Gerasimos Andreatos was born in Athens in 1962. He studied theory of music and phonetics. He plays also the traditional Greek musical instruments bouzouki and baglama. Professionally he began singing in 1985 and since then he has collaborated with many famous Greek artists like: Dimitra Galani, Haroula Alexiou, Chronis Aidonidis, Charis and Panos Katsimichas, Eleftheria Arvanitaki, Helen Tsaligopoulou, Vangelis Korakakis, Anastasia Moutsatsou, Melina Kana, Alkinoos Ioannidis, Yannis Spanos, Katerina Kouka, Yannis Markopoulos and others.
Areti Ketime was born in Athens in 1989 and began playing the santur from the age of 6. She grew up in a family closely connected to the traditional music and feasts of Greece. Thus she was exposed to music in a completely natural way from her earliest childhood. At the age of 15 (in 2005), she became a professional performer, playing a broad spectrum of Greek traditional music, both as a singer and a santur player. Areti Ketime is a member of the Estudiantina orchestra
Born on 27 October 1956 at Tropea in the Arcadia prefecture Babis Tsertos went to Athens at the age of seventeen - and has been living there ever since. Althogh he had been a singer and church cantor from early on, he was now anxious to take a University degree. He enrolled in the Physics Department of Athens University in 1974. “I was very lucky to grow up in a family where everyone sang very well”, he says. “My father played the mandolin as well. I was lucky to grow up in Tropea too: it was the big commercial and cultural centre of its area. I can still remember quite a few parties - where we could hear all kinds of Greek music”. As a student, Babis Tsertos was living at a time when rembetika was being revived. He learnt to play the bouzouki and joined the University group, singing popular, rebetika and folk songs. "My life started to be closely bound up with music; we partied almost every night in the restaurants, playing and singing. However, at that time I wasn’t thinking about being a professional performer - perhaps because I knew at second hand what the life was like, as my sister Nadia Karagianni was already a singer." When the rembetadika clubs started opening in the 1980s it was not long before Babis Tsertos found himself working in a restaurant called Oi Filoi (The pals) in the Kypseli district. Ever since that time he has been a professional performer. He has been lucky enough to work with great singers and songwriters such as Sotiria Bellou, Takis Binis, Anna Chrysafi, Kaity Grey, Kostas Kaplanis, Theodoros Polykandriotis, Koulis Skarpelis and Chondronakos, and, of the younger generation, Babis Goles, Giorgos Xydaris, and Stelios Vamvakaris. For the past few years he has been working with pop stars such as Glykeria, Manolis Mitsias, Viki Moscholiou, Lakis Halkias, Manolis Rasoulis, and Petros Vayiopoulos. In 2003 he received the Arion award for his work on rembetika and popular songs. He has collaborated with the group Estudiantina, to highlight the wealth of traditional music from Smyrni. He contributed to Estudiantina’s released album Smyrne, produced by Giorgos Dalaras, which has topped the charts and won 2004’s Arion award for folk music.
He started his music training in 1985 studying Byzantine music and received his Diploma in Byzantine Music with Honors. He has participated in a series of concerts in Greece and abroad, as well as in recordings of Greek Composers’ works. He has also taken part in recordings made for Radio (3d programme), TV channels and the cinema. From 1995 he is the leading mandolinist of the Orchestra of Colors. His interest in traditional music started in 1992 and took the form of apprenticeship next to Christos Tsiamoulis. For the last seven years he has been teaching in the Municipal Conservatory of Patras in the Department of Greek Music, in which he also holds the position of the Head. During the same time – more specifically from 1992- he has been leading the School of Traditional Instruments which operates under the auspices of Ilia’s Church in Pyrgos and Amaliada. His appointment in the Bartholomio and Patras Musical Schools can also be included in his teaching experience, along with his more recent appointment (starting in March 2005) in the Department of Popular and Traditional Music (Epirus Technological Institute), where he teaches the oud, yayli tambur, organology and ensembles. From 2001 until today he has been attending lessons on the interpretation of eastern music’s tropes next to Fahrettin Cimenli and Murat Aydemir in Istanbul. At the same time he has been attending a series of seminars on oud, saz, afghani rabab, as well as composition and orchestration in the context of the “Labyrinth” Musical Workshops organized in Houdetsi. In April 2000 he founded the ensemble ‘Romioi’, which has won excellent critics for its performances of Ottoman Music in various places ( Patras, Athens, Simi, Catelorizo, Messologi). Recently and in cooperation with Markos Skulios, Tolis Tsardakas and Panos Poulos, founded the Ensemble of the Workshop of Eastern Music in the Department of Popular and Traditional Music. His CD entitled “Wanderings” (in cooperation with the singer Dora Petridis) has been in circulation from the beginning of May 2004. His compositions include music for theatre (‘’ The History of a captive”, ‘’Staxtomazoxtra’) and “The Message of the Prince” (with Christos Galanopoulos). In 2007 he published (in cooperation with Vassilis Vantarakis) a collection of 200 rebetika songs of the Inner War Period transcribed in the modal system. The collection was published by Fagotto Editions (in corporation with the Department of Popular and Traditional Music (Technological Institute of Epirus)).
