The Players

Megan Gould - violin

Megan Gould (violin) is one of NYC’s foremost performers of Arabic and Greek music. She holds a Violin Performance degree from Indiana University and a Master’s Degree in Ethnomusicology (with a concentration on the Middle East) from the University of London. In London, she studied with Egyptian violinist Ahmed Mukhtar and performed Persian classical music with the Naghmeh Ensemble. She has performed around the world in such cities as Paris, London, Budapest, Copenhagen and Dubai, and has appeared nationwide at venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center. She has appeared on many and varied recordings and film soundtracks for artists such as Philip Glass, Yungchen Lhamo, Bassam Saba, Ani Difranco and Lou Reed, and on television and radio broadcasts for NBC, PBS, MTV and NPR. Currently she resides in the New York City area, where she performs and records with groups ranging from traditional Arabic to pop.

Mavrothi T. Kontanis - oud & voice

Mavrothi Kontanis is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer and teacher born and raised in the US, but with roots in Halkidiki, Greece. Mavrothi's main instrument is the oud, and he has studied and performed with many of the world's top players, including Münir N. Beken, Emin Gündüz, John Berberian, Kyriakos Kalaitzides, Yurdal Tokcan, Joseph and James Tawadros and Ara Dinkjian, among others. His passion for performing is matched by his love of teaching and composing music. By keeping an open mind and drawing from his diverse experiences as both a Greek and an American, Mavrothi creates music that is both Eastern and Western, old and new. Mavrothi has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East, can be heard on numerous recordings and movie soundtracks, and is the leader and founding member of the Maeandros Ensemble. 

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 one of New York City's most versatile and in demand drummer/percussionists. His distinct sound has led to collaborations with many great talents among them legendary clarinetist and mandolin player Andy Statman. He has worked extensively as a sideman, sharing the stage with notables such as reggae/hip hop sensation Matisyahu and Frank London of the Klezmatics. A specialist in Balkan/Asia Minor rhythms, Quigley has worked with Bulgarian saxophone virtuoso Yuri Yunakov, Algerian Rai master Cheb Nasro, renowned Greek vocalist Amalia Papastefanou, Christos Govetas (Bill Frisell, Ziya), violinist Beth Cohen and clarinet virtuoso Lefteris Bournias. As a session musician he has recorded on film and television soundtracks and can be heard on over 30 CD releases. Recent releases include Mavrothi Kontanis' debut albums Wooden Heart and Sto Kafesli Sokaki, One Ring Zero's Wake Them Up, Chicha Libre's Sonido Amazonico, Las Rubias Del Norte's Ziguala and Adam Good's Dances of Macedonia and the Balkans. Currently Timothy tours, records and teaches masterclasses internationally and performs with The Maeandros Ensemble, Romashka and One Ring Zero.

Additional Guest Ensemble Members

Shane Shanahan - percussion

Phaedon Sinis - politiki lyra, kanun

John Themelis - laouto, santouri

Anstassia Zachariadou - kanun

Greg Jenkins - clarinet

Ahmad Yousefbeigi - percussion

Megan Gould

Mavrothi Kontanis

Lefteris Bournias

Timothy Quigley