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Gkaifyllias Thanasis

The songwriter Thanasis Gkaifyllias was born on October 25, 1947 in Soufli Evros. At the age of six, in 1953, he settled with his family in Komotini, where he grew up and finished school. In 1968 he makes his first self-titled album in Lyra label of Alexander's Patsifa, where he performs and writes, influenced by the New Wave his first four songs. 

The albums "Hitchhiking"(Lyra 1971) and "Endless Tour" (Minos 1975) follow, two great records of Greek discography. In 1977 he abandons discography and Athens by night and returns to his homeland, Thrace, where he never stopped playing music. He opened a record shop - bookstore, the famous "Cell" and for the next 26 years (until early 2003) was a major cradle of civilization for the whole region of Thrace. In 1985 he released his third solo album, the "Fillo Poreias" where his wife Lia Tziampazi participates. He married the lawyer and singer Lia Tziampazi in early 1985 and until now they live together in Komotini. They have two children, Danae (b. 1985) and Constantine (b. 1987).

In the early 90s Thanasis Gkaifyllias starts his own record productions through the label «Cell Komotini Records." He made two solo albums, the "Night falls" (1991) and "Stavento" (1999), a cd single titled "The song of honor" (1997) where he cooperates with the band "Alabaster" (Muslim and Christian musicians from Thrace) and "Epi Ptychio" (1996) with songs interpreted and written from old students of the Democritus University of Thrace, as Lakis Lazopoulos, Theodore Xidias, Costas Leivadas, George Langouretos, Lia Tziampazi etc. At the same time he participates as a performer, in the albums of Notis Mavroudis, Giorgos Frantzolas, Takis Alexiou, etc.

He also made music programs in ERA Komotini and has written music and songs for plays staged by the Regional Theatre Komotini: "The stork bring the babies" of Michael Reppa - Thanasis Papathanasiou, "Drum trumpet and red bonbons" of Yannis Xanthoulis "The fintanaki" of Pantelis Horn, "One penny youth" of Asimaki Gialama - Costa Pretenteri, "The courtyard of miracles "of Jacovos Kambanellis the "Leprentis" of Michael Hourmouzi, "The  Mandrake "by Niccolò Machiavelli, etc.

In 2008 he raised in the form of folk oratorio the poetry of Odysseus Elytis "The Sun the Iliatoras" in Komotini, Alexandroupolis and Samothrace. In 2010 the double album "What you ask - Live on Cell" was released by Lyra, with excerpts from his performances in the music scene "Cell" in Athens (November 2009). Mostly old songs compile this disc but also some new songs are included.

Thanasis Gkaifyllias set to music and performed important poets as Kostas Karyotakis, Michalis Katsaros, Georgios Drosinis, Georgios Souris, Yiannis Ritsos, Kostas Varnalis, Michalis Ganas, Nazim Hikmet, Tzelalantin Rumi, Giannis Kalamitsis, Thanassis Julis, Stephanos Ioannides (of the last two poets remain unreleased) and great songwriters as Manos Eleftheriou, Antonis Papaioannou, Tasos Samartzis, Akos Daskalopoulos, etc.

He collaborated since 1968 to date, both in the music industry and in live performances, with the most important Greek composers, orchestrators, songwriters, singers and bands.

In 2012 he participated as a guest star in the movie of Alexander Konstantara "The Retum of Lazarus”, interpreting the symbolic role of Cyclops. The shooting took place in the Rhodopes.

On Saturday August 29, 2009, in Maroneia Rhodopes, one of his dreams was fulfilled. The opening for the reuse, after centuries, of the only surviving ancient theater of Thrace, the famous "Maroneia Ancient Theatre". He worked for this cause for fifteen years through the "Friends Association of Ancient Theatre Maroneia" founded by himself for the construction, restoration and reopening of the theater.

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