Yiannis Kapoulas' Biography
Yiannis is a unique artist in the World - Mediterranean, Instrumental, Musical Genre.
Award-winning multi-instrumentalist, Yiannis Kapoulas is an artist that is impossible to define. He continues to break new ground with his infectious blend of ethno-fusion, World Instrumentals – an unique sound that runs the gamut of influences from Latin, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Jazz, Classical and Funk. He tours extensively with a 6-piece ensemble comprised of top-talent from Toronto and Montreal; and plays a multitude of exotic stringed instruments with agility, speed, precision and a passion that has been awing music fans at countless festivals across Canada.
A Hamilton native of Greek descent, Yiannis Kapoulas’ earliest memory of music is of the many hours he spent deconstructing a traditional Zeimbekiko melody and mapping it out as a mathematical pattern – it seemed to be a puzzle that simply needed to be unraveled. He was 4-years old at the time. Soon after, Yiannis came to discover the special connection he has with the music. Never having imagined doing anything other than making music, Yiannis has always approached music with a single-minded focus, an obsession to perfect his skill level to match the music he hears within and around him.
This musical drive was fostered in a thriving family of musicians. At age 5, Yiannis first took to the stage along side his father George, and elder bother Angelo. The Kapoulas’ band was a popular ensemble engaged for Greek weddings and festivals across North America. Many years later, George parlayed his ear for music and knack for wood-working when, at Yiannis’ request, he went on to design and hand-craft two one-of-a-kind instruments that would optimize Yiannis’ unstoppable versatility and speed. Now identified as Yiannis’ signature instruments, the Ethno III Acoustic and the Ethno III Electric. The three distinct, exotic sounds afforded by the E-III Electric emulate the lush and melodious tones of the Bouzouki, Saz, and Cumbus. The E-III Acoustic emulates the erotic sounds of the Tzoura, Bouzouki and Guitar.
After high school, Yiannis set out on his own, leaving his home and family in Canada and moving to Greece. Night after night was spent honing his skills by performing for Greek audiences who refused to consider that this Canadian transplant could actually have a feel for their traditional music. Yiannis persevered and eventually came to the attention of Greece’s crème de la crème of music. A move to the country’s bustling capitol saw Yiannis quickly establish a reputation as a sought after session player, a reputation that lead to multiple opportunities to write and produce for high-profile artists. At the height of his career, Yiannis’ beloved mother Rosalia passed away. It was a traumatic event that changed the trajectory of not only his musical success but which continues to inspire everything Yiannis has written and recorded to date.
His compositions have already garnered international recognition. Competing against entries from every corner of the world, Yiannis won a series of international songwriting competitions. His list of accolades includes:
Yiannis released his debut North American CD in July 2010 where he sold thousands of CD's and toured festivals and concert theatres in Canada. His debut CD garnered Yiannis multiple national and international awards International Songwriting Competition:
• ISC 2006 - Samba Funk was a finalist in Instrumental Category.
• ISC 2007 - Matador's Guitar won 1st place in the Instrumental Category.
• ISC 2008 - Sun In Your Eyes was a finalist in the Instrumental Category.
• JLC 2008 - (John Lennon Songwriting Contest) Sun In Your Eyes was a finalist in the Latin Category.
• ISC 2009 - Olympia was a finalist in the World Category.
• TIMA 2010 - (Toronto Independent Music Awards) - Won Best Live Acoustic.
• LME 2011 - (Landmark Events- Battle of the Bands Montreal) 2nd Place Winner.
• HMA 2011 - (Hamilton Music Awards) Wins 2 Awards
1.World Recording of the Year &
2. Special Instrumentalist of the Year
• ISC 2012 - Canalia - Finalist in the Instrumental Category
• HMA 2013 - (Hamilton Music Awards) Wins 2 Awards
1.Ethnic/World Recording of the Year &
2. Special Instrumentalist of the Year
With two North American CD’s, Yiannis endeavours to continue collaborating with other artists and gaining inspiration from all cultures in the hopes of creating music that both transforms and inspires his listeners.