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Ioannis Papaspyrou was born and raised in Thessaloniki, northern Greece. He was thirteen when he began practicing the bouzouki, (a dominating string instrument in Greek popular music) and soon he started studying European and Jazz music theory at the Synchrono Odio and Neo Odio conservatories of Thessaloniki and received the Harmony, Woodwind Band Arranging, Counterpoint and Fugue (1990, 1992, 1994) with Ioannis Angelakis and Christos Samaras accordingly. Also, he studied classical piano with Patritsia Aliberti, jazz guitar with Makis Stefanidis and jazz piano with Grigoris Simadopoulos. After his graduation from high school he worked proffesionally as a performer (bouzouki, guitar, Greek lute, ud, piano, keyboards) and as an educator (bouzouki, ud, lute, mandolin, guitar, piano, keyboard, European music theory, jazz, and Byzantine Music). He has performed numerous gigs at night clubs, restaurants, hotels etc. He has taught in several conservatories such as Neo Odio of Thessaloniki, Pithagorio Odio of Thermaikos, and Mousiko Kollegio of Thessaloniki. In 2005 and 2007 he received his Composition (studied with Alkis Baltas) and his Byzantine Music diplomas (studied with Miltiadis Pappas) from the Mousiko Kollegio of Thessaloniki Conservatory. In 2008 he moved to Atlanta, U.S.A. where he studied composition at Georgia State University with Dr. Nickitas Demos, receiving several undergraduate and graduate scholarships and graduating with “Suma cum Laude” (BA, 2011 and MA, 2013). During his studies at GSU he served as a graduate assistant in the composition area. He taught composition and organized a concert with the collaboration of the Greek Consulate of Atlanta with his arrangements. Also, during his residence in U.S.A, he toured with Alpha Omega Sound Band to all the south – east states performing at Greek Festivals and other gigs. Since 2013 he has been organist and assistant chanter at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Atlanta. As a composer and arranger he has a portfolio with a considerable number of works. His compositions have been performed in Greece, U.S.A., and Germany by the Trio Epsilon, ACM (Access Contemporary Music), Anaphora, Soli Fan Tutti and several ensembles of Georgia State University. He has composed two symphonic poems, string, woodwind, and brass quartets and quintets, duets, trios and solo works for various instruments, and music for three theater plays. His composition “Mysterioso Agitato”, for flute, clarinet in A, viola, and piano was selected among the finalist at the “Soli Fan Tutti” composition competition at Darmstadt, Germany and was performed live and recorded for the cd production with finalist works. The same composition and the “Blue Lullaby for Nefeli”, for alto saxophone and piano were included to the Weekly Readings of ACM, in Chicago and have been recorded. Also, “Mysterioso Agitato” was presented via composer Seth Boustead's radio show of contemporary music. Ioannis Papaspyrou has also written numerous arrangements for saxophone and string quartet, brass quintet and other mixed ensembles, many of them have been performed in Greece by the Macedonian Saxophone Quartet, Kou Klou Sax saxophone ensemble, Locos de Atar Ensemble and in U.S.A. by the Classic V Brass Quintet in Athens, Georgia. As a composer, he has participated in the Silent Sound Film Festival 2016 and 2017 in Chicago with his score for the movie “Games we Played” by Brett Rogstad and for the movie “2028” by Jorge Mendes accordingly. He is the artistic director of the Atlanta – based Greek Band “Bouzouki Express”.

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