About Us

A Little Words About our sound palette

COLOURS

Bouzoukis, Baglama, Guitars, Kanun, Upright Bass, Percussion, Accordion – Bayan, Kemence -Kemane. 5 members are signing (the most of the time), some times in two languages during the same music piece (Greek, Turkish) and sometime songs in English, Turkish.

CONCEPT

Let the audience “fly” with the ensemble “Loustri” in different times and spaces around the Aegean sea and beyond. From Athens’s rebetiko of the 1940’s to Smyrna of 1900 and even further, from Smyrna to Othoman Istanbul of Aleko Badjanos end of 19th century and the traditional music of Anatolia and Black sea region. Then the audience is invited to “fly” together with the “Loustri Music Ensemble” to contemporary Thessaloniki and listen to their own music and  travel successively to Libanon in order to hear the sound of the Maronite religious music. Suddenly, the intervals of Gnossiennes No1 sounds very familiar to all these music of the East and creates the bridge to a Waltz in Bm of Fr. Schubert, Piazzolla and Rota. Time to visit again Athens where during the 1960’s, 70’s and later on, M. Hadjidakis, M. Theodorakis and S. Xarhakos created their legacy. Finally, altogether, musicians and audience, will complete their music journey in time and space with an inspiring, mystagogic piece of music: a long improvisation followed by a rebetiko song: “To minore tis avgis” and a dance in 9/8.

A Little Words About our repertoire

REPERTOIR

Greek (Rebetiko, Traditional, art music of Theodorakis, Hadjidakis, Xarhakos and the ensemble’s own music), Turkish (Traditional music from Anatolia) Arabic, Azeri, Classical pieces (Satie – Schubert e.a.), Conteporary composers such as Piazzolla, N. Rota and the music created by the “Loustri Music Ensemble”.

The members

Görkem Saoulis
Vocals - Kanun

Born in June, the 29th 1977 in Ankara – Turkey • 1988 – 1998:

Studies at the  ITU – Conservatory of Istanbul  (kanun and Turkish classical music) • 1998: starts working with the founder of the conteporary art music of Turkey, Melih Kibar in concerts, TV Shows and recordings.

• 1998 – 2003 teaches repertoire at the  «Golden Horn» University of Istanbul. • In 2001 she met with her partner and  husband Yannis Saoulis. • Concerts – performances 1997 – 2018: with Turkish music ensembles and orchestras in Turkey, Cyprus, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Egypt, France, Romania, Portugal, Azerbaijan, Russia and other countries. • Recordings 1997 – 2018: She has participated in many albums of renowned artists of Turkey, Greece and Cyprus. Her first personal album was released in 2017.

Leonidas Kyridis
Double Bass

Born in Larissa 28-08-1969 • Studied classical guitar and theory

at the Conservatory of Municipality of Larissa. • He continued his studies at -and graduated from – the Thessaloniki State Conservatory (Strings Department – Double bass). • At the same time he worked as a musician for the Symphony Orchestra of municipality of Thessaloniki and the  Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra. • From 1991 to 2013 ooperated with various ensembles of classical, art music, jazz and traditional music. He collaborated with many Greek composers, with the State Theater of Northern Greece and with diverse choirs and orchestras. He has given concerts in Europe and America.

Dimitris Arabadjis
Accordion - Bandoneon

Dimitris Arabatzis studied at -and graduated from – the University 

of Macedonia – Thessaloniki, Department of Music Science and Art. (Accordion class of Kostantinos Raptis, specialized in concert performances.) • Awards: 1st Prize at the 1st Panhellenic Accordion Competition in Grevena. 1st Prize at the 11th International Accordion Competition “Premio di Montese”, held in Italy. • In 2019, he performed as a soloist at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall with the Thessaloniki Symphony Orchestra and collaborated with the Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Thessaloniki Concert Hall  “MOUSA”. •  World première: the work of Yiannos Aeolos “The Forest of the Swords” in coperation with the “Orpheus Soloists” ensemble. • Over the last fifteen years he is very active in the music stages of Thessaloniki and other Greek cities. • Collaborations with: Yannos Aiolou, Luis Borda, G. Vellivasaki, Th. Voutsikakis, Natasa ‘Mare’ Moumtzidou and others. • His special love for tango led him to learn bandoneonnd to found “Tangology”, a music ensemble dedicated to both old tango and Astor Piazzolla’s tango nuevo. • At the same time, he teaches accordion at Conservatories in Thessaloniki. (Synhrono Odeio of Thessaloniki, Conservatory of munincipality of Thermi, Nikopolis Conservatory, Conservatory of Thermaikos).

