"Kostas Kouvidis" Scholarship

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Kostas was born on July 1, 1976 in Thessaloniki, Greece. He lived his early childhood in Athens and Heraklion before returning to Thessaloniki ...


Kostas was born on July 1, 1976 in Thessaloniki, Greece. He lived his early childhood in Athens and Heraklion before returning to Thessaloniki where he went to Primary and High school.

He showed a great interest for music very early and at the age of seven took his first private drum-course, with his teacher Leonidas Alahadamis.

At the age of eight he joined the Conservatory of Contemporary Music of Thessaloniki and studied the drums under Kostas Pagonidis, his new teacher. He received a scholarship and finished his studies in classical harmony and jazz in 1995. The same year he won a scholarship from the Berklee College of Music to continue his studies there.

In 1996 he moved to Boston and enrolled in the Berklee College of Music where he took music courses from top class musicians such as Ron Savage, Joe Hunt, Jackie Santos, Yoron Israel, Ron Mahdi etc. Having his grant successfully renewed every year, he graduated on May, 2001 with a “Bachelor in music - major in performance”.

After a short period of indecision between moving to New York or returning to Greece, he finally decides to return to Greece. He was incompatible with the everyday life in the U.S.A. although he felt that it was the place that could offer him whatever he had ever dreamed of in terms of music.

On his return to Greece he settles in Thessaloniki where he stays until 2003 and in 2004 he moves to Athens.

He was tragically lost in a car crash (sagged by an insanely speeding 18 year old street bandit) in the centre of Athens on April 26, 2007.


-   Since the age of 14, he appears in local jazz clubs and participates in concerts and festivals with jazz, rock and punk bands from Thessaloniki, always being the youngest musician of the bands. On a regular base he is a member of the “NARIZ” jazz band (H. Kapetanakis -sax, Y. Economides –trumpet, Ag. Mardas –bass, D. Mpohtis –guitar) and also (in 1994)  joins the “GULAG”, a historic Greek punk group, with whom, at the age of eighteen, he appears for the first time in discography ( “Step Firm”, 1996, Lazy Dog Records)

On his return from the USA

-     He collaborates in live performances, concerts and recordings with almost every jazz and blues musicians in Greece (G.Kondrafouris, D.Vasilakis, D.Tsakas, H.Kapetanakis, G.Oikonomides, A.Andreou, A.Thermos, K.Konstantinou, L.Tzimkas, I. Koulouras, P.Trivolis, D.Hristopoulos, S.Noiti, A. Papastamatakis, K.Baltazanis, T.Barberis, N. Dimopoulos,  A.Leventopoulos, Y. Kassetas etc).

-    He is founding member of the bands: “Jazz Frequency Quintet” (2001-04) with H. Kapetanakis- sax, Y. Economides- trumpet, M. Stefanidis- guitar, L. Tzimkas- bass, "Cinnamon Free" (2003-2004) with G. Kontrafouris- keyboards, A. Thermos- sax, Y. Papatriantafylou- bass, A. Leventopoulos- quitar, “Out to Lunch Trio”(2004-06) with D. Tsakas- sax and K. Konstantinou- bass, “The Beatdrop”(2004-06), F. Brouzakis- vocals, Mc Yinka- vocals, D. Sevdalis- Keyboards, D. Hristopoulos- bass and the “Jazz Roots”(2005-07) with A. Thermos- sax and P. Trivolis- bass , and regularly performs with the: “Jazz Warriors”(2003), “Funk Wizards”(2004-06), “Hammond Trio”(2006-07) and “Zoe Tiganouria & Senso Latino”(2006-07).

-     He appears with a great number of internationally acclaimed musicians that tour Greece (Greg Bailey, Sheila Jordan, Deborah Davis, Rex Richardson, Shelley Burns, Paris Strother, James Casey – USA, Olivier Gatto – France, Michel Hadjigeorgiou – Belgium, Helen Schuttevaer – Holland, Oleg Chaly – Ukrain, Daniel Tilling – Sweden etc).

-     He represents Greece in the European Jazz Festival (2002) ( jazz trio with G.Kontrafouris on piano and K.Konstantinou on bass). He also participates in a great number of other Festivals with various artists: Dimitria-Thessaloniki (2003), Lefkada Jazz Festival (2003), Music Day- Tehnopolis Athens (2004), Sea Festival- Halkidiki (2004), Patra Festival (2005) etc.

-     He participates in the “Ionian Jazz Ensemble”, a mixed band consisting of  professors and students from the Music Department of the Ionian University that toured Greece and produced a CD in 2003 (Co-production of the Ionian University and the “Jazz&Jazz” Magazine).  

-      He is the main coordinator, organizer and drummer for two great gospel concerts (the first and only such events ever to take place in Greece) in December 2005 with the over a hundred-people strong African Communities Choir of Greece.

-      He has appeared in numerous recordings of fellow Greek musicians (Yusef, Lakis Tzimkas Quartet, etc)

-     To honor his memory fellow musicians and friends organized two large, free entrance, concerts, on the 9th and 11th of June 2007, in Athens and Thessaloniki.


Kostas was a very gifted, cheerful and charismatic man. A man of great breadth, inexhaustible and very focused in everything that he dealt with, he was the kind of person that is very difficult to fit in any stereotype.

As a kid he was a well known skate-border while as a teenager he was a key figure and leading activist in the extended high school sit-ins and unrest that swept across Greece in 1991 following a government attempt to impose oppressive regulations in education.

As a musician he spent endless hours rigorously studying the great jazz masters while continuously keeping up with everything interesting steaming from the new breed of talented black musicians.

Throughout his life he was constantly trying to understand the real meaning of things, was never prone to superficial judgments of persons or circumstances and was always trying to look beyond the surface. 

Art Blakey and Hegel, James Brown and Nietzsche, punk and surrealism, gospel and Zan Pier Vouagie, Jimmie Hendrix and (the young) Karl Marx, Charles Mingus and Malcolm X, Bob Marley and Guy Debord… could be named as some of the pieces that Kostas was made of …

He was not attracted by fame, money, success or a career in anything that he did not believe in. Throughout his life  he was always trying to follow the road of his heart and fought to create the circumstances that would allow that. He did not believe in well spoken words or abstract philosophies not followed by actions.

On his snare drum he had inscribed the phrase:

“You are what u do not what u think u are”