Founded by Greek-born singer, film scorer, and composer Magda Giannikou, Banda Magda’s music moves from samba to French chanson, from Greek folk tunes to Colombian cumbia and Afro-Peruvian lando.
Following the success of their brilliant & colourful debut album, Amour, t’es là? (Top 10 in the Billboard World Music Charts and one of the favourites of the “NPR” World Music Albums of the year 2013), their new work is titled Yerakina and was released towards the end of 2014. Co-produced by Grammy winner Michael League (Snarky Puppy) and Fab Dupont (Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Bebel Gilberto), it clearly demonstrates a new concept in its sound definition.
Magda Giannikou is a pianist, an accordionist, a singer, a composer, an orchestrator, a music producer, as well as an aspiring dancer and a very good chef. Born and raised in Athens, Greece, she very soon discovered that music was the coolest thing on earth and began her musical training in classical music and jazz.
After having taught elementary schools all over Greece, written music for TV and theatre in her native Athens, the forces of nature took her to Boston, where she studied film music at the legendary Berklee College of Music.
A winner of multiple awards, such as the ‘Georges Delerue Award’ for achievement in Film Scoring, and the BMI Film Scholarship. She moved to New York after her studies in Boston. Bedazzled by the wonderful world of live jazz and world music, she took some time to begin a very important phase in her life, dedicating this time to songwriting, singing, playing accordion and gigging. The immediate result was the formation of her band “Banda Magda”, a blend of French lyrics over Latin-American rhythms and jazz improvisation that encompasses all the wonderful and diverse stimuli that the Big Apple can induce in a musician.
Within a period of time, Banda Magda has obtained a diverse following throughout the globe with performances in the US, France, Luxemburg, Greece, Colombia and Canada. They burst onto stage with humour and a distinctive awareness, driven by an energy that appears inexhaustible. The group is additionally part of the Musical Explorers Program with re-occurring residencies at the prestigious Carnegie Hall, and have been billed at a number of demanding music halls & festivals: Celebrate Brooklyn, Joe’s Pub, Jefferson Center, Kennedy Center, Webster Hall, Irving Plaza, Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, Minneapolis World Fest, World Music Festival Chicago & Festival de Jazz al Parque. They also particpated in the album Family Dinner Vol 1, winner of a Grammy Award, featuring Snarky Puppy.
They are responsible for the soundtrack orchestration of various feature films: the Spanish 3D animated La Tropa del Trapo, with composer Zeltia Montes (Jerry Goldsmith Award), among others.
Magda recently wrote the arrangements for a piece assigned for the renowned string & percussion quartet, the “Kronos Quartet”, who celebrated their 40 anniversary at the Lincoln Center in New York.
Magda Giannikou – accordion and vocals
Ignacio Hernandez – guitar
Keita Ogawa – percussion
Andres Rotmistrovsky – electric bass