Led by Greek-born singer, accordionist, film scorer and composer Magda Giannikou, Banda Magda moves from baiao to jazz manouche, from Greek dance rhythms to samba beats. Their songs, sung in French (with forays into six other languages), hearken back to the golden age of Brazilian bossa, the best of cinematic arranging and the lush chic of vintage French pop all while drawing on the band’s global background. Trained in film scoring at Berklee College of Music, Giannikou’s film music finesse has won her awards and caught the attention of everyone from Kronos Quartet to Louis CK (she sang a duet with CK for the comedian’s TV show).
Live, Banda Magda bursts with humor and quirky sensibility, powered by a unflagging energy. The New York-based group unites an Esquivel-loving vibes player from Japan; an Argentinean jazz guitarist, a Nagasaki-born percussionist with contemporary classical cred; a hand drummer with every South American rhythm at his fingertips; and a rock-solid Greek multi-instrumentalist/bassist, all led by the sweet-voiced Giannikou. Together, these close musical friends turn Giannikou’s songs into engaging romps that have won them a spot with Carnegie Hall Musical Explorers Series, as well discerning venues like Joe’s Pub, Celebrate Brooklyn, Millenium Stage-Kennedy Center, The Jefferson Center and more.