ASTORIA – Greek Nights have returned to Athens Square Park in Astoria for the summer. Tuesday nights will once again feature the much-anticipated program of Greek music and dancing, organized by the Athens Square Committee, through September 24.
The virtuoso of the bouzouki and well-known social worker, Nicos Nicolaides, and the Cosmopolitans orchestra, along with singer Olga Panteli, opened this year's Greek Nights in Athens Square, in the presence of many Greeks who enjoyed the music program which transforms the park into a traditional village square in Greece.
“As happened last year, but also other years, it is a great pleasure to be chosen to open these festive nights. The event was amazing, the crowd gathered, we played nice songs, which people enjoyed. I really liked that when we were playing the acoustic songs, they listened to us with care and, in the end, they rewarded us with a great applause,” Nicolaides told The National Herald after the event.
The program included many traditional and timeless songs, which are familiar to all ages, encouraging all those present to join in the joy and dancing.
“I approach these evenings as a social worker. So I can tell you that they mean something more than a musical event: They give people who might not be able to afford going out to live shows the opportunity to have fun at a Greek musical program in the park and enjoy these events as if they were in Greece,” Nicolaides said.
It should be noted that Nicos Nicolaides and the Cosmopolitans, along with Olga Panteli, will return to Athens Square next Tuesday for a second appearance. According to Nicolaides, the appearance was initially scheduled for later in the summer, but rescheduled due to his own summer.
In any case, the Athens Square program includes other well-known names in Greek music such as Andreas Modinos (July 23 and August 20), Tasos Papaioannou (July 30), Melodia (August 6), Christos Kostaras (August 13 and September 17), Grigoris Maninakis (September 3), Long Island Voices Choir (September 24) and theme nights, such as the Rebetiko nights (August 27 and September 10).
The Noora Belly Dancers will also be performing next Tuesday.
Of course, behind the musicians and sponsors who undertake to financially support events of their own accord, there is the Organizing Committee of Athens Square, which has managed, over the last seven years, to establish in the everyday life of the Greek community the summer of Greek Nights.
The committee’s 2nd Vice-President Panos Adamopoulos spoke with TNH and noted that “we started these events seven years ago with an artistic program that lasted for 3-4 weeks. Now we have reached the point of lasting for three months, since many times, when the weather conditions allow it, we continue into October. We are very excited about the community attending, listening to the music, and having a good time. We would say that it has evolved into a Greek Music Festival every Tuesday night. We are grateful to the President George Delis, George Alexiou, and George Stamatiades, for the enormous work they are doing as volunteers to continue these events.”
Delis, Alexiou, and Adamopoulos, welcomed everyone, wished them a "good summer," and noted that the Greek Nights in Athens Square are a “taste of Greece.”