Greek out with Ouzo Power!(Arts, Music)

Théâtre du Grand Sault
Saturday June 26
Lasalle, Montreal

Montreal celebrates summer with a shot of something strong.

Things are opening up. We can see people again.

And on Saturday, June 26, the people you want to see are Ouzo Power. After all, after the year we’ve had, we could all use a shot of something strong.

The award-winning four-piece is fronted by George Sapounidis, known to some as “Chairman” George. Armed with bouzouki and blessed with an infectious onstage energy, Sapounidis provides the eclectic musical elixir that rewrites the Greek blues-rock playbook – or would, if such a book existed.

Together with his accomplished accomplices – guitarist Fred Guignion, percussionist Ross Murray and bassist Patrick Giunta – Sapounidis is reinventing and reinvigorating sounds both traditional and contemporary, calculatedly crossing musical and stylistic boundaries at will.

Greek reggae? Opa!

At the heart of the music, however, is an appreciation for Rebetika, Greek blues dating back to Ottoman cafes and distinguished by elements of European song, Orthodox ecclesiastical chant and traditional Anatolian dance rhythms. In Ouzo Power’s capable hands, that intoxicating blend is turned up to 11.

Now, you’re probably asking: Is this the same George Sapounidis who specializes in high-powered arrangements of traditional Greek songs performed in Mandarin?

Well, yes. Of course it is. But that intriguing story is for another time. June 26, it’ll be all Greek to the fortunate few who score tickets to either (or both!) of Ouzo Power’s two shows at Montreal’s Centre culturel et communautaire Henri-Lemieux.

On June 26, ease your restrictions with some Ouzo Power.

Ouzo Power will perform two shows (2 p.m. and 4 p.m.) at le Centre culturel et communautaire Henri-Lemieux, 7644, rue Édouard, Lasalle, on Saturday, June 26. Tickets are $20 in advance and are available through . For information call 514-367-5000. Seating is limited to 17 ‘bubble’ tables.

The subject of two documentary films, George Sampson Sapounidis has long pursued his dream of drawing new sounds from old worlds. He has sung and played Chinese favourites. He has recorded an album of Greek classics. The eccentric Greek-Canadian has brought the party to China, on a series of well-received tours and appearances in front of millions of viewers.

Interview on Angelo Tsarouchas’s Connecting Greeks program

Ouzo Power performs Pou Sou Manga

For further details or to set up an interview with George Sapounidis: