For Immediate ReleaseJanuary 21, 2011
Ouzo Power CD Launch Concert
Ouzo Power Greatest Hits Vol. 1
Saturday, February 5, 2011, 7:30 p.m.
National Arts Centre Fourth Stage 53 Elgin St.
On Saturday February 5th, George Sapounidis who was dubbed “musical ambassador to the world”, along with his band, Ouzo Power, will be rocking the house at the National Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage with a concert celebrating the launch of their new CD, Ouzo Power’s Greatest Hits Vol. 1.
George is a rock bouzouki-playing polyglot with Greek roots who also happens to be a singing sensation in China. The Chinese call him their “Elvis”. His day job is with Stats Can. He holds a PhD in statistics.
CBC icon Shelagh Rogers said he was a troubadour savant. He performs everything from rock infused Greek folk songs to traditional ballads in a dozen languages. With his gentle charisma and unbridled enthusiasm George can loosen up the stiffest crowd and melt the most cynical of hearts. One concert fan swooned, “You look like an ecstatic Greek god!”
In forming Ouzo Power, George pulled together three of Canada’s top back-up musicians. Stuart Watkins, Fred Guignion and Ross Murrary.
Watkins (electric bass and backing vocals), tours with The Canadian Tenors and has played with David Foster and Paul Anka. His musical resume spans the global musical spectrum.
Guignion’s electric guitar stylings have been featured on countless albums as well as film, theatre and sound tracks. .
Ross Murray, on drums, has accompanied bands, composers, choreographers and film-makers world wide. He is also a well known producer and recording engineer in Canada. His unique style, influenced by exposure to diverse cultures, is in demand by bands like Mighty Popo, Hammerheads and the East Village Opera Company as well as stellar artists like Bo Diddly and Sneezy Waters.
Their collective love of the blues and rock has come together on this CD in a rock infused interpretation of Greek Rebetika. It’s a subversive music of protest and of raw human emotion, a music of the despised and repressed Greek underclass or Rebetes, refugees fleeing the Greco-Turkish war of the early 1900’s. Forced into slums and shanty towns, they found escape in the hash dens of the underworld and like the blues culture of Harlem, Rebetika music was coded non conformist music, almost
disappearing in the 1950’s but emerging again in the 1960’s with a new generation of young people protesting Greece’s military dictatorship.
George Sapounidis is a self-declared 21st century Rebetis, a non conformist, an intercultural musical pied piper, subject of two international documentaries and two-time Olympic torch bearer.
This multi-talented musical chameleon and his band will perform a musical fusion of their about- to-be-launched CD that reinterprets and rejuvenates the original character of the Greek blues, combining Greek bouzouki and lyrics enhanced with a rock groove of electric guitar, bass and drums.
NAC’s Fourth Stage, 53 Elgin St.
Tickets: $30 at the NAC box office Ticketmaster: 613 755 1111
Celeste Mackenzie, publicist
cell: 613 262 3361