Dr Eric Samothrakis was born in Bordeaux in 1977 and grew up in Athens where he received his formal musical education. He started studying piano in 1983 at Apollonio Athens Conservatory. A decade later, he began learning drums at Nakas Conservatory, and within a few years was performing with various musical bands.
In 1996, while studying music therapy in Montpellier, he started playing in a Rebetiko band where he learned the rudiments of Greek, Anatolian and Middle Eastern rhythms.
Since 2000, Eric has been mainly focused in developing his compositional skills, leading to the completion of a PhD in musical composition at Bristol University. During these years, he never ceased to perform with fellow musicians from, and occasionally beyond, the Mediterranean coast. Eric joins Oxford Maqam as percussionist on the djembe.