A Greek-speaking Rom, he was the best known violin virtuoso after Cemil Bey. He was born in Silivri, and his first instrument was clarinet. His actual name was “Vasilis,” but was know by the diminutive Vasilakis. He left the clarinet when he began playing violin with Fenerli Yorgi. Leaving Silivri in 1870, he settled in the Galata quarter of Istanbul, and learned the Turkish repertoire from Andon and Civan. In addition to his virtosity on the violin, he also made kemençes. He wrote a very few instrumental works, as well as instrumental breaks for the songs of Mahmut Celaleddin Paşa.