A picture I saw today while doing some work at my computer, reminded me of my birthday happening that took place in March 2016, while touring with MandolinARTE and the great Greek singer, Alkistis Protopsalti.
So, it was the 20th of March, and it was my birthday! Unlike any other birthday in my life, at the same day I was giving a big concert, so I had no time for celebration (not). This was the third and last concert in the city of Thessaloniki, at the prestigious Music Concert Hall (Megaro Mousikis), so as it is always with big concerts, serious preparation was required.
I was very happy to have travelling with me my beautiful wife Eleni and daughter Alexandra. They could not wait for the concert, so they had arrived early at the concert hall to be there with me. I’m such a lucky guy!
Sound check with the mandolins is very difficult. Balancing the delicate voice of the mandolin against the trombone and drums is a task for experts. Here is Zaharias Stamoulos, our sound engineer and a magician at work!
Sound check is over and is time to relax backstage. Warming up with some unconventional methods is very common with MandolinARTE! Playing Rock, jazz and even pop music provides a good warm-up and fun! Here with mandolinist Dora Tsilika, guitarist Kostas Bouropoulos and cellist/mandolinist Stavros Parginos.
So what about my birthday celebration? There was no time for that (yes right!). Alexandra and Eleni had other plans. Here comes the surprise cake carried by Alexandra together with Doreen Laskaridou and Dora Tsilika!
And here I am… speechless! Stavros Parginos, Andreas Parginos and Yannis Rizos getting ready to sing…
The birthday song… conducted by Thomas Kontogeorgis, our arranger, pianist and conductor and sang by MandolinARTE together with singer Giorgos Karadimos, percussionist Alexis Kostas, trombonist Aggelos Tzamarias and the production team consisting of Tonia Dragouni and Myrto Mangrioti.
This day proved to be very special. After … my birthday song we gave a concert to an amazing audience. Here is Alkistis Protopsalti while everybody in the theater signs and dances. Amazing!