Award-winning vocalist Sophia Bilides leads a musical double-life: She has been named Best Female Cabaret Performer (Independent Reviewers of New England) for her delightfully eclectic explorations of the past and present Great American Songbook, and she has also been called the foremost practitioner of Smyrneika (Boston Globe) for her stunning renditions of the songs of the Greek Asia Minor refugees. Whether Greek or American, she brings to her singing a passion for telling the stories in the lyrics, conveyed in one fantastic alto (SingOut! Magazine).
A second-generation Greek-Italian-American, she was raised in New Haven, Connecticut, absorbing the Asia Minor folk songs of her father's Greek community, the Neapolitan ballads of her mother's Italian family, and the Broadway musicals which came through town at the Shubert Theater, alongside classical, jazz, R&B, and pop music. After receiving a degree in Voice and Music Education from New England Conservatory, she focused on her Greek and Broadway musical influences, tailoring both genres for the intimate, first-person format of cabaret.
· Bilides spins gold: she can belt, lilt, and swing, serve up shtick or heart upon command, and handle rapid-fire wordplay with aplomb. Her deep, sultry voice is like warm honey. (Bay Windows)
· Front and center were her hallmark wry humor, intelligent interpretations, deft phrasing, and richly textured voice. Bilides not only entertains but edifies her audience. (Cabaret Scenes Magazine)
As a nationally recognized Greek vocalist, she has revived the songs of the Greek Asia Minor refugees from the 1930s & 40s, the melodically intricate and rhythmically sensual musical traditions known as Smyrneika and Rebetika. Her teachers have been the great Greek singing masters of the past (Roza Eskenazi, Rita Abadzi, Antonis Dalgas, Kostas Roukounas), heard on treasured recordings. A three-time Traditional Artist Fellowship Finalist, she has been invited to perform the songs of her heritage for The Library of Congress, The Kennedy Center for the Arts, Lincoln Center for the Arts, the National Council For The Traditional Arts, the National Endowment For The Arts, and many concert halls and universities across the country. Her CD Greek Legacy has been described as sonically stunning - a fabulous introduction into the world of Greek music (Dirty Linen Magazine).
· What could a second generation, New World born descendent of the old Diaspora possibly possess in the way of authentic Old World substance & exotic charm ? Plenty! (Rebetiko Row)
· A spirited performer making Greek folk music a significant force, she brings to life a musical heritage that still speaks from and to the heart. (International Greek Folklore Society)
· Her superb voice is heard to excellent effect in this fascinating singing style that straddles the cultural divide between East and West. (Folk Roots Magazine).