North York Mirror
From a young age, Yiannis Kapoulas knew music was his calling.
Born into a family of musicians, Kapoulas first took to the stage at age five, alongside his father, George, and brother, Angelo, playing Greek weddings and festivals.
Upon finishing high school, Kapoulas left his Hamilton home and moved to Greece, where he continued to work on his craft and learned to master a multitude of instruments primarily on his own.
After working with other musicians on their projects, the North York resident will release his self-titled debut album Nov. 14.
"The CD is a long time in the making," he said. "Half the pieces were composed over many years. I'm really excited about it. All the music, all the tracks, are performed myself."
The nine-song, instrumental album was written, performed and composed entirely by Kapoulas, with melodies ranging from dramatic to upbeat, he said.
"Greece is close to the Middle East and Britain so the CD itself is a mixture of different flavours and cultures," he said. "The whole CD is instrumental. I think of it as a blank canvas, instead of painting with colour I'm using invisible ink. When you hear the music, you put your own colours to it."
No stranger to the stage, Kapoulas has performed in front of audiences at the Canadian National Exhibition, TD Toronto Jazz Festival, Toronto Beaches Jazz Festival, Taste of the Danforth, St. Catharine's Folk Arts Festival, Corso Italia, the Ottawa Greek Festival and the Irie Music Festival.
Because all the sounds featured on his album are performed by Kapoulas, the award-winning songwriter has learned to play at least seven different instruments, including the oud, bouzouki, tzoura, saz, baglama, cumbus, guitar and violin.
But his most notable instrument is one created by his father especially for him - the Ethno III.
Built with a spruce wood body and ebony in the necks and fret boards, the electric Ethno III combines the bouzouki, saz and cumbus, allowing for three different sounds from one instrument.
"Because I play so many different instruments, switching in the middle of a song is something I can pull off sometimes or something I miss," Kapoulas said. "I asked my father if he could create an instrument with two necks and he said no, three necks. Even when it's on a stand on stage, people ask about it. It has a very unique appeal to it. I have another Ethno III, an acoustic version, that I'm going to play for the first time at the CD launch."
The album release will be held at Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W., at 7 p.m.
For advance tickets call 416-902-2284. Tickets will also be available at the door.
Kapoulas' album is available for purchase through www.yianniskapoulas.com