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Wes Montgomery evening at iF Jazz Café - interview with Billy Prim

2021. április 29.

In the middle of the celebration of the International Jazz Day, there will be a memorial concert to Wes Montgomery. István Gyárfás, Ádám Bögöthy and Billy Prim will remember through music to the guitarist-composer Wes Montgomery who died 53 years ago. The streaming starts on the 29th of April at 18:00 CET from iF.

I asked drummer Billy Prim (Vaszileosz Primikirisz) about the concert and his latest album.

 

  • MagyarJazz: Can you tell us a little about yourself for the first time? Where have you studied, when did you move to Hungary? Do you work, do you teach?
  • Billy Prim: I am a 23 years old musician. I started my basic musical education in Greece in a music school. I started learning the drums, when I was 15, mainly by self teaching. After finishing school, I realized that I wanted to study abroad, so I decided to take a risk and with only 100 euro in my pocket, I took a bus from my hometown and I came to Hungary for finding new opportunities. I started Jazz studies for a year, but I was not able to finish my studies due to financial difficulties. Currently, I work as a freelance musician.
  • MagyarJazz: Why did you choose Hungary as your destination?
  • Billy Prim: I used to travel a lot in Europe, having concerts and taking part in international music programs.
    In one program I was lucky to meet a girl from Hungary and we fell in love.
     was young, there were not many opportunities for me in Greece at that time so I decided to take a risk to go to  Hungary and leave with that girl and try the best I can with music there.

  • MagyarJazz: Your record, Thalassa, was released in 2019, with Attila Blahó. Who else takes part in the album? Who are the authors?
  • Billy Prim: The album Thalassa was created with the participation of Blahó Attila on the piano, Horváth Andor on the double bass, Csillag Júia on the vocals as a guest in the traditional Hungarian song entitled ’Én felkelék’ and Turcsányi Áron on the Electric bass also as a guest in the song entitled ‘Keep the child alive in you’. All the songs are written by me except for ‘Én felkelék’, but I tried to make a different arrangement of it. I would like to think that we all contributed to the music. The music and the results of the album would not be the same without my bandmates. 

 

  • MagyarJazz: The sea immediately comes to mind from the title, and nobody will be disappointed who listens to Thalassa, the songs really remind us of the large surface of the water like a dream, but I guess it only shows its calm, silky nature.
  • Billy Prim: The image of the calm sea reflects my inner self and the way with which I always try to face every moment of my life, good or bad. Peacefulness, Balance and Splendour are the things that  I always try to find around me and I wanted to transfer this atmosphere to the people.

 

  • MagyarJazz: On April 29, you will play together with István Gyárfás. I know this is an old desire of yours that is coming true now.
  • Billy Prim: Yes, that is true. I feel very honoured and happy to play with him for the first time after all these years that I have been waiting for it. I also feel very grateful to have this opportunity in these hard times we are leaving. It gives me a lot of confidence to keep going on my musical journey.

     

  • MagyarJazz: Why did you choose Wes Montgomery to remember on April 29?
  • Billy Prim: Wes is my favourite jazz guitarist. I wanted to make this tribute on his birthday that is on March 6th, but it could not be possible. The 29th of April is the International dance day. I think that Wes’s music is very hip, powerful and it makes you move, so it would be great to celebrate this day with his songs.
    https://www.facebook.com/events/277804907172637/

 

  • MagyarJazz: What are your plans for the near and distant future?
  • Billy Prim: Currently, I am planning the recording of my second album with Blaho Attila, Andor Horvath and Mester Daniel. Except for the album, I am planning to move back to Greece after the Summer and focus on my evolution on the drums and music. Next year, I am planning to apply to Jazz Universities in order to start again and finish my academic studies.

 

Fotó: Billy Prim, iF