Sokratis Sinopoulos was born in Athens, Greece. He studied classical guitar while taking lessons in Byzantine music and folk song, initially at S.Karas’ school and then at I.Tsiamoulis’ where he sang with the school children’s choir. In 1988 he started studying Lyra and Lute with Ross Daly and a year later he joined his group “Labyrinthos”. Since then he has collaborated with musicians, singers and composers, from Greece and abroad in various genres, from folk music to jazz, participating in countless concerts and recordings all around the world. In 1999 he was honored with the Melina Mercouri national award for young artists. In 2011 he created Sokratis Sinopoulos Quartet. The debut album of the quartet “Eight Winds” was produced by Manfred Eicher for ECM records (September 2015). Sokratis is an assistant professor in the Department of Music Science and Art in the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki.
Theodora Athanassiou was born in Athens. She holds a degree in Education Studies from the University of Patras. She turned to music at the early age of six, teaching herself the bouzouki the baglama and taking part in school music bands and clubs. At eleven, she took up classes on repertoire and modes of folk guitar under the guitarist Nikos Protopapas. She has been working in live music clubs as a guitarist since the age of nineteen. For the last ten years she has been focusing her studies on the eastern system of melody types (makam) for lavta (the Constantinople lute) and yaili tanbur under Christos Tsiamoulis and Eugenios Voulgaris, as well as on rythmology for traditional percussion under Sergios Voulgaris, as part of a five-year course in the Department of Greek music and Instruments at the Municipal Conservatory of Patras. Since 2004, she has attended a number of master classes on the technique and repertoire on lavta (2005) under Pericles Papapetropoulos and other eastern music traditions (afghan rabab, 2004 / KhaledArman, Persian radif, 2006 / Darius Talai) with Labyrinth Musical Workshop in Crete. In 2007, she attended a master class on the special technique and classical repertoire on yaili tanbur under Eugenios Voulgaris (Music Village, Ag. Lavrentios, Pelion). She trained on vocal registration and speech production using physical techniques under the theatre director Maria Panoutsou (2006) and has appeared in theatre productions and radio and TV programmes as a musician and performer. She has been studying towards the special diploma in Higher Theory of Western Classical Music (Harmony Diploma) with the Municipal Conservatory of Ilion, Athens and holds the diploma of Byzantine Ceremonial music (under Athanasios Paivanas, Conservatory of Greece, 2013). She has consistently and extensively studied vocal pedagogy and registration for eastern repertoires and has teamed up with physical performer Irini Athanassiou to lead workshops, master classes and courses on Physical Voice. Since 2005 she has been tutoring and giving courses on theory, technique and repertoire for Greek folk guitar, lavta and yaili tanbur. She is also a teacher and tutor of Eastern music theory, with a focus on broader repertoire of eastern Mediterranean regions. In discography, she collaborated with both established and emerging artists contributing lavta, guitar and vocals; Apsilies by Eugenios Voulgaris, Dimitris Mystakidis and Apostolos Tsardakas in 2008, Voreino / lyrics and composition by Lakis Orfanidis in 2009, Pantahou Apon / lyrics and composition by Nikolas Evantinos in 2010, Kapetanie / lyrics and composition by Constantinos Plousios in 2011, J. Kriste Master of Disguise The Age of Now / by LefterisMoumtzis in 2012. She featured in documentaries about rembetiko songs and contemporary expression in 2011 (11 voices) and 2012 (in debito). Since 2009, she has formed and presented a number of active groups collaborating with remarkable emerging Greek musicians and received widely favourable reviews both in Greece and abroad; (Giouf trio, Happy duo, Ap’ allou duo, Karpos trio, Terpnon ensemble, Garlic duo) with a focus on the role of guitar and lavta in music ‘idioms’ from Greece and the broader Mediterranean.
