Mavrothi T. Kontanis - oud, voice
Mavrothi T. Kontanis was born in 1979 in Pennsylvania and currently lives in Jersey City, NJ, though his family’s origin is from Halkidiki, Greece. As a child, he showed interest in several instruments, including the clarinet, guitar, and bouzouki. However, at the age of 16 he discovered his true passion, the oud, and began lessons with his first teacher Stamatis Merzanis immediately. Since then he has studied with many other renowned masters including Münir N. Beken, Emin Gündüz, John Berberian, Kyriakos Kalaitzides, Dinçer Dalkılıc, Yurdal Tokcan, and Ara Dinkjian. In addition to playing oud, Mavrothi has become an accomplished singer and violinist, performs on baglama, tzoura, and tamboura, and also enjoys teaching and writing. Mavrothi has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East playing traditional and classical music from all over the world, as well as original compositions of his own with various ensembles. He has been featured on several albums and the film soundtrack of “AmericanEast,” and released two albums in the Spring of 2008 that showcase the oud and diversity of sounds from the Aegean region. By combining his love for classical, urban, and folk music from Greece and the Near East, Mavrothi hopes to heighten awareness of the great beauty and freedom that exist within this unique and diverse musical tradition, especially through the Maeandros Ensemble, which he founded in 2006.
Megan Gould - violin
Megan Gould is one of NYC’s most versatile performers of Middle Eastern, Greek and popular music. She holds a BA in Music and Ethnomusicology from IU Bloomington, and a Master's degree in Ethnomusicology from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. In London, she studied with Egyptian violinist Ahmed Mukhtar and performed Persian classical music with the Naghmeh Ensemble. Since 1992, she has been performing and recording music from the Middle East, Greece, Central Asia, Iran, and Turkey. She has recorded with respected artists such as Tibetan vocalist Yungchen Lhamo, rocker Lou Reed and composer Phillip Glass, and has performed worldwide with groups ranging from traditional Arabic to rock.
Lefteris Bournias - clarinet
Lefteris Bournias was born in the US and currently resides in Queens, NY, but he has lived in Greece as well and has been a clarinetist since the age of 11. Lefteris was fortunate to live near a famous gypsy clarinetist, Mr. Vasilis Soukas, and he soon frequented his house for lessons while attending the Athens Conservatory of Music under the guidance of clarinetist Mr. Farandatos. While returning to New York with his family, Lefteris attended the Aaron Copeland School of Music earning a B.A. in Performance, and a Masters of Science in Music Education and attempted a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology (still pending!). Lefteris has performed and recorded with many highly acclaimed singers and musicians, amongst them, The New York Pops (under the direction of Skitch Henderson), New York Philarmonic, En hordes, Uri Cane, Charles Genus, Henry Hay, Matt Garisson, Gene Lake, Charles Blesing,Steve Haas, Elektra Ensemble, Nikos and Giasemi Saragoudas, Spiros Exaras Band, Avram Pengas Noga Group, Ara Dinkjian, Uri Yunakoff, Omar Faruk Tekbelik, Okay Temiz, Selim Sesler ,Takis Zaharatos, Hristos Antoniadis, Stathis Aggelopoulos, Eleni Legaki, Nikos Hatzopoulos, Makis Hristodoulopoulos, Pitsa Papadopoulou, Peggy Zina, Doukissa and many more. As a diverse musician, Lefteris' style combines Greek traditional, Gypsy, Classical, Turkish Gypsy, and elements of Jazz (rhythmical and harmonic). With a special sound that eminates from his clarinet, he is a wanted man in the recording field and in live festivals, gigs, etc.
Timothy Quigley - percussion
Timothy Quigley is a percussionist/multi-instrumentalist and composer living in Brooklyn, New York. Known for his versatility and tastefulness, Timothy is accomplished in playing in a wide variety of styles and contexts on the drum set as well as congas, doumbek, def, riq, tapan and frame drums. His creative approach and unique sound have led to many collaborations. He has worked extensively as a sideman, sharing the stage with notables such as Smokey Hormel (Beck, Tom Waits), Frank London (Klezmatics, Klezmer Brass All Stars), Ron Miles (Bill Frisell Quartet), Doug Wieselman, Reuben Radding, Allen Ginsburg, Charming Hostess and Cheb Nasro.