PHILIPPOS KESAPIDIS pontian lyra
Philippos Kesapidis was born in Germany in August 1972. Since 1978 he has returned to Greece and specifically to Thessaloniki where he lives and works until today. At the age of ten he began his work with Pontic music. He participates very early as a lyra player in the dance and music departments of the Akrites of Pontos club of Stavroupoli and takes part in performances both inside and outside Greece.
In 1987, he attends the Contemporary Conservatory of Thessaloniki, taking classes of saxophone, theoretical, modern and classical Harmony. At the Contemporary Conservatory he meets with the composer and conductor Pavlos Tsakalidis that in the future as a lyra player, he participates in the Pavlos combo music band, which deals with traditional musical forms with Jazz and classical orchestration elements. Later, he appears in a number of events and concerts in and outside Greece with famous singers and musicians of the Pontic scene Alexis Parharidis, Kourtidis Giannis, Achilleas Vassiliadis, Michalis Kalinotzidis and others.
At the same time, he works as a professor of Pontic Lyra at the Music School of Thessaloniki and in various conservatories of the City.
Since 1999, along with sociologist-anthropologist Nikos Michailidis, he begins visiting present-day Trebizond where he contacts the Pontic-speaking population and the local musicians, records local music and collaborates with artists from the region. From the recording of that period, and specifically from the Sourmena and Trebizond areas, the first record album entitled Jason's targets and songs from the Black Sea was released in 2000 with the participation of Alexis Parharidis, Omer beykoz and himself as a music supervisor.
In 2003, he meets with the pontic-speaking singer-songwriter and lyra player from Trebizond Adem Ekiz and a year later he releases a record album titled Tragedy Romeika. Nikos Michailidis, who also had the production supervision, took part in the album. In addition to his musical activity, he takes part as a speaker in conferences and seminars dealing with Pontic music.
In 2010, together with Adem Ekiz, they make appearances in Greece, Turkey and Russia, Greece and Germany, they write together the second record album titled from Trebizond to Thessaloniki with the participation of singers Kostas Theodosiadis and Alexis Parharidis.
This particular record was also released in Turkey by the company Gouverzin music entitled Selanik'ten Trabzon'a koprou (from Trebizond to Thessaloniki the bridge).
In 2014, as a distillation of his musical experience, he founded the music band ARGATEIA, wishing to emphasize his love for the Greek idiomatic song and his belief in the future of this music.
STELLA KAMPOURIDOU kaval
Stella Kampouridou was born in Katerini in 1990. In 2012 she completed her studies in the Department of Music Science and Art of the University of Macedonia, in the major of Greek Traditional (Folk) Music, with specialization in “Performance in caval”, with professor Manos Ahalinotopoulos. The same year she started postgraduate studies in the Academy of Music and Fine Arts in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, with caval professor Lyuben Dossev and she completed them a year after.
She is member of the music bands «Ιliodromio» and «Argatia».
THANASIS KOULENTIANOS kanun
He was born in Athens in 1982. When he was 13 years old started playing the kanun and by the age of 15 won a special discrimination and the first prize in the first and second music contest for students from all the country respectively. Then he started working as a professional musician.
He has collaborated with significant Greek singers of folk and traditional music (Eleni Vitali, Glykeria, George Dalaras, Chronis Aidonodis, Giannis Papakostas, Domna Samiou and others). He has participate as a solist with Giannis Markopoulos orchestra “Palintonos Armonia”, the minor asian orchestra “Estoudiantina” the jazz orchestra big band of municipality of Athens and the known Serbian singer Slobodan Trkulja in concerts in Greece and other countries (Cyprus, Turkey, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Serbia, France, House of music Thessaloniki,House of music Athens and others).
He has a diploma in Byzantine music and a degree in music harmony. He is a graduate and a post graduate student of “University of Macedonia” Thessaloniki department of music science and art.
He is a teacher of the kanun and theory of traditional music in conservatoirs and pubic schools (En Chordes Thessaloniki, Samaras, Rythmos, music public schools of Ptolemaida and Tripoli and others)
He is currently a member of the world music band “Loxandra”, a music band from Pontos called “Argatia”and a very close collaborator of the known Turkish singer Dilek koc.He collaborates with varius artists in concerts here in Greece and abroad
YANNIS KARAKALPAKIDIS double bass
Yannis Karakalpakidis was born in Ptolemaida, Greece. At the age of 10 he started classical guitar lesoons at the Varvoutio Municipal Conservatory of Ptolemaida and he was very much involved in Greek traditional music by playing the violin, the bass and the lute as well. He continued his studies in the Traditional Music Department at the Technological Educational Institute of Epirus in Arta, specializing in the traditional violin.
He has collaborated with various artists including Dimitris Mpasis, Lizeta Kalimeri, Antonis Vardis, Areti Ketime, Dilek Koc, Gorkem Soulis, Mario, Manos Achalinotopoulos, Yiotis Kiourtsoglou, Stavros Pazarentsis, Nedyalko Nedyalkov and Samir Kurtov and many others.
As a musician , he has also taken part in the theatrical performances :
Dance me to the end of Greece 2, by the director Kiriaki Spanou and the music supervisor Kostas Vomvolos.
With excellent music…with voices , by the director Sophia Spiratou and the music supervisor Kostas Vomvolos ( National Theatre of Northern Greece).
Cherchez la femme, by the director Sophia Spiratou and the music supervisor Kostas Vomvolos ( National Theatre of Northern Greece).