Yannis Saoulis
Vocals - Bouzouki

Born in Thessaloniki May the 1st, 1962 • 1976 teaches himself himself bouzouki 

and since 1980 he has been working professionally as a bouzouki player. 1982 – 1986 studies at the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki, Oboe and music theory. • 1986 – 1997 Netherlands – studies at the University of Utrecht and  Amsterdam (Philosophy and political science). •  2000 – 2007 Turkey / Istanbul. • Since 1992, he has produced more than 20 albums in the Netherlands, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and wrote music for theater (1st prize “Afife Jale” 2001 / Istanbul Theatre), cinema and various documentaries. • Concerts – Performances in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Turkey, Russia, Greece, Cyprus.

Gogos Vartsakis
Vocals - Guitar

Gogos was born in 1986 in Thessaloniki. His first

contact with music was at the age of five. At the age of 15  started playing the classical guitar, initially self-taught and later on at the Thermaikos Conservatory of Thessaloniki (class of Konstantinos Krapis). At the same concervatory he studied harmony and counterpoint (class of Christ Delidimou). In 2012 he graduated from the Department of Music Science and Art of University of Macedonia (Greece). Teachers: Elena Papandreou, Giannis Andronoglou, Nafsika Hadjichristou and music theory by Athanasios Zervas, Petros Vouvaris and others.

Graduations: (2013) classical guitar, class of Thanos Mitsalas – conservatory “Dimitris Dimopoulos” Kozani and (2016) State Conservatory of Thessaloniki. He works as teacher in conservatories in Thessaloniki, northern Greece. At the same time he appears in various music venues and scenes in Greece, working with many artists and music groups in Thessaloniki and all over Greece.

References: (performances and recordings) Nikos Kypourgos, Dimitris Zervoudakis, Lizeta Kalimeri, Michalis Papazisis, Andreas Karakotas, George Margaritis, Maria Papanikolaou, Argyris Bakirtzis, Fotini Velesiotou a.o. Gogos has collaborated with the Symphony Orchestra of the Municipality of Thessaloniki in several concerts.

Asimoula Azize Saoulis
Vocals - Guitar - Percussion

Young and very promising. Born March, the 10th, 2006 in

 Istanbul – Turkey • In 2007 moved with her parents to Thessaloniki, Greece. Since 2017 she is studying at State Conservatory of Thessaloniki (piano – class of Mrs. Zoe Samsarelou and music theory). Asimoula is a very creative musician and singer, playing besides piano, guitar, ukulele, baglama, percussion and drums. Since 2020 participates in Loustri Music Ensemble during concerts and recordings.

Tasos Tsonis
Percussion

He was born in 1991 in Katerini. • Graduated from the Music School of

Katerini and from the Department of Music Technology of the Technical college “Delta” of Thessaloniki. He got private drum lessons from Nikos Varyamides. • Since 2016 he is studying at the Thessaloniki State Conservatory, (percussion class of Alexandros Ioannou). • Performances: as a percussionist with the percussion ensemble of the Thessaloniki State Conservatory called “Percautistic”, the Thessaloniki State Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, the Kalamaria Municipal Philharmonic Orchestra and other music ensembles. • As a soloist he performed with the Symphony Orchestra of the Municipality of Thessaloniki.

Thanasis Tsitsaris
Cello - Mandolin

Thanasis was born in Thessaloniki in 1981 and is half Samothracian.

