For Immediate Release March 17, 2011
Ouzo Power CD Launch Concert
Ouzo Power Greatest Hits Vol. 1
Thursday March 31 2011 8:30pm
Club Lambi Montreal
4465 Boulevard Saint-Laurent (Mont Royal)
Subway: Station Mont-Royal
Doors 7:30pm Tickets $15
Opening Act: Artemis & co.
On Thursday March 31st, George Sapounidis, dubbed “musical ambassador to the world”, will be rocking the house at Montreal’s Club Lambi with his band, Ouzo Power. They’ll be 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!”
A 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 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.
In forming Ouzo Power, George pulled together three of Canada’s top back-up musicians: Stuart Watkins, Fred Guignion and Ross Murrary.
Artemis & co. is a Montreal-based duo that masterfully blends Greek and Mediterannean melodies with touches of jazz and swing. The fresh sound and charismatic presence of Artemis Lagopoulos (vocals) and Petros Plarinos (keyboard) transports, captivates and inspires audiences across Montreal and beyond.
Celeste Mackenzie, publicist
Agent for Ouzo Power:
Marilyn Gilbert Artists Management Inc. (Toronto, ON)
T: 416.534.4993 C: 917.656.3059 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
According to George’s band members:
“George is the most eclectic of any artist I’ve worked with. He can charm anyone. The rest of us are hardened road warriors. He teaches us to enjoy the ride.”
–Stuart Watkins, band member, Ouzo Power; plays electric bass, backing vocals; teaches performance at Carleton University and tours with The Canadian Tenors, The East Village Opera Company, David Foster, Paul Anka and Peter Gabriel. He has studied music around the world.
“There is no precedent to spaghetti Greek music: we’re playing Greek reggae, Greek cowboy songs, Greek folk songs. They’re all strong stories. In Greece it’s going viral. People there freak out over this music. George knows the songs in their traditional forms but we (the other band members) have been adding influences that we’ve picked up form our global gigs. We’re an experimental band. We’ve taken hard-drinking Greek blues and turned it into fast rock.”
—Ross Murray, engineer, producer, recordist, Ouzo Power band member. Murray has recorded with Bo Diddley, Madagascar Slim, Great Big C, Etta James and the East Village Opera Company.