The secret garden, by the director Marianna Toli and the music supervisor Panagiotis Mparlas ( National Theatre of Northern Greece).
He participated as a musician in the tv series Bloody Earth in the Alpha channel ,directed by Kostas Koutsomitis.
He has collaborated with the “Original Tiroler Kaiserjagermusik” orchestra of Austria, in the Innsbruck Congress with the conductor Oberstleutnant Hannes Apfolteler performing the “Axion Estin” by Mikis Theodorakis.
As a guitar player, he has taken part in four international guitar festivals : Ormis Festival in Croatia, Niksic Festival, Tivat Festival in Montenegro and the Guitar Art Fetsival in Belgarde with the “ Georgopoulos trio”.
Prticipating in various projects ,he has taken part in numerous festivals in Belgium, Germany, Italy, France and many other countries.
He is a member of the musical projects: “Markab trio”, “ Tangology”, “dRom’, “ Argatia” and “ Mirror Tuners”.
He works as a music teacher in Greek music schools.
CHRISTOS TASIOS percussion
Christos Tasios was born in Serres in 1976. His debut with music began at the age of 8, participating in the philharmonic of the municipality of N. Petritsi, playing percussion instruments. Later, at age 16, he attended the Serres conservatory undertaking classical studies and piano.
Percussion instruments have always been the subject of his personal study. He was taught alongside Kostas Anastasiadis and Stefanos Agiopoulos. His many and different influences have allowed him to work with musicians from different places and musical influences. Some of them are Dasho Kurti, Melina Kana, Lizeta Kalimeri, Maria Soultatou, Giorgos Merantzas, Nikos Dimitratos and others. He also participated in traditional music bands, accompanying dance groups. He has worked with many great musicians in Greece and abroad, playing music he loves. Apart from his collaboration with the music band Argateia, he participates in the music band drom with musical influences from the Balkans with jazz forms and in the band lapino, with the guitarist Dimitris Lapas, who also belongs to the field of improvised music.
The last few years, he teaches music and directs the Philharmonic of the municipality of N. Petritsi as a conductor.
ONUR SENTURK pontian lyra, baglama, tulum
He was born in 1984 in Rize. He has started his music career by playing bağlama(Saz) in high school. In 2002, he was admitted to the Physics Department of Middle East Technical University (METU). In his undergraduate years, he was interested in traditional Black Sea Music and he started to play tulum and kemenche. In these years, music dominated his life and he decided to change his career. After he graduated from METU in 2008, Sound Engineering and Design department of Center for Advance Music Studies(MIAM)accepted him as a master student and he moved to Istanbul. Since 2008, he has been involved in several music projects and bands. Some of the projects and groups are Helesa, Kafdağı Müzik Topluluğu, Vova, Sonbahar Kumpanya, Kardeş Türküler. He also participated in some international music projects and he performed in many international music festivals in several different countries.
pontian lyra, tulum, baglama
Moreover, He performed in several nationally and internationally marketed albums as a professional music performer. He is a Ph. D. student in Performance department of MIAM since 2011 and his advisor is Prof. Dr. Cihat Aşkın. Since May 2016, He conducts his field research in Thessaloniki and he is one of the members of Argatia
ELSA MOURATIDOU vocal
She was born and raised in Thessaloniki. As a student she attended music theory and piano classes at the Contemporary Conservatory of Thessaloniki. At a very young age, she became a member of Aghia Triada Children Choir, which had a great impact on her future career. After completing her studies at Democritus University of Thrace, she got a BA in Greek Literature. She continued her studies in Phonetics, attending modern singing classes with Eleni Mihalopoulou. She attended several seminars: phonetics with Spyros Sakkas, free phonetic improvisation with Savina Yannatou, a study on the chorus (χορός) of ancient greek drama with Michael Marmarinos and more. Since 1996 she participated in many music bands, singing various styles of Greek music : traditional, rebetiko (1930 – 1950) and music of modern Greek composers. She gave concerts in Greece, as well as abroad, next to several musicians and singers, such as M. Mitsias, Ant. Kalogiannis, V.Lekkas, St. Pahidis, D. Zervoudakis, G. Kazantzis, P. Theoharidis, M. Thoidou & DRASTA, M. Hadjimanolis, And. Karakotas, D. Demostenous, Plaza Ensemble and many more.
She participated in a large number of theatrical plays, as a singer, for the National Theatre of Northern Greece, and other venues as well. She was also music instructor at many theatrical shows.
She is a member of the acappella band StringLESS. The band's repertoire consists of folk music from around the world,swing, pop,cabaret and more, in a polyphonic style.
She is a member of the music group TIR FADA, which focuses on Celtic music. Folk and contemporary tunes from Scotland and Ireland, sung in English and in Gaelic. She is also a member of the music group MAROUVA, a Cretan folk music band.
Since 2016 she is a member of ARGATEIA, singing songs from the Black Sea region (Pontian, Armenian, Turkish, Laz, Georgian)
She has been and still is a teacher of modern and theatrical singing.
KOSTAS KALOUSIS vocal
Kostas Kalousis was born in 1991 in Thessaloniki. His passion for pontian music triggered his interest, leading him to learn how to play the kemenche and to follow a singing career from an early age. He has studied Mathematics at the University of Ioannina. In parallel, he has been working as a professional singer of pontian music in balls, concerts and discographies.