Pharos Ensemble is named after “φάρος”, from the Greek word “lighthouse” and specializes in the music of the Greek refugees of Anatolia. The ensemble consists of four highly acclaimed musicians and educators, all of whom are graduates of the prestigious Berklee College of Music. They have all studied their musical traditions in depth and they currently present them in the United States and around the world.
The ensemble’s members have a long list of credentials that include performances with Cirque Du Soleil, Petroloukas Halkias, Glykeria, Danilo Perez, Dave Liebman, Anat Cohen, to name a few and appearances in prestigious venues such as: the Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Megaron - Athens Concert Hall and WOMEX and the 2018 Annual Archon Weekend event in New York City, with special guest speaker Joe Biden.
During the current political turmoil and uncertainty, projects that intend to unify people from various backgrounds are of utmost importance.
Erini (a.k.a. Eirini Tornesaki), from Crete, Greece is a vocalist of jazz, Greek traditional music and contemporary styles, who blurs the lines between genres and explores intercultural dialogue through music. Erini is an alumni of the Master’s Program of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, she toured with Cirque Du Soleil for 3 years and participated in their Emmy Award winning VR short film “Kurios inside the Box”. She has collaborated with Luciana Souza, Christos Zotos, Mario Frangoulis and has appeared at Carnegie Hall, NY, Panama Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, amongst other prestigious venues, as a soloist and as a collaborative vocalist.
Vasilis Kostas is an acclaimed laouto player from Epirus, Greece who has been featured at Carnegie Hall, Montreal Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival and WOMEX. He is a graduate of the Masters Program of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute and has shared the stage with Simon Shaheen, Antonio Serrano and Tigran Hamasyan. His groundbreaking performances on the laouto aim to open new horizons for the instrument in both the Greek traditional and jazz worlds. This is featured in his latest collaboration with Grammy Award winning pianist Danilo Perez’s “Global Messengers’ group and his upcoming duo album recording with master clarinetist Petroloukas Halkias.
Panagiotis Aivazidis is a rising kanun player from Serres, Greece. He attended the Music School of Serres, the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki, Greece, and Berklee College of Music on full-tuition scholarship. He has performed at Megaron - The Athens Concert Hall in tribute to Domna Samiou, a prominent Greek researcher and performer of Greek folk music. He has studied under figures in music such as Goksel Baktagir, Simon Shaheen, Christiane Karam, Alain Mallet, and Socratis Sinopoulos. He has collaborated with the Consulate General of Greece in Boston, the Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and Tufts Department of Music as a guest lecturer.
Born and raised in Nicosia, Cyprus George Lernis is a drummer and world percussionist. In addition to the drums George specializes in a number of instruments such as: the Darbuka, Bendir, Riq and Davul. George holds a bachelor’s degree from Berklee College of Music in Jazz Performance and a master’s degree from Longy Conservatory in Modern American Music. Over the last few years George has recorded and collaborated with prominent figures and ensembles such as: Dave Liebman, Anat Cohen, Antonio Sanchez, Tiger Okoshi and A Far Cry String Orchestra to name a few. George has performed in venues such as the Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.
Pharos Ensemble - Menexedes Kai Zoumpoulia
Menexedes kai Zoumpoulia is a Greek Traditional song from Asia Minor, performed by Pharos Ensemble. Eirini Tornesaki - voice, Vasilis Kostas - laouto, Panos Aivazidis - kanun, George Lernis - percussion. Recorded in Brooklyn, NY in January 2019.
PHAROS ENSEMBLE WORKSHOPS:
The ensemble teaches music workshops for students of all ages and abilities. Some of the group's past workshops were held at Emerson College, Emmanuel College and Tufts University. The workshops are adjusted to the musical level and experience of each group and they include the teaching of Greek and Mediterranean melodies, rhythms of the region, as well as discussions of historical and cultural background of the music.
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