Ensemble Lingua Franca



The term lingua franca is from a particular example, Meditteranean Lingua Franca.

Lingua Franca was a composed mostly (80%) of Italian with a broad vocabulary drawn

from Old French, Greek, Arabic, Portuguese, Occitan and Spanish. It was in use throughout

the eastern Mediterranean as the language of commerce and diplomacy

in and around the Renaissance era.

(Source: Wikipedia)



Lingua Franca circumnavigates on a musical wandering. A journey during which the rich eastern mediterranean traditions and western music elements blend and compose a colourful soundscape using music as their common language. 


The ensemble creates and performs music with respect to the character

of the modal music cultures. Being free from the need to create expressive exagerations,

Lingua Franca leads the audience on an emotional journey, offering euphoria.




Michalis Cholevas: Yayli Tanbour, Tarhu, Ney

Michalis Kouloumis: Violin

Giannis Koutis: Oud, Voice 

Ruven Ruppik: Percussion





"A bridge of sounds between the Orient and Occident"

Ancient musical traditions from the Middle East and Balkans are blended with jazz and contemporary improvised music through a Western frame of mind.
Anatolian Alchemy is the second album by Dutch based Arifa, since the founding three years ago have played in 5 continents. Arifa's debut album 'Beyond Babylon' received five star reviews and was highly acclaimed internationally. 
Arifa's secret is the creative chemistry between its four members. Coming from Romania, Turkey, the Netherlands and Germany their music is just as diverse as their origins, moving from traditional Turkish and Balkan sounds to jazz and classical music.

Alex Simu (Romania) - Sax, Clarinet & Live Laptop
Michalis Cholevas (Greece) - Tarhu, Ney 
Franz von Chossy(Germany) - Piano   
Sjahin During (Turkey/Holland) - Afro Anatolian Percussion


'Arifa combines the musical heritage of Babylon, Istanbul, Bucharest and Amsterdam with electronics and contemporary improvisations. The result transcends the sum of its parts and is a journey far into the realm of imagination.' (Songlines)

'In its exquisite beauty this debut album holds up to the level of the best works of Anouar Brahem.' (Volkskrant)




Kudsi Erguner Ensemble


Michalis has the privilege to perform regularly with the ensemble of the Neyzen master Kudsi Erguner in various projects and formations.