AKTINA's MEMORABLE MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO THE LEGENDARY SINGERS
GRIGORIS BITHIKOTSIS AND VICKY MOSCHOLIOU WITH MELINA ASLANIDOU AND ORCHESTRA
Watch videos from this performance
On May 14, 2010, AKTINA's Greek Music Journey revived and paid tribute to the everlasting classic songs of Greece's legendary singers, Grigoris Bithikotsis and Vicky Moscholiou with Greek singing sensation Melina Aslanidou accompanied by singer Vangelis Douvalis and their orchestra featuring also the bouzouki maestros Manolis and Andreas Karantinis. Aslanidou and Douvalis who were AKTINA's guests during GMJ 2009 won the audience once again with their amazing interpretations of the songs they performed. The sold out concert produced by Elena Maroulleti was hosted at New York's historic theater The Town Hall with a backdrop of videos and slides highlighting Bithikotsis and Moscholiou.
Set in a beautiful setting and enhansed with a backdrop of videos and slides, the concert started with an instrumental medley of well-known songs of Moscholiou and Bithikotsis followed by a set of songs which paid tribute to Vicky Mosholiou. Melina Aslanidou revived with her unique voice some great nostalgic hits such as “Chathike to Feggari” (The Moon Is Lost), “Min Ta filas ta Matia mou” (Don’t Kiss My Eyes), “Xireromata” (Dawn), “Ta Dilina” (The Afternoons), while during the second set she further won the audience with her great interpretation of the Bithikotsis classic “Mia Kiriaki” (One Sunday), a beautiful song about the tragic loss of a loved one. It should be noted that few years back, Melina’s beloved brother was killed on a Sunday, and it was evident from her passionate performance that she truly relieved that tragic day.
In welcoming the audience Aslanidou thanked AKTINA Productions, Inc., and especially the concert's Executive Producer, Elena Maroulleti for inviting her for a second year in a row to perform at New York's historic theatre The Town Hall, and after stressing that the concert is given to benefit the public service media, AKTINA TV and AKTINA FM, she urged everyone to pledge their support for their preservation and continuation. Referring to the Greek Music Concert series, Aslanidou also urged the crowd to "continue supporting the organization in any way possible so that it may also continue producing these exceptional concerts that contribute in preserving quality Greek music".
Vangelis Douvalis also thanked AKTINA and Ms. Maroulleti for "this honor" as he stressed to be invited once again to participate in GMJ 2010. He performed in duet with Aslanidou as well as solo in several everlasting hits of Bithikotsis among them, “Ta Matoklada sou Lampoun” (Your Eyelids Are Shining), “Frangosiriani”, “To Tragoudi Tis Xenitias” among others, while he further enthused the audience when he played the baglama (a smaller version of the bouzouki) during his performance of the great hit “Roloi Komboloi” (A Watch and Worry Beats). From beginning to end people were fully engaged singing and clapping along and kept rewarding the performers with non-stop applause and cheers. Apart from the memorable performance of Melina Aslanidou and Vangelis Douvalis, bouzouki mastero Manolis Karantinis also enthused the audience with his performance of some Bithikotsis classics, while the crowd was equally captivated with rest of the band members who each further displayed their talent during their solos. Alexandros Apostolakis displayed his outstanding talent on the drums, Manolis Androulidakis on the guitar and as a backup vocalist, Spyros Pagiatis on the keyboards, Mampre Kasardjian on the base and Andreas Karantinis on the bouzouki who proved that he shares his father's (Manolis Karantinis) great talent on this unique instrument. The exceptional sound was mastered again during this concert by the renowned Sound Engineer from Greece Yiannis Paxevanis who was also the Stage Manager. Tom Stouras handled the production and projection of all images, including the projection on the big screen of the performers throughout the concert.
The successful performance given without an intermission was scheduled to run for two hours but was extended for an additional 30 minutes as the crowd in a standing ovasion continued to cheer the artists encouraging them to continue. During the encore performance Melina Aslanidou truly brought the house down as soon as she sang the first words of her popular hit “Ti Soukana Ke Pinis” (What Have I Done To You And You Are Drinking) and thereafter the hit “To Lathos” (The Mistake). In thanking the audience and the artists, the concert's Executive Producer Elena proudly proclaimed, "Zito to Elliniko Tragoudi" (Hail to the Greek song) in response to the overwhelming applause of the audience.
The concert's Playbill apart from vital biographical and background information, also included a Prologue by the world renowned composer and bouzouki maestro Christos Nikolopoulos. In his message Nikolopoulos referred to the important contributions of Bithikotsis and Moscholiou to Greece through their songs, as well as to the important presence of Melina Aslanidou in the Greek music scene. As he noted, "Melina has all of the necessary credentials to evolve into a great singer and become an important continuation of the great singers of Greece". And certainly, Melina proved this during her second appearance for AKTINA's Greek Music Journey 2010.
AKTINA's dedicated volunteer staff included Elena Maroulleti, Concert Executive Producer, Tom Stouras, videography and video/slides projection and Caroline Ioannou, Sr. Production Assistant.
Greek Music Journey 2010 was made possible in part by AKTINA's Grand Benefactor Arch Capital Group (U.S) and the support of local Greek and American businesses. Media Sponsors: Greek Media Group, MEGA Cosmos, Alter Globe, GMTV, Star Channel and Antenna Satellite.
AKTINA's Greek Music Journey 2010 which included the best and most loved songs of the late Grigoris Bithikotsis and Vicky Moscholiou was hailed by the press and by all in attendance as "outstanding and one of a kind"!
Photos above by: Costas Beis