Banda Magda return to Berklee as alums and play the Red Room

I last saw Magda Giannikou, the front-woman of this international band formed out of friendships at Berklee, as the opener of a Snarky Puppy show in St. Louis. Since then, I’ve been looking out for more. A more extensive bio of the woman can be found here.

Banda Magda dances between musical styles and languages, featuring band members from Greece, Argentina, Colombia, Japan as well as the United States. Ground Up Records lists 17 band-members on their artist webpage, although the band typically tours with around six. They perform global tunes, switching between South African rhythms and French lyrics – playing cinematic Greek folk-tunes as well as borderline jazz.

Michael League, the band-leader of Snarky Puppy, briefly filled-in as a bassist for a live show a couple years ago and the bands have worked together a couple times since then. Giannikou also appeared as a guest artist on Snarky Puppy’s collaborative album Family Dinner Volume One.

The bands third album will be released sometime in the next two months. Their website can be found here.

This Wednesday the band returned to their alma mater to play a show. It was extremely hype, and extremely polished, and extremely free.

Some of the show can be streamed through this link.

“This is an assignment I have to get in at 11 p.m. today – I just got it done. I work at stage crew. We set up the stage, the lights,” said Jaidev Rishiyur, a Berklee student and member of stage crew, busy with homework before the show.
The whole band is visible while Justin Stanton solos on the trumpet.
The whole band is visible while Justin Stanton solos on the trumpet.
“I was a classical pianist when I went to Berklee. If you want to play with all the jazz cats, it’s very hard. I was the only person who had an accordion – not knew how to play one – had one. Everyone wanted me to play on their project. That’s the story. I hope it was good enough.” – Magda Giannikou
Why are you guys here?
Why are you guys here? “To enjoy some music,” said Eduardo Kirschbaum.
“I listened to her in the Czech Republic four years ago,” said Nozomi Mizuno.
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Marcelo Woloski during a drum solo.
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Magda Giannikou’s shoes are left on the ground – she is playing accordion on the stool.
A camera-man films, with Justin Stanton of Snarky Puppy playing keyboard in the background.
A camera-man films, with Justin Stanton (who is also a member of Snarky Puppy) playing keyboard in the background.
Keita Ogawa solos on the percussive pig.
Keita Ogawa solos on the percussive pig.
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“We went home to hang out and that was basically how this band was created. Basically this band is just a moving party,” said Giannikou.
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Bobby Lanzetti getting into a guitar solo.
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As seen on a sign outside the Red Room.
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Justin Stanton standing up from the keyboard and piano to play trumpet.
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The audience standing up for one of the final songs of the set.
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