Pericles Kanaris and Synolon with Special Guest Ellie Tsachtani at Zinc Bar (Video)

Pericles Kanaris, Ellie Tsachtani, Peter Douskalis, and Agapitos Maganaris performing at Zinc Bar. Photo by Eleni Sakellis

NEW YORK – Composer/performer Pericles Kanaris and his band Synolon- featuring Peter Douskalis on guitar, Agapitos Maganaris on bouzouki, and special guest Ellie Tsachtani on flute and voice, performed at Zinc Bar in New York’s Greenwich Village on March 29. The “unplugged” performance continues the series and marks the return for the talented artists to Zinc Bar, after a sold out concert at the historic Pallas Theater in Athens.

The “unplugged” approach, using only acoustic instruments, takes the listener back to the basics of the song, ideal for an intimate music setting like Zinc Bar. It also encourages audience participation. The repertoire, a mix of Kanaris originals and Greek classics arranged by the composer, delighted the audience. The blend of influences- contemporary Greek, American, and orchestral music, that have shaped Kanaris’ sound over the years was performed deftly by these skilled musicians. On vocals and piano, Kanaris recalls the great singer-songwriter tradition but with a distinct, timeless quality that is all his own.

Douskalis on guitar always impresses the audience with his talent and versatility. Maganaris on bouzouki transported the audience to Greece with his masterful playing. Tsachtani demonstrated her expertise on flute, adding a lyrical and evocative aspect to the performance while her voice conveyed the emotion of each song with subtlety. She is currently a Masters student in Classical Music Performance at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.

These consummate professionals, in spite of some technical difficulties that the audience barely noticed, performed with an honesty and spirit that uplifted all in attendance. The entertaining evening concluded with Kanaris inviting all to join in singing the final classic songs. After the enthusiastic applause, an encore was also performed to top off the enchanting performance.

Born in Athens, Greece, Kanaris studied music and philosophy in Europe and the United States winning multiple distinctions and awards. In October 2014, he released his debut album Aoratos, seven original songs that were composed with the verses of acclaimed Greek poet Manos Eleftheriou and sung by prominent Greek vocalists including Vasilis Papakonstantinou, Kostas Makedonas, Rita Antonopoulou, and Lamprini Karakosta. In his introduction to the evening’s first song, he referred to Greek Independence Day, March 25th, noting the song’s connection to the holiday and acknowledging his own famous great-great-great-grandfather’s involvement in the fight for freedom.

Douskalis is a musician, arranger, and educator. He can be seen performing regularly around New York City with Pericles Kanaris and Synolon, also working as Assistant Director for the ensemble. Douskalis will appear with fellow guitarist David Rogers for an evening of multi-genre duets and solos at Club Bonafide on May 2.