Saxtom - Tom Giannakopoulos – is a star on the rise.
The 22 year old saxophonist, who proudly says that he was "made in Greece", has already performed alongside some of the greatest Greek artists including Sakis Rouvas and Konstantinos Argyros, and has been invited to play at some of the most prestigious venues in Greece such as Mykonos’s 5 star luxury hotel, Cavo Tagoo.
Although Tom now resides in Athens, he was born and raised in Messolonghi, Greece, a picturesque town that is stretched around a mesmerising sea lake, dotted with the tiny houses of fishermen, and is famous for its breathtaking natural landscape and historical significance.
The captivating, unspoiled beauty of his hometown, as well as the presence of family and lifelong friends, continues to draw Tom to make the almost three hour trip home from Athens very frequently.
“My parents live there and I still have many good friends there as well,” says Tom. “Messolonghi is a beautiful city which I always visit to be inspired by its natural beauty.”
The talented musician started playing music about ten years ago at the age of 12 as part of his local philharmonic orchestra.
Fascinated by music in all of its many forms from a very young age, Tom was urged by his mother to take up music.
However it was the saxophone that Tom says he was most excited about, right from the word go.
“I ended up playing the saxophone which I was most excited about and in the last few years I found myself living in Athens, studying music and performing as a saxophonist with many established artists.
“From the beginning I noticed that the saxophone steals the impressions in a piece of music and I was intrigued by its leading role,” says Tom, explaining what originally inspired him to play the saxophone.
“I was also fascinated by the fact that the saxophone can express power and sensitivity in an unprecedented way.
“In a calm piece of music the saxophone can make a difference and give it power and passion, while in a strong and intense piece of music it can provide emotion and sensitivity.”
Over the following years, Tom’s passion for the saxophone has carved out a space for him in the music industry and has culminated in collaborations with many notable artists over recent years, counting amongst his career highlights so far performances with Michalis Hatzigiannis, Lavrentis Maheritsas, Sakis Rouvas, Konstantinos Agyros and Thodoris Ferris to name a few.
“I can tell you about a performance that I will always remember. In summer 2019, I opened the concert of the very famous and successful Greek singer Sakis Rouvas in Rodos as a saxophonist artist,” Tom remembers.
“Besides the fact that Sakis is an artist with a very special charisma and the collaboration with him will remain unforgettable for me, the audience and the energy that emanated from them was also unforgettable.”
The extremely marketable musician has also collaborated with global brands such as Adidas, Diesel and Swarovski.
So many surreal and unforgettable moments already for a young artist to have already experienced, one might wonder how does Tom actually feel when performing?
“A good question!” says Tom. “Let me try to describe it.”
“It sounds very cliché now, however before every performance I feel very nervous.
“But when I'm on stage I forget everything and feel like I'm alone and interacting with the saxophone.
“I can't explain it, but the moment of each performance has something magical and almost spiritual for me. I open up to the audience through the saxophone and show my inner self.”
It makes sense then why "Don't play the saxophone. Let it play you” is a quote that Tom has used in the past, as it speaks volumes of the musician’s innate talent and musical ability when it comes to his instrument of choice.
“I feel about this quote the same way that I wrote it,” says Tom by way of explanation.
“I don't feel that I play the saxophone, but that the saxophone guides me.
“That's why I love the saxophone - every performance of a piece of music is unique and largely reflects my inner mind.”
Currently in the midst of his military service, Greek City Times was fortunate that Tom took the time out on a day of leave to record a live session especially for Greek City Times.
“I am currently doing my military service. I decided to use this uncertain time we are in because of the pandemic to do this duty,” Tom explains.
“At the same time, whenever I have had a few days' leave, I have actually been able to perform all over Greece again, which has made me very happy.
“I have also been writing my own music lately and hope to present it soon. For the autumn I have already organised several very interesting collaborations with singers and other artists.
“At the moment, planning is very difficult due to the pandemic, but in any case I have a lot of projects in the pipeline and hope to present them to my audience soon.”
In terms of his future aspirations, Tom’s goal is to grow his career internationally and to continue to improve musically as much as possible.
“I would like to make my own music and also gain a foothold abroad,” says Tom.
“Here we had already planned various gigs for 2020 in Germany, among other places, but unfortunately everything had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
“We now hope to take off next year in this respect as well,” says Tom.
“Maybe you'd like to see me in Sydney,” he laughs.
Yes, we definitely would!
In the meantime, enjoy this latest episode of our Live series, premiering on Greek City Times featuring Saxtom - Tom Giannakopoulos.
You can also catch Saxtom - Tom Giannakopoulos here:
Artist Page: https://www.facebook.com/saxtom.tomgiannakopoulos
Email: [email protected]
To be featured in one of our greekcitytimes.com LIVE episodes, email [email protected]
Live in L0ckdown: Ft. Internationally Acclaimed Bouzouki Player Tommy Tsonis
Live in L0ckdown: Ft. Beats by Bongo Ang, Primo Percussionist
Live in L0ckdown: Ft. the Sultry Sounds of Tina Kokkalis
Live in L0ckdown: Ft. Klarino Soloist Theo Skaltsas
Live in L0ckdown: ft. FiloXenia – A Brotherhood Like No Other
Michael Platyrrahos: Preserving the Musical Traditions of Crete
Bouzouki Extraordinaire. Bouzouki on Fire. The Legendary Thanasis Pylarinos.