An acclaimed laouto player from Ioannina could walk away with a Grammy this Sunday when the 65th Grammy Awards take place in Los Angeles.
Vassilis Kostas is a member of Global Messengers, a jazz group led by famous pianist Danilo Perez, which has been nominated in the category Best Jazz / Latin Album for their record Chrysalida.
A graduate of the master’s program of the Global Jazz Institute of the famous Berklee College of Music in Boston, Vasilis has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Panama Jazz Festival and WOMEX.
According to his website, his innovative approach to the laouto is based on “adapting Petroloukas Halkias’s clarinet lines and instrumental philosophy, as well as finding ways to combine jazz improvisation tools with the traditional elements of his musical roots.”
Vasilis is currently based in Boston, where he teaches music. He frequently travels throughout the United States and overseas to present his projects and work through the laouto.
In an interview on Greek state broadcaster ERT Vassilis explained that he comes from a musical family that always encouraged him to pursue a career in music.
“I started from Ioannina where I come from. I was lucky to have a music-loving family that always encouraged me to follow the musical direction. My grandparents sang the songs of Epirus while my father played jazz and blues in the house. So all these musical influences came together in my studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where I began to explore the musical bridges between the music of Epirus I knew from my family and my teachers with the jazz I learned there.”