Concert Tribute To Manolis Hiotis




On Friday, November 9, 2012 CYPRECO of America, Inc., presented with great success at the Stathakion Cultural Center in Astoria, New York its concert/tribute to Manolis Hiotis, the legendary bouzouki virtuoso, songwriter and singer of rembetika (Greek blues) and Laika (popular folk) songs who wrote his own unique history in Greek music during the last century.


CYPRECO 2012 Manolis Hiotis Concert Nov. 9 12 The program featuring FANTASIA Music a local music group comprised by distinguished musicians and singers revived some of the most popular and loved songs of Manolis Hiotis and engaged the audience from beginning to end. More importantly, the concert gave the opportunity to all in attendance to set aside for a while the hardship they felt following the devastating landfall of hurricane Sandy that struck New York just two weeks ago prior to the performance. People were enthusiastically singing and clapping along throughout the performance, while many were so much into the show that they could no longer stay in their seats and got up and started dancing to the great zeimbekika and tsiftetelia of Hiotis.  


This overwhelming response of the crowd who frequently gave standing ovations during the performance was truly rewarding to the organizers but more importantly to the exceptionally talented musicians of FANTASIA Music. The two bouzouki players, Mike Stoupakis and Kostas Psarros who also played the baglama (a smaller version of the bouzouki) were captivating and incredibly synchronized producing exceptional sounds.  Equally captivating were Dimitris Lambrianos on the keyboards, George Maniatis on the drums and the singers Sophia Tzini and Christos Zavolas whose unique voices revived so beautifully the songs of Manolis Hiotis. Psarros who also has a very distinct voice also sang a few great rembetika by Hiotis.


CYPRECO 2012 Manolis Hiotis Concert Dancing Nov. 3 12People sang and danced along to great and everlasting hits such as “Perasmenes mou Agapes” (Former Loves), “Iliovasilemata” (Sunsets), “Thessaloniki Mou” (My Salonica), “Afou to Thes” (Since you want), “Svise Tin Floga” (Turn off the flame), “Esi Ise Etia” (You are the cause).  The concert which was scheduled to run for two hours, however due to the exceptional warmth and enthusiasm of the crowd, the musicians continued to play for another 45 minutes something that further verified the strong bond they had achieved with the audience.  The artists further treated the crowd by expanding the program to include music and songs by other great Greek composers and by even taking requests so that people can dance.  After the concert everyone took the time to shake hands with the organizers and the musicians and to congratulate them for an “outstanding and memorable performance" which according to their testimonies, truly lifted their spirits.


Photos above by: CYPRECO Of America, Inc.

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