In 1989 he began his musical studies at the Contemporary Conservatory of Thessaloniki in the class of Vassilis Vetsos (classical guitar). His first contact with the cello, at the age of 12, took place in the classroom of Roussi Dragnev, while at the same time he continued his studies in classical guitar. He was a member of the student orchestra of the New Conservatory of Thessaloniki where he continued for three years his musical studies. Concerts and recitals followed. In 1999 he received the first composition award in the Lyceum category, for the Panhellenic student

competition in Athens. September same year, Thanasis became a cellist of the Greek – German orchestra of young people (Modern Conservatory of Thessaloniki and the Conservatory of Tübingen)  Concerts have been given in Greece and Germany.

2001 he graduated with honors in cello from the Modern Conservatory of Thessaloniki.

Thanasis performed on theatre stages as musician ( i)Lyki Vythou theater and ii) State Drama School of the National Theatre of Northen Greece – baroque ensemble, under the musician Gil Gourdier.)

He is also a member of the ensemble “Romanos o Melodos” under the artistic direction the lead intoner of the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarchate, Panagiotis Neochoritis, performing in many festivals in Greece and Europe.

coworkers

Alexis Stefanidis
Vocals / Kemence / Kemane

He was born in Yannitsa – Pella in 1985. • During 1996 he takes the first Pontic lyre lessons.

Graduated from the Department of Folk and Traditional Music of Arta. • Has cooperated with: Yannis Markopoulos, Giorgoulis Lafazanidis, John Kourtidis, George Amarantidis, George Sofianidis, Vasilis Michaelides, Yannis Saoulis, Görkem Saoulis, Lizeta Kalimeri, Sofia Papazoglou, Christos Zotos, Lakis Halkias, Christos Constantinou, Manolis Lidakis, Alkinoos Ioannidis, Vasilis Lekkas, Petros Gaitanos, Kyriakos Gouventas, Vasilis Kassouras, Panos Dimitrakopoulos, Eugenios Voulgaris, Michalis Chatzimichail, Pelagia Kyriakou, and many others.
• Diligences on music projects: 2015, 2nd World Youth Conference of Pontus at the Thessaloniki Convention Center. 2016: “The City Comes”, Galerius Palace, Thessaloniki. 2018 “Saint Eugenius of Trapezounda-Theology, History, Art at the Ceremonial Hall of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. • Performances: in Greece, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland. (Thessaloniki Concert Hall, Athens Concert Hall, Presidential Palace, European Parliament) • Discography: 2017 “Görkem”, “Ta Lyrika” and “Phones” (to be released during 2020) • He took place in many radio and TV shows • Since 2012 he is teaching lyra of Pontus at the Music High School of Yannitsa and Conservatories.

Spiros Papadopoulos
Vocals / Bouzouki

From his childhood Spiros was obsessed with music due to his grandparents.

From his childhood Spiros was obsessed with music due to his grandparents. Later on his father offered to him a midsize bouzouki triggering his engrossment with this music instrument. • He studied music at the “Thessaloniki high school of music” and later on sound engineering. • After graduation the management of the music stage “Sarai” (his family bushiness) was a key factor with a direct affect to his career development. Being a manager and musician at the same time, Spiros met and played with many musicians helping him to be musically even more mature and passionate.

Apostolos Kaltsas
Vocals / Guitar

Birth: 29/10/1972. He started playing guitar at the age of 5. He took his first lessons

 for five years. • During his puberty and adulthood listened and played music mainly from Europe and N. America. Later on the so called “eastern music” attracted his attention due to the music of the singer and composer Nikos Papazoglou. He loves to play guitar and ing. He collaborated with musicians from Athens and Thessaloniki. • A highlight of his musical life was the collaboration with Kostas Mylos from the iconic Greek rock band “Dytikes synoikies (Western Districts)”. During the last two years he enjoys friendship and music creation within the “LOUSTROI” ensemble.

Nikos Taleas
Vocals / Accordion

Born in Kavala, Greece. Musician and entrepreneur. Studies: Aristotle University of 

Thessaloniki, TEI Thessaloniki. 

Nikos is a self-taught and well known accordionist in Thessaloniki who loves to sing and play rebetika songs.

Loustri Music ensemble

Music which shines after polishing…