One of the biggest highlights at the festival is the LIVE MUSIC! This year we will have feature bands that will help bring the feeling of Greece into our hearts. What makes greek music so unique and festive is the sound of the bouzouki. There is no other instrument like it. When you combine it with the other instruments in the band, you can’t help but tap your feet and sing along!
This year, weâ€™re thrilled to welcome internationally-renowned and award-winning Greek musician Pavlo!
Born in Toronto to Greek parents, Pavlo has made a name for himself by offering a musical amalgam he simply calls â€œMediterranean musicâ€ â€“ a blend of Greek, flamenco, Latin, and even Balkan flavours, wrapped in contemporary pop. His music has taken him all around the world.
Along the way, heâ€™s performed for the likes of Prince Charles and worked and toured with artists such as… JosÃ© Feliciano, Jon Secada, Olivia Newton-John and The Tenors.
You can catch Pavlo at Ottawa GreekFest August 15!
POSEIDON is one of the top Greek musical groups in North America. This critically acclaimed band, based in Ottawa, Canada, consists of five members: Chris Pezoulas (lead singer, clarinet, flute & saxophone), Nick Pantieras (keyboards, bass), Tony Pantieras (bouzouki, baglama, Tzoura), Nick Nikolakakos (guitar) and Taso Pavlou (drums).
They play both contemporary and traditional Greek music from a wide variety of popular Greek singers, and have also composed and recorded original music. They have performed at dances, festivals, televisions shows and concerts from coast to coast in Canada, and in many cities in the United States including West Palm Beach, Orlando, San Francisco, New York City, Portland, Denver and New Orleans.The band has recorded three albums; “Laikes Stigmes” (1992) and “OPA!” (1994, re-released 1998), and “TORA” (2001) have enjoyed tremendous success. Check out their web site at: www.poseidonband.com
Alex Bastoulis started playing keyboards at the age of 5 and started working professionally as a keyboardist/vocalist at the age of 15. He always had a passion for music and continues to pursue and enjoy it just as much today as ever.
Foula has always had a love and passion for singing. She is a natural talent who simply does it because she enjoys it.
Peter Korbis has been playing drums since he was a child and would find joy in playing with different bands of all kinds of genres. From rock bands to Greek bands, he has been a professional drummer for over 30 years and to this day, still loves what he does.
Achilles Pitsios is an impressively talented musician who is an incredibly versatile guitarist and has been performing professionally for over 30 years in multiple bands of almost every genre.
Angelo Rougalas is the youngest member of the band and always hungry and ambitious for more gigs. Angelo has been playing Bouzouki since his early teens, he was always supported by his parents and constantly encouraged to pursue music and the instrument he loves.
TRADITIONAL GREEK DANCING
Traditional dance is deeply ingrained in Hellenic Culture. Our history is not only communicated and passed down through spoken word, but through the visual language of dance. Not only is the movement important, but so is the accompanying song whose lyrics focus on a number of topics and occasions. These include village society and daily life, relationships, loss, hope, war, and spirituality. Each region in Greece is unique and identifiable in its instrumentation and its traditional costume. We look forward to presenting to you the importance and relevance of folklore in our culture.
THE HELLENIC TRADITIONAL DANCE PROGRAM
The Hellenic School of Traditional Dance is organized into nine groupings under the following classifications: Children/Adolescent, Adult, Training Group and The Odyssey Dance Troupe. These groups practice weekly throughout the scholastic year, and most will be highlighting their efforts for you at GreekFest!
The Dance Program is under the direction of Mrs. Maria Koulouris.
LOCAL DANCE TROUPES
Junior and Senior Dance Performances
Performances are on an on-going basis throughout the festival. Please refer to the schedule for dates and times, and then come out and support them!
THE ODYSSEY DANCE TROUPE
The Odyssey Dance Troupe is the premiere group of the Hellenic Community of Ottawa. Performances consistently focus on selected regions of Greece, and are enriched through song and traditional costume local to the region. Performances are presented on an on-going basis throughout the festival. Please refer to the schedule for dates and times, and then come out and support them!
GreekFest’s world-famous Zorba Show is a treat for both young and old. It takes the audience back to a time when Greek men would head to their local tavernas to drown their sorrows away in drink and dance. The term “Zorba” was made famous by the 1960s film Zorba the Greek. Since then, the theme music from the movie is recognized worldwide and is a tune that conjures up images of Greece to all who hear it.
The Zorba Show has entertained Ottawa for many years, giving the crowds a show full of acrobatics, fire, and of course, plate breaking! Each year the GreekFest organizers find the very best Zorba dancers to perform for our visitors. We also round up talented female dancers of Greek heritage to dance alongside the famous Zorba dancers in this incredible show! A show full of high-energy, passion, and even humour, made complete with the distinctive sound of the bouzouki! It is an experience that can’t be missed!
Both evenings are dedicated to the promotion of friendship and unity through cultural diversity. Participating groups will present time honoured traditions and melodies for all to embrace and share. Check the schedule to find out what groups are coming!