Singer/songwriter Lina Koutrakos is a Diva for the ages.. She was awarded the Manhattan Association of Clubs and Cabaret Awards for BEST ARTIST OF THE YEAR in 2007. Her original, southern influenced music is rooted in both her nomadic childhood and Greek heritage and it presents us with an artist whose voice is alive with a cultural intimacy we didn’t know existed until we experience her incredible talent. Though an acclaimed rock and roll Diva, she is rooted in cabaret.
Lina also holds both a MAC and a Bistro Award for Best Director. As a teacher, she heads up an ongoing Advanced Performance Workshop in NYC where she concentrates, but is not limited to, a more "pop/cabaret" student. (this includes the jazz singer, the musical theater singer and many more classically trained singers, who all want to “communicate” themselves more authentically)
Many of Lina's "clients" have been nominated and won many Backstage Bistros and MAC awards themselves and she has had the pleasure of directing many of the other wonderful Master Teacher/Directors in cabaret: Eric Michael Gillette, Sally Mayes, Patrick DeGennaro, Rick Jensen...
Lina has been on the teaching staff at both the Eugene O'Neil Cabaret Symposium and the Yale Cabaret Conference for a combined 7 years. She was the booking agent at NYC's midtown cabaret club Don't Tell Mama's and the assistant booking manager at Eighty Eight's. Before that she was the waitress in both of those cabaret rooms and saw thousands of shows. Being privy to all these shows Lina has the very exciting advantage of not only knowing what does work but perhaps much more valuable as a Master Teacher…. what doesn't! Exercising her award winning directorial muscles over the past decade she has a real good idea of the why's and how's of both. Lina Koutrakos along with Lennie Watts is the co-founder of New York's Cabaret Intensive “Summer in the City” which is in its 10th year this summer. Koutrakos has done both weekend intensives and Master Class (most annually) in Waterford, CT, The Berkshires, Binghamton, Chicago, Santa Fe, Washington DC, Boston and Las Vegas. She was one of the original Master Teachers at the St. Louis Cabaret Conference.
As a singer Koutrakos along with her band, has repeatedly sold out the legendary "Bottom Line" and sang to standing room only at Manhattans B.B Kings. She is a "regular" at the Iridium Jazz club and Joe's Pub at the Joseph Papp Public Theater. Her cabaret shows have taken her back and forth to Europe many times, and most of Manhattans premier cabaret clubs as well. Lina has been featured in The New York Times, Billboard Magazine and Mode Magazine in addition to receiving hundreds of rave, high profile reviews and interviews in many of New York City's major periodicals. The band has garnered fans the likes of Meryl Streep, Kathleen Turner, Kate Mulgrew, Tom Hanks and the late Gregory Hines. 2008's release of her long waited CD/DVD double disc "The Low Country" features her emotive vocals, production by the bands guitarist Jean-Pierre Perreaux and her award winning original (ASCAP awarded) material. (She was given the Certificate of Merit from the American Songwriter Magazine for a song written with co-writers Dan Gross and Johnny Rodgers) Her first independent CD - "Leave A Little Something" has sold thousands of copies. More of Lina’s original material is being played on Television nation wide and Radio stations throughout the world, most notably the BBC. Her unique, passionate voice was featured in the critically acclaimed America Undercover HBO documentary “Telling Nicholas”. She wraps up this moving 9/11 film with her own sensitive and flawless rendition of its heartrending closing theme song. Koutrakos/Gross and Perreaux's song Love Grows Here is being sung by the Gay Mens Chorus of New York, as well as being recorded and sung by other singers and groups and performed throughout the United States. She is a John Lennon Songwriting Contest Award Winner for her original Gospel/Inspirational song BURY ME DEEP.
Koutrakos is also an Equity Actress who has appeared Off-Broadway.