Dimitris Mystakidis is a famous Greek folk (rembetiko) guitar player, a virtuoso. He is professionally engaged in music since 1986. Dimitris is a multi-instrumentalist who jointed forces with the great majority of Greek artists – composers, musicians and vocalists, while the most long-standing collaborations was with the composer and performer Nikos Papazoglou and his band “Loxi Falagga” (Oblique Phalanx), and the composer, songwriter and performer Thanasis Papakonstantinou. He is a professor in the undergraduate program of the Department of Traditional and Folk Music in Epirus School of Arts and in the postgraduate program of the Department of Music Science and Art in University of Macedonia. He has published two books, both tutorials, for Lute and for Folk Guitar. Dimitris, is a multi-tasking music professional, who researches, teaches, writes, records and of course performs Rembetiko songs for more than two decades all over Europe. He has performed in World Music festivals and venues across Europe with his former band Apsilies and as a member of My Sweet Canary Ensemble. He has performed in the opening ceremony of WOMEX 2012 in his hometown, Thessaloniki, both with Apsilies and My Sweet Canary Ensemble. He has collaborated with the Turkish artist Fuat Saka in the recording of Lazutlar Livera album and the album release tour in Greece and Turkey. He has also collaborated with the Italian artist Vinicio Capossela at his Rebetiko Gymnastas project. He participated in International Lute Players Meeting, held in Athens at Athens Concert Hall in April 2005, along with 15 other artists from across Mediterranean, soloing with lute. Dimitris presented the concert The Artistry of Folk Guitar in Rembetiko in March 2011 at Thessaloniki Concert Hall, and in November 2011 at Athens Concert Hall, along with Yiorgos Dalaras and Martha Frintzila. His constant commitment and effort to preserve and highlight the art of folk (rembetiko) guitar addressed him last year to UNESCO, where he applied for the safeguarding of Greek folk guitar playing techniques as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In December 2006, he released his first solo album, 16 Rembetika tragoudia me kithara (16 Rembetika for Guitar), in which for the first time in Greek music history rembetiko songs were arranged exclusively for folk guitar. This work was so impactful that nowadays numerous rembetiko bands are following Dimitris’ steps. World Music Network (UK) showcased this album and included it in Rough Guide’s album Greek Café as bonus CD, while Introducing released it in digital in 2012. His zeal to approach rembetiko repertoire to all its depth and width, led him to release, along with Evgenios Voulgaris, Apostolos Tsardakas and Theodora Athanasiou, the second album Apsilies (2009) with rembetiko songs from pre-war and Smyrna (Ismir) era and his third album, Psithirizontas to Rembetiko (Whispering Rembetiko), along with Evgenios Voulgaris in 2013, with rembetiko songs arranged for folk guitar and yayli tanbour. His latest album Esperanto, the second solo recording, released in November 2015, including sixteen songs from the post-war repertoire, exclusively arranged and performed with guitar and with the participation of some of the greatest Greek vocalists. Along with Esperanto album release Dimitris and his band – all former students of his – are currently performing Esperanto, the Rembetiko Guitar Project, an anthology of the most important rembetiko songs of the 20th century arranged exclusively for guitar. Keeping the eastern aura of the genre, Dimitris enriches its performing with influences from blues and manouche, while his arrangement exclusively for guitar functions as a common “language” (an Esperanto) to diverse audiences. The performance covers the four distinct periods of rembetiko, not just the classical period, which is widely known. In February 2016 he participated as a performer in TEDxAthens 2016 where, besides his performance, he discoursed about Greek folk music.
