Vocalist and composer Panayota Haloulakou co-leads the Greek Music Ensemble along with Panos Liaropoulos and has been a member of the ensemble since 2002.
Panayota performs a variety of Greek music such as rebetika, laika, 'entehna' and is especially interested in singing traditional music. Since her arrival in the States in 2002, she has collaborated with the majority of Boston-based Greek-American musicians and has toured the East Coast and the South East. She has opened for Litsa Diamanti, Nikos Tatasopoulos, Vasilis and Sarantis Saleas, and George Perris in Boston, and has collaborated with George Dalaras, Yiannis Markopoulos, and Notis Mavroudis in Herodion Theater and Megaron Musikis in Athens, Greece.
Panayota also has a deep love for jazz and experimental music. She treasures her collaborations with well-known artists Steve Lacy, Irene Aebi, Sheila Jordan, Joe Lovano, and John Lockwood, as well as with many emerging young musicians of the Boston/Chicago/New York jazz and experimental music scene such as Alec Spiegelman, Jorge Roeder, Richie Barshay, Rick Stone, Marc Riordan, Kendall Eddy, and Andrea Lieberherr, to name a few. She currently leads her jazz quartet with Lefteris Kordis, Mark Zaleski, and Karen Kocharyan.
Her experience as a freelance artist includes leading Greek and jazz ensembles, participating in large classical choirs or smaller jazz vocal ensembles, singing a diversity of musical styles (ranging from Greek rebetiko to Weill’s cabaret music, from classical compositions to avant-garde live electronics works, from structured music to free improvisations), and singing in Greek, ancient Greek, English, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, German, and Turkish. Past collaborations also include English conductors Peter Seymour and David Blake, and theater director Jackie Romeo.
Panayota has performed in major concert halls and venues in Greece, Boston, the greater New England, Missouri, Texas, Florida, and Vermont to participate in Greek and jazz festivals either with her own band, or as a guest artist. Her first album with her jazz septet “Barely Real” (still not released) was recorded in 2006 and features her original music based mainly on American poetry. In August 2011, she released her second record as a leader entitled “Standards,” a duo with Lefteris Kordis on piano (available through CdBaby). Her latest original work “Laconikon” based on selected poems by Odysseus Elytis will be released in the Fall of 2013.
Panayota is a Fulbright scholar and holds a Master’s degree in Jazz performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston. She maintains a private studio teaching voice, piano, music theory, and ear training and is inspired by the Estill Voice Training System and the Taubman Piano Approach.