose first trio CD "Heart And Sack" was featured on National Public Radio's program Fresh Air), the mi3, Construction Party, System of 5, the quartet Matchbox, the large group Bathysphere and more recently, the quintet Cutout, the Pools and Cliff trios and the Double trio CliffPools.
Born in Athens, Greece in 1962, moved to Boston in 1985. Prior to that, studied piano and performed in various jazz groups in Athens while pursuing a degree in Economics. Earned BM and MM degrees in music from Boston's New England Conservatory while studying with Paul Bley, Jimmy Giuffre, George Russell, Dave Holland and Joe Maneri (composition). Studied and performed extensively Thelonious Monk’s and Lennie Tristano’s music and in 1991 compiled a collection of all of Monk's compositions.
In 2021 awarded Finalist in Music Composition in the Mass Cultural Council 2021 Artist Fellowships Program.
"Over the course of nearly 20 years and approximately that many recordings, Karayorgis has established himself as one of the singular, and significant, pianists of his generation."
" ... by this stage, Karayorgis has developed a powerful piano language of his own and this is its definitive statement to date."
The Penguin Guide To Jazz Recordings, (8th Edition) in reference to solo piano CD "Seventeen Pieces" (2004).
Dec 2005 Boston Globe article
Point Of Departure roundtable moderated by Bill Shoemaker
A great write-up from Chicago Reader's Peter Margasak (June 2013)
A bounty of brilliance from Boston pianist Pandelis Karayorgis
10db, (Digital release, 2020, Bandcamp).
MatchboxAfterimageThe Whammies Play The Music Of Steve Lacy (Live )vol.3
CircuitousCocoon The Whammies Play The Music Of Steve Lacy vol.2Window And DoorwayThe Whammies Play The Music Of Steve Lacy Instruments Of Change
Foreground Music, Pandelis Karayorgis/Ken Vandermark,
Okka Disk, OD12065, 2007
Chicago Approach, Guillermo Gregorio/Pandelis Karayorgis/Nate McBride, Nuscope 1019, 2007
Will Make A Home For You, the mi3 (Karayorgis/McBride/Newton), Clean Feed CF039CD, 2005
Pieces, Pandelis Karayorgis, solo piano, Leo Records CD LR 417, 2004
Pandelis Karayorgis/ Mat Maneri Quintet (with Tony Malaby, Michael Formanek
and Randy Peterson), Leo Lab CD334, 2002
Pandelis Karayorgis Trio (with Nate McBride and Randy Peterson), Leo Records
No Such Thing,
Ken Vandermark, Pandelis Karayorgis and Nate McBride, Boxholder BXH 018,
Let It, Pandelis
Karayorgis and Nate McBride, Cadence CJR 1115, 2001
Guillermo Gregorio (with Mat Maneri), hatOLOGY 531, 1999
Heart And Sack,
Pandelis Karayorgis Trio (with Nate McBride and Randy Peterson), Leo Lab
Lift & Poise,
Pandelis Karayorgis/Mat Maneri (with Joe Maneri and John Lockwood), Leo
Lab CD041, 1998
Guillermo Gregorio (with John Lockwood, Mat Maneri and Eric Pakula), Hat
Art 6184, 1996
Quartet, Accurate AC-5014, 1995
In Time, Mat
Maneri/Pandelis Karayorgis, Leo Lab CD002, 1994
Speech And Song, Pakula/Karayorgis/Rosenthal Quartet, Cadence CJR 1055,
The Other Name,
Pandelis Karayorgis, Motive MP001, 1992
Pandelis Karayorgis, Lyra/OM 053, 1989
England Conservatory of Music, Master of Music in Jazz Performance,
Academic Honors, 1993
New England Conservatory of Music, Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance,
Bley, Geri Allen, Dave Holland, Stanley Cowell, John McNeil, Cecil McBee
Joe Maneri, William Thomas McKinley
George Russell, Jimmy Giuffre, George Garzone
Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School, Cambridge Mass., director
of jazz ensembles, 1996 to present
Suffolk University, Boston Mass., director
of jazz ensemble, 2016 to present
Shady Hill School, Cambridge Mass., director
of jazz ensembles, 2009 to present
New England Conservatory of Music, Boston Mass., director of the
Thelonious Monk Repertory Ensemble, 1992-93