Magdalini “Magda” Giannikou is a Greek born, New York City based accordionist, singer, composer and multi instrumentalist. Always curious, ambitious and talented, Magda initially became an educator. While working as an elementary school teacher in Athens, she studied classical music and jazz at the National Conservatory of Greece and graduated with a Certificate of Excellence. She also studied at the Philippos Nakas Conservatory in Athens.
With an eye on children’s television, Magda demonstrated her interest in music and production by participating in and producing over 50 programs for T.V. and theater in Greece. Magda moved to Boston after being accepted into the film scoring program at Berklee College of Music. She graduated in 2008 and in 2010, she formed Banda Magda and enlisted some of her Berklee alums in the project.
The primary influences for her band are Latin samba, French chanson and Greek folk music, each song performed masterfully in one of several languages. Banda Magda released “Amour t’es la?“ which charted in the top ten of Billboard’s “World Music Albums” in 2013. Two other albums followed, “Yerakina” and “Tigre.” Magda Giannikou and Banda Magda travel the world, perform and promote their music, while building a fan base, especially in North America, Europe and South America. Banda Magda is also part of the Musical Explorers Program with recurring residencies at Carnegie Hall.
Magda Giannikou has also been the recipient of multiple awards for achievement in film scoring, such as the Georges Delerue Award and the BMI Film Scholarship. In 2009, Magda was chosen as a Fellow at the Composer’s Lab at the Sundance Institute. Since 2010, Magda Giannikou has been building her resume as a composer of music for film and TV, including “Watchers of the Sky,” “Louie,” “Natural Selection,” and “La Tropa del Trapo”. She has also produced an album for Swiss artist Sylvie Bourban, prepared an orchestral piece commissioned by the Greek Embassy in Canada, and wrote string arrangements for the Kronos Quartet.
As a touring musician and bandleader, Magda brings to the stage her zest for her music and for life. With her engaging and animated personality, she takes full advantage of every live performance. She and her band display their wide range of styles and musical textures and, with her leadership, Magda Giannikou brings out the best in each musician’s skill set.