Singer Nikos Papazoglou Dies at 63

Singer Nikos Papazoglou died after a long-term battle with cancer. One of the most prominent forces of contemporary, popular Greek music, Nikos Papazoglou represented a special case in the Greek music scene. He lived in Thessaloniki with his wife and two kids.

Best known by his signature red bandana, he had an exceptional deep voice that is known for its passion and idiosyncratic tone. He mixed old and traditional sounds, poetic as well as powerful. It’s not enough to say about him that half of the best songs heard in Greece over the past twenty years were his.

Born in Thessaloniki, Papazoglou began performing in a number of local groups in the late 1960s.

For a short time in 1972 he moved to Aachen in Western Germany with the group “Zilotes” (Zealots) in an attempt to break into the international music scene. The group recorded six songs in Milan that today can only be found in private collections.

Upon returning to Greece, Papazoglou began a passionate relationship with the “bouzouki”.

The year 1976 was a turning point in Papazoglou’s career. Dionyssis Savopoulos, one of the most eminent and radical song writers of the new Greek music scene, invited him to participate in Acharnees, a cycle of songs and stage acts based on the ancient comedy by Aristophanes. There Papazoglou met Manolis Rasoulis and the two, along with Savopoulos and Nikos Xydakis, produced the infamous Ekdikisi Tis Gyftias (The Revenge of Gypsies) two years later. The work received critical acclaim, immediate acceptance by audiences and had a remarkable influence on the course of Greek popular music in the 1980s and 90s.

Since 1984 the artist organized his tours by himself. Playing on small islands and difficult to get to mountain villages where no one had ever given concerts in the volcano on Nisiros, the ancient theater on Thassos, Astipalia, and other off the beaten track places. He liked to take his songs to the countryside where people didn’t have the opportunity to hear live concerts even though many times these venues were not economically viable.

His works generated an ever-expanding audience in northern Europe and America. In certain countries such as in Germany and The Netherlands, Papazoglou assumed the status of a cult persona in the world music scene.



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