Nikos Montzelis Talks to TNH about His Life and Music

November 14, 2019

NEW YORK – Musician Nikos Montzelis has spent most of his life pursuing his passion for music. He has worked with bouzouki legend Thanasis Polykandriotis and well-known singers including Pitsa Papadopoulou, Stan Antipariotis, Christos Dantis, Petro Iakovidis, Anna Vissi, Christos Pazis, Glykeria, and many others. He has also participated in CDs with Vasilis Karras, Peggy Zina, Thodoris Ferris, and other artists. Montzelis has performed on television as well in music programs including Stin Ygeia Mas. The gifted bouzouki player spoke with The National Herald about his life and work and his dedication to Greek traditional music.

TNH: Tell us a bit about your background, where are you from? When did you begin in music?  

Nikos Montzelis: I was born in Athens in July 1985 and my origin is from Patras and Zakynthos. I come from a very tightknit family and I have two brothers who support me every step of the way and they feel proud because they know that what I’m doing fulfills me. I started music at age 12 and at only 17 I started performing in small clubs. I chose the bouzouki as a companion for this musical journey out of love for the instrument and the traditional folk music that express Hellenism and our culture so well.

TNH: What inspires you as an artist?

NM: As an artist, I’m inspired by our traditions.

TNH: What are the most challenging and also the most rewarding aspects of your work?

NM: My work, like all jobs, has its difficulties… you need to work hard at it, to struggle, you need to make sacrifices, but all this is secondary because it’s magical to express yourself and for others to find expression through your work, to be able to move someone with your music.

The essence of music is for each person to perform it however he or she wants to, according to his own experience and temperament.

TNH: What are you favorite songs and artists?

NM: Every song has something to say and everyone can get something out of each song. My favorite composers and performers: Thanasis Polykandriotis, Yiannis Parios, Stelios Kazantzidis, Antonis Vardis, and Marinella, among others.

TNH: How do you see the future of Greek music in the United States?

NM: I hope that the love of Greek traditional music will continue from generation to generation here in the United States where the heart of Hellenism continues beating.


LONDON - A second generation Greek-Cypriot in London, Georgina Hayden has used her heritage to write cookbooks showing off recipes from her homeland and her latest, Greekish, offers everything from Baklava cheesecake to Burnt Butter Eggs and Goat’s Cheese.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Alberto, Season’s First Named Tropical Storm, Dumps Rain on Texas and Mexico, Which Reports 3 Deaths

TAMPICO, Mexico (AP) — Tropical Storm Alberto rumbled toward northeast Mexico early Thursday as the first named storm of the season, carrying heavy rains that left three people dead but also brought hope to a region suffering under a prolonged, severe drought.

STUTTGART, Germany — A dramatic stoppage-time goal saw Hungary beat Scotland 1-0 at the European Championship on Sunday to wreck its opponent’s hopes of reaching the knockout stage of a major tournament for the first time in its history.

HOUSTON  — Gerardo Arteaga scored from the edge of the penalty area in the 69th minute and Mexico beat Jamaica 1-0 on Saturday night in its Copa America opener.

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — North Macedonia's center-right leader secured parliamentary approval to lead a new coalition government in a vote late Sunday.

JERUSALEM — Leaders of major churches have accused Israeli authorities of launching a “coordinated attack” on the Christian presence in the Holy Land by initiating tax proceedings against them.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.