From Athens, Greece, Mikelis is both an ?ud and piano performer. He holds a B.M from Berklee College of Music in jazz studies (2003), a Masters in Jazz Performance from the William Paterson University, NJ (2006) and a Diploma in traditional harmony & counterpoint, from the Central Conservatory of Athens, Greece (1999). Since 2000, Mikelis has been studying Arab music with his mentor Simon Shaheen. Mikelis? ?ud playing interprets Arab idioms with Turkish styling and reflects Greek influences. While still in Greece, he toured as sideman with Sokratis Malamas, Melina Kana, and Savinna Yannatou, and performed throughout Europe as soloist and composer for Occasional Dream, an ethnic jazz ensemble. Mikelis was awarded the Berklee College of Music World Tour Scholarship in 2001. He has toured Europe and the U.S. playing a wide range of music such as Latin, Blues, Rembetiko, Turkish, Arab, folk, contemporary and alternative music, with groups such as the Romeiko Ensemble at a World Music institute performance. As a virtuoso ?ud player, Mikelis has contributed to many recordings, including Zikryayat?s "Live at Lotus" (2006), Mitz?s "New Work" (2007) and the soundtrack for the feature film Jimmy Carter: Man From the Plains
. In addition to playing with Zikrayat for Brooklyn Maqam, Mikelis is Najeeb Shaheen?s special guest at an all-oud program where he will introduce fundamental musical elements commonly applied in three major musical theory systems of the eastern Mediterranean (Byzantine, Turkish, and Arabic).