Nikitas Tsimouris

Nikitas Tsimouris, 1924-2001

Nikitas Tsimouris brought the unique music of the tsabouna, a type of Greek bagpipe, to Tarpon Springs. He was born in the village of Chora on the Dodecanese island of Kalymnos, one of eight children of a sponge fisherman and citrus sharecropper. Tsimouris’ father played the tsabouna and the family had a reputation for dance and music. At about age eight, Tsimouris learned to play the tsabouna from his father while they watched their sheep. The tsabouna is one of two types of bagpipes in Greece. The gaida, played in mainland Greece, has a single chanter. The tsabouna played in the islands has an untanned goatskin bag turned inside out, a blowpipe, and two parallel chanters, each with five finger holes, fitted into a single tube with wax. In 1991, Tsimouris became the first Floridian to receive a National Heritage Fellowship. He received the Florida Folk Heritage Award in 1989.

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