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To Horio

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During his “Kalesma: Concerto for laouto and chamber orchestra” performance at the Parthenon Museum in Nashville, Vasilis Kostas presented the original piece “To Horio” along with the Chatterbird chamber orchestra.

Video credits:

Video by Lauren Balthrop/ Recording, mixing and mastering by Kevin Edlin/ Conducted by Emelyne Bingham/ Repertoire arranged by Gilad Barakan/ Drums by Noam Israeli.

Vasilis Kostas


While the laouto (eight-string, fretted Greek lute) is often used as a rhythmic instrument, Vasilis Kostas is a virtuoso soloist. He creates vamps that unfurl in labyrinthine trails, that gracefully evolve into their own polyrhythmic patterns.


Born and raised in Ioannina, he begun playing music at the tender age of five. At 16 he was first awarded by the prestigious Panhellenic Student Competition, for his virtuosity. He studied at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, before admitting to the Philippos Nakas Conservatory, and later to Berklee College of Music. Besides being an acclaimed laouto player, he became the Artistic Director in Epilekto Epirus Ensemble as well as in New England Greek Orchestra.


Vasilis Kostas is also a member in Global Messengers band of the Grammy-winning jazz pianist and UNESCO Ambassador of Peace, Danilo Perez. He has appeared on the biggest stages, e.g. Carnegie Hall, Montreal Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Panama Jazz Festival and WOMEX in Poland. He has collaborated with the Berklee String Orchestra of the Grammy-winning conductor Eugene Friesen, as well as with renowned jazz artists, including Tigran Hamasyan, Antonio Serrano and Simon Shaheen.


His collaboration with the master of clarinet, Petroloukas Chalkias, for “The Soul of Epirus” (2019), resulted in a meticulously crafted album that bridges the two generations of Epirotic music. The second part of their collaboration is captured in “The Soul of Epirus Vol.II” (2023), indicating the importance of musical preservation and experiment in new directions. Sometime in between this collaboration, Kostas released “Steps” (2022) with Layth Sidiq, the Jordanian Grammy-nominated violinist and composer, where they blend jazz, traditional and other musical idioms.


Vasilis Kostas sees it as his duty to not just revolutionize what audiences considered to be world jazz music, but to breathe new life into tradition, to carry on a legacy.


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