kostas pavlidis pic1Kostas Pavlidis is a Greek composer, singer and guitarist from Athens. He is a Roma and is one of the most important and well-known contemporary Roma musicians in Greece.
Kostas Pavlidis was born in Athens in 1974. He discovered his talent and passion for singing as a young boy. At the age of 12, he made his first appearance in front of an audience on stage. From then on he made his living as a singer. One of Kostas’s former primary school teachers introduced him to the Greek director Menelaos Karamagiolis. He recognised Kostas Pavlidis’s talent and offered him the opportunity to contribute to the soundtrack of the documentary “Rom” that he was working on in 1989. Kostas Pavlidis recorded several songs for the film with the composer Nikos Kypourgos and even contributed to the vocals on the theme song of the soundtrack. With the release of the film and its soundtrack, the young Kostas Pavlidis first became known to the general public in Greece.
At the age of 15, Kostas Pavlidis signed his first record deal with legendary Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis on his label Sirios. Kostas Pavlidis then took part in a number of concerts and recordings with many of the key Greek musicians at the time. One of the most important releases that he contributed to, and which further increased his fame in Greece, was the compilation and live album “Songs of Greece's Gypsies”. He shines on the album in an outstanding rendition of the traditional Roma song “Jastar Amenge Dur”.
In 1994, Kostas Pavlidis released his debut album entitled “Karavi Kardia”. Four years later, the follow-up album “Vgale Ftera ke Peta” came out on which Kostas Pavlidis collaborated with Greek oud player Antonis Apergis. In that same year, he also worked with Bosnian Balkan and world music composer Goran Bregovic. On his album “Ederlezi x Four”, Kostas Pavlidis performs the song “Ederlezi” with Chrisoula Christopoulou. In addition to that, he was featured on a number of albums and recordings of many key Greek musicians. Among those were a collaboration with Greek singer Lizeta Kalimeri and more recordings with Antonis Apergis. The well-known Israeli Ladino singer Yasmin Levy covered a song by Kostas Pavlidis (“Locura”) on her album “La Juderia” released in 2005.
As one of Greece’s key contemporary Roma musicians, Kostas Pavlidis and his musician colleagues attempt to blaze new trails to modernise Greek-Roma music and put a face to the Roma culture in his homeland. For some years now, his music increasingly reflects elements of funk, flamenco and Latin. In Greece, Kostas Pavlidis is revered and loved by the public for his live performances that “get under your skin”.
1993 Songs Of Greece’s Gypsies
1994 Karavi Kardia
1998 Vgale Ftera ke Peta
2000 The Rom of Fire – The Wandering
2001 Spread Wings and Fly
2003 Sar Penen


Text: Robert Lippuner / Gypsy Music Network
Translation: Jamie Davies


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