Stelios Vamvakaris, son of Markos Vamvakaris , was born in 1948. Vamvakaris has quietly gone about releasing worthy work, at a steady rate, since making his debut as a recording artist in 1977. Stelios Vamvakaris who, as a youngster, liked to accompany his father to the various haunts where he would perform, began learning bouzouki at the age of seven. He turned professional five years later. By the age of 17, the younger Vamvakaris began performing alongside his father. Around this time, he also began writing his own material. Besides his father, Stelios Vamvakaris began playing with other leading acts, among them Yiannis Papaioannou, Vassilis Tsitsanis and Stratos Payioumtzis. As a songwriter, Stelios Vamvakaris did not simply approach rebetika as a stagnant form of the past. In search of variation and freshness, he branched out and also worked with figures beyond the rebetika guild. Local rock pioneer Pavlos Sidiropoulos, Cretan music legend Nikos Xylouris and enduring star George Dalaras all scored major hits with material written by Stelios Vamvakaris. He also wrote material for major old-school laiko artists, among them Giorgos Zabetas, Keti Grey, and Vicky Moscholiou. Stretching it all even further, Stelios Vamvakaris was one of the first musicians to explore the common roots of rebetika and American blues, which, despite the geographic distance, emerged simultaneously and under similar conditions. The musical investigation led to a collaboration with blues giant John Lee Hooker, as well as Louisiana Red. In 2003, Stelios Vamvakaris, a frequent performer abroad, played at the World Got The Blues Festival in London, on a bill that included Taj Mahal and Cesaria Evora.
Kostis Kostakis was born on the 3/4/1986 and grew up in Nea Ionia, Athens. His first involvement with the guitar will come at the age of 8. He started playing classical guitar whilst studying for about 5 years at a conservatory. In the later years of high school he will also start playing electric guitar and also be part of various bands with fellow musician friends. He was always familiar with the Rebetika and Smirneika tunes due to his father who also is a keen accordion player. From the age of 18 he has been playing guitar professionally at various establishments.
Born in Athens in 1975. He has, for a long series of years, been performing as a violinist, in various music bands of traditional and popular Greek music on stage (festivals, concerts etc) in Greece and abroad. He is also performing with various music bands of Balkan improvisational music. Studied classical violin in Athens (diploma) and Jazz music in Netherlands (Conservatorium van Amsterdam). Obtained his PhD degree in Violin performance from the Department of Musical Science & Art, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece, where he has been also teaching Violin and other related classes of Traditional Greek music since 2007. He also has a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Fotis Vergopoulos was born on the 23/11/1988 in Melbourne, Australia. Before he even turned one his family relocated to his spiritual home in Koroni Messinias, Greece. His involvement with music comes at the young age of 6 with the main trigger being his father Nikos who was an inaugural member of the Apodimi Kompania who started off in Melbourne in the early 80’s. After Fotis completes his year 12 studies, he returns to his birthplace and completes a Civil Engineering degree. During this time Fotis will really blossom into his musical journey and finds himself playing live at various venues and quite a few festivals (Brunswick Music Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival). Since late 2013 he has returned to Greece and resides in Athens.
Avgerini Gatsi was born in Athens in 1989 with origins from the beautiful Ipiros. Her musical journey starts at the age of 8 on the piano with Maria Stoupi. Later on, she studies at the musical high school in Pallini where she learnt a lot of theory of the Byzantium and European music (harmonies), ney and saz. After completing her year 12 studies she continues on at the Athens conservatory with emphasis on modal music (makams) with Christos Tsiamoulis as a teacher. She also continues on the ney with Harris Lambrakis. She now studies at the musical section of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and participates in the traditional band of the department. She has attended numerous seminars at the musical workshop Lavirinthos in Crete with Omer Erdogdular (ney), Yurdal Tokcan (oud), Zohar Fresco (rhythm), Mercan Erzincan (turkish grommet song), Ross Daly (composition – makams) και Socrates Sinopoulos (makams). She has also worked with Alexandros Papadimitrakis, Mihalis Kouloumis, Manousos Klapakis, Dimitris Brentas, Maria Ploumi, Stefanos Filos, Santouristas band and Elektrobalkana.
