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Elektra Kurtis

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All About Jazz user Elektra Kurtis

United States

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Violinist and composer, Elektra is a leader of Ensemble Elektra and New York Jazz Philharmonic.

Elektra Kurtis a violinist and composer of Greek origin, leader of world fusion group Ensemble Elektra, New York Jazz Philharmonic and a string trio Chamber Ensembles. She graduated from Sibelius Academy of Music in Helsinki, Finland in 1986, majoring in violin performance and education and from the School for Strings Suzuki Teachers Course in New York (in 1988). Elektra lived in Poland, Greece and Finland. Now a resident of New York City, she is a faculty at the Harlem School of the Arts and at Hoff Barthelsson School of Music, and works as a freelance violinist in the New York’s tri state area. Ms. Kurtis has played with numerous symphony orchestras, most recently: Connecticut Grand Opera and Orchestra, Bronx Symphony Orchestra, New England Symphonic Ensemble and Harlem Festival Orchestra. She has also performed with such notable jazz and world artists as Lester Bowie, Gerry Mulligan, Paquito d'Rivera, Lionel Hampton, Max Roach, Ray Barreto, Simon Shaheen and Israel “Cachao” Lopez. Elektra has worked with contemporary composers such as Anthony Davis, John Zorn, Henry Threadgill, Akua Dixon and Craig Harris. In 1997 she recorded with Steve Coleman. In the last years Elektra has played for Serena’s Middle Eastern dance company production in New York City’s Pantheon Theatre, Henry Threadgill’s Agregation Orb performance at the Miller Theater in New York City and as guest with Drum Freaks group lead by Milo Kurtis in Warsaw, Poland. In November 2006 she recorded for Nas’ CD”Hip Hop is Dead” on Deaf Jam Records. Most recently Elektra played with improvising string orchestras in the Vision Festival with Billy Bang in 2007, Jason Hwang in 2008 and 09. In 2009 and 2010 she performed and recorded with Adam Rudolph’s Organic Orchestra and Jason Hwang’s Spontaneous River ensemble. Ms. Kurtis’ recordings as leader of Ensemble Elektra include Cutting Through (2010), AFROdite’s Smile (2005) and “The Book of Time” (2000) on Milo Records and are available on CD Baby.

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