Alekos Vretos
Αλέκος Βρέτος

 
Biography

Alekos K. Vretos was born in Athens, Greece in 1976, and two years later his family moved to Argos in the Peloponnese region, which is where he grew up. At the age of three he began to learn the piano and by the time he was sixteen he had decided to devote his life to music. In 1993 he moved back to Athens, where he studied classical music at the Athenaeum Conservatory and jazz at the Phillipos Nakas Conservatory. Two years later he won a prestigious scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA, and he enrolled there in 1996, majoring in jazz composition. It was at Berklee that Alekos was first introduced to the oud and Arab music via Simon Shaheen, who became his mentor, and he studied at Shaheen's annual Arabic Music Retreat from 1998 until 2004. Since returning to Greece, Alekos has been developing his professional career, including playing oud on Hellenic Television and working in the Music Ensembles of Hellenic Radio as an oud soloist and arranger. He also founded the Meliti Ensemble and since 2006 he has been collaborating with the Athens Concert Hall as a concert producer.

 
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Selected Recordings

Yunan (with Meliti Ensemble)
(Subways Music SM-42)

The Meliti Ensemble consists of Alekos on oud plus three violins, bass and percussion, and there is a guest appearance on the last two tracks of this CD by Greek oud legend Nikos Saragoudas.

1. Sonja 4:55
2. Memories of Asia Minor 5:53
3. Methexis 5:57
4. Nasmat Rahat Al-Arwat - Part I (Ali Jihad Racy) 5:08
5. Nasmat Rahat Al-Arwat - Part II (Ali Jihad Racy) 3:45
6. Tha Spaso Koupes 6:53
7. Conversation with Simon Shaheen 2:56
8. Taqsim Bayati 1:43
9. Samai Bayati (Ali Jihad Racy) 6:25
10. Big Al's Longa 4:29
11. Taqsim Bayati 6:11
12. Aman Yala 5:43

 


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