ASTORIA – A songwriter who has embroidered Greece into our hearts, Linos Kokotos, will be at the Kefalonitiko Spiti (Kefalonian House) in Astoria on Saturday, February 8. Kokotos, the “boy” from Agrinio, will celebrate his 75th birthday, among members of the Greek community who will perform his songs and reminisce about a homeland they left and others a homeland they did not know, but invites them to be near her.
Kokotos is one of the great heralds of a Greece that is gradually fading away but asks to be kept alive, and through the notes of an evocative melody, begging us to keep it alive.
Elytis gave him lyrics and he wrote To Thalasino Trifili (Sea Clover), the album that is among the great works of Greek music history.
This “little boy” who “when in mid-winter his hands were frozen, lifted them up to the sky to warm them by the stars” was among the greatest composers and songwriters of the New Wave generation, starting with a piano gifted by his father, a poor street vendor. What a great thing for this songwriter! Everyone has talked about his songs, about his life, about his dreams, about his ambitions. But few, not even himself, refer to the humility, the discretion and the kindness of his soul, which scents his music, but also his attitude in the competitive artistic arena, which he so quietly and modestly conquered. Kokotos was applauded and recognized by many important artists, such as Nikos Gatsos, Elytis, Theodorakis, Loizos, Yiannis Argiris, Lemonopoulos, Lefteris Papadopoulos, and Akos Daskalopoulos among other greats, and in the theater, where he wrote music for many shows.
He arrived in New York for the first time in 2013, at the invitation of his beloved friend Tasos Papaioannou, who uniquely interprets his songs and is one of the few remaining voices of genuine artistic and New Wave songwriting in New York. Papaioannou has once again invited Kokotos for an unforgettable concert. In honor of them, the Athenians’ Society of New York undertook to present these two artists in a “Tribute to Linos Kokotos” appreciating his invaluable contribution to Greek music and Papaioannou’s contribution to the Greek community and the artistic music he serves.
The concert will take place on Saturday, February 8, 7:30 PM at the Kefalonian House, 20-41 Steinway Street in Astoria. In addition to Tasos Papaioannou, Elena Toumaras, Elias Makrynos and Aggeliki Psonis will be accompanied by a large group of musicians, such as Areti Giovanou on piano, Kostas Psarros on bouzouki, Nikita Tampakis on violin, Katerina Fakinos on flute, Aristotelis Tsirigos on classical guitar, Michaella Siamilis on cello, Labrini Kambouras on kanonaki, by Leonidas Eracleous on bouzouki, by Angelo Papadatos on bass, and Renos Efthimiou on drums.
The choir consists of Ioanna Neofotistos, Lambrini Moustaka, Sylvia Adamopoulos, Popi Michalatos, and Rea Varveris.
A wine and cheese reception will follow the concert.
For reservations, interested parties can contact Vana Kontomerkos: 203-268-3327, Taso Papaioannou: 718-764-3623, or Elias Makrynos 347-538-6715.