Giorgos Xylouris ( Psarogiorgis) was born into a musical family (his
father is Psarantonis or Antonis Xylouris and his uncle was Nikos
Xylouris) and he grew up in Anogeia, a mountain village in Crete with a
rich musical culture.
>From eleven years old he would accompany his father at village functions,
and participate in recordings. Giorgos lived for eight years in Melbourne,
where he formed the Xylouris Ensemble.
The Xylouris Ensemble recently expanded to include a younger generation of
players, including Psarogiorgis' sons Nikos and Adonis Xylouris.
Giorgos Xylouris plays the lute as a solo instrument, in contrast to the
traditional accompaniment role the lute has in Cretan music. Normally in
an ensemble the laouto provides the rhythmic backing to the lyra, which is
par excellence a singer’s instrument.
In the less usual role of lead instrument he has made the laouto
into a melodic instrument to frame and adorn song.
Nikos Xylouris grew up in Melbourne and Crete. He plays lyra, mandolin and
tombak, inspired by musicians including his late uncle Psaronikos, his
grandfather Psarandonis, and his teacher (and composer) Stelios Petrakis.