Born in Athens in 1974, Sokratis Sinopoulos studied classical guitar, Byzantine music and folk song before taking up the lyra at age 14. Within a year he was playing with mentor Ross Daly’s group, and over the last two decades has collaborated with composers, musicians and singers from Greece and abroad. Along the way he has found his own voice as a creative musician. “I play an instrument associated with a specific tradition and live in a place where the tradition is really strong. There are many advantages to a strong tradition. It’s like having a time machine, almost, which can take you back to the medieval era or on journeys through the history of Greece, the Balkans, many countries. And I have loved all the years I have spent supporting the traditions, including the folk music traditions of the Eastern Mediterranean. But recently something else has been developing, bringing together all of my background with something, let’s say, ‘universal’.”
An encounter with pianist Yann Keerim (born Yannis Kirimkiridis in 1979 in Ionnina), a similarly open-minded musician, led to the founding of the Sokratis Sinopoulos Quartet in 2011: “With Yannis, I felt there was a connection that was about more than the instruments we played. It was more of a personal connection, and similar sensibilities.”
As pianist he has performed with jazz and ‘world music’ artists including Ara Dinkjian, Manos Achinotopoulos, and Haig Yazdjian. Dimitris Tsekouras (born 1985 in Athens) comes from a musical family. He played piano, violin, guitar and drums before settling on the bass, which he studied at the Conservatory of Athens.
Dimitris Emmanuel graduated from the Music High School of Pallini, specialized in Greek traditional percussion and Latin percussion. He won the Greek Young Artist Award in 1997 and since then has worked with many groups of traditional Greek music and dance companies.