Kapsalis learned to play with only his right hand, relearning all the scales and chords. After several months of practice, his right hand was able to do the work of two hands. When his left hand was freed from the cast, Kapsalis endured strenuous physical therapy and eventually regained full motion. His two hands incited a joyful reunion ever-present in his unique and clever approach to the guitar.
Grammy award-winning producer, Jim Tullio, caught wind of Andreas Kapsalis and his breath-taking talents and pressed him to record. Under the supervision of Tullio, Kapsalis recorded a handful of original compositions, in addition to a version of Dave Brubeck's 'Blue Rondo a la Turk,' which won Kapsalis acclaim from Brubeck who wrote: "I am very impressed that Andreas could cover on guitar what I had written for piano. It is quite amazing to hear my own music performed by great instrumentalists."
The Trio-birth collaboration innovation
In 2001, Kapsalis met seasoned drummer, Jamie Gallagher, and discovered their mutual tastes and talents for jazz, flamenco, Americana, Latin, and Mediterranean. Gallagher's ability to compliment Kapsalis' inimitable guitar style and odd-metered compositions provided immediate satisfaction. As a duo gigging in Chicago and the suburbs, Kapsalis and Gallagher experimented with trio and quartet sounds (utilizing auxiliary percussion, saxophone, and violin).
Kotaro Seki was among the musicians they encountered, whose unorthodox flair for creating different sounds with ordinary instruments (bowing cymbals with a cello bow), greatly impacted Kapsalis and Gallagher, introducing them to the trio sound they had only imagined. Gallagher knew to enlist Darren Garvey, a friend and musician he had collaborated with since age 15. Garvey, a multi-faceted instrumentalist, rounded out the trio exceptionally well, having studied percussion techniques from several regions across the globe.
The Andreas Kapsalis Trio was born, meshing at the highest levels of musicianship. The trio's debut performance occurred in October 2002 at Northwestern University's Pick Staiger Auditorium. Kapsalis arranged and played one of his compositions, 'Glass Statues Iron Flies,' with the KLANG ensemble which included two pianists and two percussionists.
The trio then took the stage in front of a packed auditorium to play their rendition of 'Blue Rondo a la Turk,' for which they received a standing ovation. Since the trio's unusual initiation, Kapsalis, Gallagher, and Garvey have been working Chicago's underground music scene, picking up a rich eclectic of die-hard music fans.
The Andreas Kapsalis Trio completed their debut album (self-titled) in June 2004, recorded by up-and-coming producer, Tim Sandusky of Studio Ballistico. The debut album's fresh sound has received critical acclaim and airtime.