Iraklis Vavatsikas was born and raised in Thessaloniki. He took his first accordion lessons in 1978 with Vassilis Tsimitsiadis and in 1982 he continued his studies and graduated with excellent grades from Kostas Aroutzidis’ class in the “New Music School of Thessaloniki” in 1992. In 1993 he started playing the Bayan (Classical Accordion) and took lessons from Viatseslav Semionov (Russia). At the same time he has been working on Greek Folk Music and has composed, orchestrated and played in over 300 discs, cooperating with great Greek musicians and composers. From 1995 to 1996 he becomes a member of the National Orchestra of Greek Music and starts creating educational composes for classical accordion, based on the Greek musical tradition. Thus, the “Light Blue Book” which includes rearranged folk pieces, but also 21 studies, a Toccata (prototype pieces) in classical style and tens of adaptations of classical works. He has also created prototype music groups such as “For voice and accordion” (2000) and “Smyrni – Buenos Aires” (2008). Since 2008 he has been working on the revival of an extinct musical instrument which was used in Greece until 1940, “Armonika”. He has been playing Tango with the Argentinean diatonic instrument Bandoneon, as it is the closest instrument to Armonika. He also has been teaching the accordion and the bayan in “Filippos Nakas” Music School. Discography: “Boat Heart” with Kostas Pavlidis (1994), “Tell me, soul” with Morfo Tsaireli (1999), “For voice and accordion” with Morfo Tsaireli, “New land” of Dimitris Tsekouras (2001), “Color” with Eleni Tsaligopoulou (2004), “The key” with Manolis Lidakis (2004), “The heart of the Beast” Soundtrack of Renos Haralabidis’ movie (2005). .."La Nonna" Soundtrack Play 2015
He was born (1971) and raised in Athens where he still lives. His family roots are in South Evia and Epirus. He started studying “keybord” when he was very young, while his older (guitarist) brother helped him with his first steps in music. Later on, as a teenager, he started playing with amateur and school bands and also learning traditional dances. At the age of 16, he starts studying the accordion and at the same time he is getting more into the Greek folk and traditional music, along with his twin brother Vangelis, who ended up a traditional singer and a byzantine music chanter. After HighSchool, he studies interior design and architecture, painting, history of arts and he plays accordion professionaly. After his military service, for several years he gets accordion lessons, by the virtuoso Iraklis Vavatsikas, who gives him a push into new kinds of music as well. Classical music, tango and Astor Piazzola, Balcanic and French accordion, Chatzidakis, Nino Rota and all kinds of music (Oriental, Jazz, Manouche Gipsy Swing, Flamenco, Latin, Bossa Nova etc.). Since 1991, besides everything else, he plays the folk and traditional Greek music. He has worked with many composers, musicians and singers in recordings, concert halls, night clubs, television, theatre and art acts. He has played all over Greece and Cyprus and also Turkey and many Countries of Europe. Some of the most important artists that he has worked with are: Giannis Parios, pantelis Thalassinos, Orfeas Peridis, Haig Yazdjian, Melina Kana, Lizetta Kallimeri, Vagelis Korakakis, Babis Gkoles, Stelios Vamvakaris, Antonis Apergis, Manolis Pappos, Sofia Assychidou, Kostas and Dimitris Papadopoulos, Katerina Kouka, Mario, Tassia Vera, Giannis Vassilopoulos, Christos Konstantinou, Panagiotis Stergiou, Giannis Papavassiliou-Vlachos, Nikos and Kostas Filipidis, Manos Koutsagelidis, Lambros Karellas, Petros Vagiopoulos, Voula Savidi, Giannis Zouganelis, Panagiotis Lalezas, Kostas Doumouliakas, Dromos the band, marios Papadeasm Vassilis Giannisis, Sotiris Margonis, Giorgos Marinakis, Katerina Tsiridou, Antigoni Mpouna, Giorgos Tzortzis, Antonis Enitis, Afentoula Razeli, Athos Danelis (shadow puppeteer), Giannis Bostantzoglou, Pavlos Orkopoulos (actors), Kostas Ferris (director) a.o. The last few years, along with his part in KOMPANÍA, he plays folk Greek music, with a music trio consisted of him, Antigoni Mpouna (singing, guitar) and Kostas Doumouliakas (singing, bouzouki).
She was born in Athens and since 11 years old, she started learning music and classical gutar. She graduated from the Musical High-School of Pallini (Athens) and she studied music at the Kapodistrian University of Athens. She also has a diploma in music theory (harmony) from "Nikos Skalkottas Conservatory". She is one of the most promissing singers of her generation in Greece and for the last decade she has been singing and playing in various night clubs and taverns, in Athens and all over the country, allong with many important Greek musicians. She has been part of a big collection alboum, with Mikis Theodorakis' cover songs, under the general title "Rereading Mikis", produced from the Greek music company "Kathreftis ichon alithinon" ("True sounds' mirror") and published by one of the biggest Greek newspapers "Efimerida ton sindakton" ("Editors' Newspaper").