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JazzColumbus.com Interview Series: Erik Augis

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by Andrew Patton on January 12, 2015

Next in our new series of interviews with some of Central Ohio’s finest jazz musicians is keyboardist Erik Augis. A Columbus native, Augis maintains a busy schedule, with a weekly brunch gig with his trio at 3rd & Hollywood in Grandview, a prominent role in the Pete Mills Quartet, and regular shows with bands including Canta Brasil, FLIPPO and the Augis/Clark Duo with his wife, vocalist Lisa Clark-Augis. Augis and his bandmates in FLIPPO, a local jazz-fusion super group, will be paying tribute to the great jazz guitarist and composer Pat Metheny at Natalie’s on Wednesday, January 14th at 8pm. The band, which also includes Michael Cox on saxophones and EWI, Paul Brown on guitar, Andy Woodson on bass, and Louis Tsamous on drums, will perform a selection of their favorite Metheny tunes along with some originals and other material. As Augis said, “We’ve been Metheny fans for a long time; not just Pat but the band as a whole. As a pianist, I really admire Lyle Mays’ subtle elegance and artistry. We’ll be doing a fair amount of new (to us) material, some of it fairly faithful to the original arrangements, some with our own spin.”

When and why did you start playing music and jazz?

Erik Augis (EA): I started playing when I was 8 and fell in love with jazz and improvised music in high school.

Who are some of your main influences in your playing/performing?

EA: Too many to name. A few are Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, Phineas Newborn, Stevie Wonder.

What is your fondest musical memory?

EA: I have many fond memories of playing with the guys in FLIPPO, who are some of my very best friends and whom I look up to musically.

What are you listening to today? What’s on your playlist?

EA: Today is Bill Evans, Red Garland, and Lyle Mays.

What inspires you about the Columbus Jazz scene?

EA: Its vitality, supportiveness, and inclusiveness. The many, many very talented musicians who live and work here.

What are you working on for 2015? Any new projects, exciting shows or releases?

FLIPPO will be doing a concert of Weather Report music in March and a concert of Stevie Wonder music in April.

Visit here for more info on Erik Augis.

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