Tribute to " Giorgos Zambetas" Heats Up the Summer

 A Dazzling Performance on a Hot Summer's Night

August 26-27, 2009

One of the highlights of this year’s “Lesviako Summer” of socio-cultural events throughout Lesvos was definitely the Mytilene Municipal Council Orchestra's special tribute to one of Greece’s most famous singer-songwriters (of his generation), Giorgios Zambetas.

Under the magnificent backdrop of Mytilene’s medieval castle, and over two nights (July 20 and 21), the Band treated its large crowds with two hours of memorable music- which nostalgically transported them back to a golden era of Greek music.


Above: Let the music play.... Tzia Sykomitelli introduces the the work of the late great Greek songwriter, Giorgos Zambetas, as well as the Mytilene Municipal Council's Orchestra.
Above: Maria Kalognoma at the micrphone, with Nondas Haralambidis in support.
Under the meticulous care of their maestro, Nikos Tsirigotis, the Band and Singers vividly captured the spirit  and essence of Zambetas’ music, as the crowd actively participated with the performances- with boisterous singing along with the Singers and rhythmically clapping to the music.

Arguably the biggest highlight was dedication song, “Giorgo Zambeta, You Are Here”- English title used here- (Music: Nikos Tsirigotis, Lyrics: Tasoula Thomaidou) performed as the opening of the performances. Originally an instrumental, Tsirigotis believed the piece deserved lyrics; the addition of lyrics by accomplished songwriter, Thomaidou- who has had Greece’s most famous artists such as Stelios Kazantzidis and Dimitrios Mitropanos sing her songs- satisfied his vision for the song.


Above: Amersa Tsirigoti waits for for the orchestral break, before continuing with her vocals.

Above: Another satisfying piece....Maestro, Nikos Tsirigotis, conducts the Orchestra.

“In my twenty-six years working in the Band, and so many Performances Dedicated to Greek Singer-Songwriters- we had never attempted performing an original song. I believe the dedication song, “Giorgo Zambeta, You Are Here” successfully reminds the audience of Zambetas’ distinct sound and style but it is surprisingly an original,” explained the Band’s maestro, Nikos Tsirigotis.
Other highlights of the Performances were: the medley of songs performed by all singers and the quick instrumental finale- a Zambetas trait- to cap off a memorable Night.


 Above: Another bright performance by vocalist, Chrysa Vekiou.

Above Right: Bassist, Simos Efthimiades, keeps the rhythm section pounding throughout the Night.

 The Performance was given an Australian flavor, when Palesviaki Enosis of Melbourne and Victoria’s President, Georgios Stavrinos, provided Mytilene’s Mayor, Nasos Giakalis, and Nikos Tsirigotis, with gifts to thank them for their Australian visit (2007).

The Orchestra will also perform their dedication showcase of Giorgos Zambetas at Mytilene’s Dimotiko Theatro on Wednesday, October 21.
All photographs courtesy of Nikos Tsirigotis

For More Photographs: Photo Gallery

Editor’s Note: Just reading the article makes me want to pack up and make a lightning trip back to Mytilene for the performance. Ah, if only it was that easy…