Rhodes – my favourite destination
I was born and raised in Athens. My mother came from Rhodes and my grandfather from Naxos.
My first contact with music was at the age of 8 when I started taking guitar lessons. The bouzouki won me over in 1964 and that’s how my involvement in the recording industry in Greece started, with great collaborations with top composers such as Manos Hatzidakis, Mimis Plessas, Mikis Theodorakis and singers including Stelios Kazatzidis, Stratos Dionysiou, Nana Moushouri and Marinella.
In 2003 I founded the Artistic Music Association and the bouzouki music association “Epomeni”, the next ones, as I feel the need to impart my love of folk instruments to the young and in 2004 we had the honour of forming a band of 47 bouzoukia to perform at the opening ceremony of the Athens Olympic Games.
Rhodes is my favourite destination as it has an amazing history and wonderful beaches. It is thrilling to walk along the alleyways of the Medieval Town as there you can see the influence of several eras. I am always captivated by the Castle of the Great Magistrate, 11th century churches, minarets, fountains, old houses with interior courtyards and gardens and medieval cobbled streets leading to Tafros, the medieval moat, which has now been converted into a pedestrian area ideal for strolls and boasting a picturesque little theatre.
Another favourite spot on Rhodes is the Grande Albergo delle Rose hotel, which is one of the most historic buildings of the island, with a guest list which reads like a roll call of great world figures, including Eleftherios Venizelos, Aristotelis Onasis and Winston Churchill. As soon as you cross the threshold of the hotel, you marvel at how it has been so lovingly renovated and realize why it has always been a major landmark of the island. It is right next to the sea with a view that relaxes and inspires me at the same time.
Rhodes has an amazing history and wonderful beaches
I have twice been invited to perform with my orchestra in the Amphitheatre of the garden and I think they were two of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had. The imposing building in the background, combined with the verdant garden surrounding it and the sea breeze, created a unique energy for me and my fellow musicians. And melodies such as “Zeibekiko tis Evdokias” and “Odos Oniron” sounded so different, so beautiful in a place that retains the aura of the 30s, 40s and 50s, for me, musically at least, the good old days.