Workshop Info

Admitted students of all instruments from a level similar to high school and preferably with some experience in improvisation.

They will be presented:

a)the basic styles of jazz improvisation with blues, rock, latin, ethnic.
b) ways, harmonious connections, analyzes of important improvisations from the mainstream of jazz.
c) historical reference, connection with social movements and literature.
d)artificial intelligence applications and presentation of innovative research.
e) preparation of the ensemble for a final concert with compositions of the participants.


Born in Athens October 21st 1961.

MSc in Chemical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens 1979-1986.

BMus with Honors in classical saxophone from the London College of Music 1987-1990 under Onassis foundation scholarship.
LRAM teaching postgraduate diploma in jazz at the Royal Academy of Music 1991 under British council fellowship grand.
Candid Records recording artist 1998 –

“An internationally acclaimed, award winning Greek saxophonist/vocalist and composer”

Has recorded 5 albums for historic jazz label Candid Records based in London.

Awarded album of the month from BBC Music magazine and 2nd jazz album of the year from the BBC for “Labyrinth” 2002. This album has become the subject of study at several universities and has been presented at Yale University and at musicological conferences.

“Parallel Lines” album 2005 has received great critical acclaim, a trio suite with Jeff “Tain” Watts and Essiet Essiet dedicated to Sonny Rollins.

“Across The Universe” 2011 included songs from the Beatles, Nina Simone, Doors songbook, with an international line up from all continents, and has produced world touring including “Jazz at the Lincoln Center” New York.

Has played and recorded with jazz greats like: David Liebman, Jeff «Tain» Watts, Abdullah Ibrahim, Ralph Peterson, Marc Johnson, Essiet Essiet, Dave Kikoski, Dan Wall, Ron Affif, Andy Sheppard, Theodosii Spassov, Milcho Leviev, Adam Nussbaum, Benito Gonzalez, Jamie Cullum, Deborah Davis, Juliet Kelly, Mina Agossi, Espen Berg Trio, Emmet Cohen, Gilad Atzmon, Ed Schuller.

Has appeared at New York clubs Birdland, Lincoln Center Dizzy’ s, Zinc, Smalls, Kitano, Jazz Showcase Chicago and major festivals worldwide such as London Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scott’s, Smithsonian Festival DC at the American History Museum.
Live at Birdland:
Jazz Showcase Chicago
Live at Smalls New York

Has appeared for 2 Greek presidents and USA ex-president Bill Clinton during his official visit and dinner.

Presenting “Jazz Democracy” at the United Nations New York April 30th 2018 at the Trusteeship Chamber, invited by the Permanent mission of Greece to the UN for International Jazz Day


A talk/concept/presentation by Dimitri Vassilakis to showcase how jazz – this great American art form – has become global and has embraced the broad democratic values that were first established in ancient Greece. Also, how jazz as a universal language can teach us again how to develop dialogue in equal terms, communicate in a more humane, democratic and creative way.
“Jazz democracy” @ TEDx Athens
TEDx Tokyo 2103
TEDx Tokyo jam session 2013

“Jazz Democracy” @ The London Jazz Festival 2015

Founder and artistic director of Rhodes & South Aegean Jazz Festival that has become a sister festival with Bodrum Jazz Festival strengthening the artistic bond between the two countries presenting the international jazz scene.

Has taught since 1991 at the Athens, Macedonia, Aristotle Universities, Ph. Nakas conservatory and has lectured and presented workshops, residencies and clinics at Yale, Columbia, Queens, Skidmore DePaul, Georgia Tech, Royal Academy, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Paris Conservatoire.

Coordinator and adjunct lecturer at the Athens Kapodistrian University, Master Course in “Jazz and new Technologies” since fall 2017.

Jazz & Artificial Intelligence links concerts and research

“Jazz improvisation and AI interaction” performance examples at the Athens Kapodistrian University LabMat studio.

Singularity Summit Greece 2018 “jazz mapping AI & Robotics”, on the syntax and semantics of language.

Democritus research centre summer academy 2019 presentation in Greek

Ankara Jazz Festival
Jazz Democracy talk plus Jazz and Artificial Intelligence

Researchers Night European Commission National Technical University of Athens NTUA

Jazz AI & visuals
Art Athina 2019
United Nations 2018
Video art by Lydia Venieri


Jazz mapping paper SMC Malaga 2019
Research Gate

Paris Jazzy Colours Festival:

Discography tribute at Downbeat:

Jazz Times interview:

Has collaborated for many of his educational and concert projects with the Onassis Foundation, Niarchos Foundation, Lincoln Center, Yale, Harvard, The British Council, Norvegian Embassy, The American Embassy, Hellenic Foundation for Culture, Hellenic Ministry of Culture, Hellenic Ministry of Tourism, Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Other programs included Delphic games, Herodion & Lycabettus theaters for the Athens festival, playing and producing programs at Dizzy’ s and Jazz at The Lincoln Center, with the aid of the Onassis Foundation and artist residencies at New York, Chicago and Atlanta Colleges and Universities.

Poetry and theatre:

A poet and a producer of projects and concepts combining jazz, poetry, prose, theatre and dance.
“88 εν κινήσει” Aition editions 2016

“αναcoda” Gavrielides editons 2018

Reviews/press cuts:

“Infinite grace poetry and passion”
“Greek saxophone prodigy Dimitri Vassilakis is revered as the Hellenic god of post-modern expression. A rhapsodic stylist of immense power and authority.”
BBC Music Magazine (labyrinth – album of the month).

“Leader Vassilakis’ compositions offer a perfect platform for post-modern expression…whiz-kid tenor player from Greece…his style is the post-Coltrane, post-Rollins style…high-energy and immensely fluid.’’
New York Press (labyrinth Live at Birdland, June 2001). 
Redwood Entertainment, Inc.