Ensemble Elektra consists of some of the most innovative musicians from New York City's diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds: Reggie Nicholson on drums, Brad Jones on bass, Lefteris Bournias on clarinet, Curtis Stewart and Elektra Kurtis on violins. Through the improvisations each member brings their own flavor to the music. Over the past 20 years the ensemble has performed a program of original compositions in New York, in Poland and in Scandinavia.
Elektra's performances have been supported by grants to the Harlem School of the Arts, Mind Builders Creative Arts Center, September 11th Concerts, Grand Central Partnership and Hoff Barthelson Music School. Most recently she received a 2014 grant from LMCC for two concerts: at Symphony Space and Cornelia Street Cafe.
Recordings include: The Book of Time (Milo Records104, 2000), AFROdite’s Smile (MR107, 2005) and Cutting Through ( MR119, 2010) and Bridges from the East (MR 2015)
Elektra Kurtis started Ensemble Elektra in 1983 as a free improv trio in Helsinki, Finland, and continued in New York adding a touch of Greek flavor, till 1993. In 2003 she added guitar which built a stronger rhythm section and harmonic aspect of the music. In 1998 the clarinetist Lefteris Bournias joined the group and the ethnic Greek element was enhanced. In 2002 - 2004 she used ethnic dancers in shows combining flamenco, arabic and Caribbean styles . In 2008 the guitar was replaced by second violin-Curtis Stewart, with a strong jazz and classical background.
Venues included: Tornio Jazz Festival, Finland, 1985, Tampere Jazz Festival, Finland, 1995, Old Student House in Helsinki, Finland (Vanha Ylioppilas Talo), 1985 Knitting Factory, NYC, 1997-2002, Cornelia Street Café, NYC, 1992-2013, CB’s Gallery at CBGB, NYC 1995-1997, Bowery Poetry Club, NYC, 2002, 2007, Satalla, NYC, 2004, Joe’s Pub NYC 2010, Lafayette Grill, NYC 2002-2004, New Music Café, NYC 1994,The Harlem School of the Arts, NYC, 2000- 2008, Mind Builders Creative Arts Center, Bronx, NYC 2000, Hoff Barthelsson Music School 2007, 2011, 2013, Hudson River Museum Yonkers NY 2011, The Kosciuszko Foundation NYC 2011-2013.