South Australians enjoy tribute to Greek music legend Stelios Kazantzidis

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Photos and report by Martina Simos.

Different generations in Adelaide, South Australia were brought together through a shared love of Laiki music at a recent tribute concert to Stelios Kazantzidis by the band Tri Zorba.

The concert was organised by the Vergina Greek Women’s Cultural Society, which was founded in 1991 to assist the Pan Macedonian Federation of SA Inc in staging various cultural events.

Their aim is to preserve the culture and traditions of Macedonia and to bring the younger generation closer to their cultural heritage.

Dancing on the day. All photos copyright The Greek Herald / Martina Simos.

Vergina Greek Women’s Cultural Society President, Maria Genimahaliotis, is a proud Macedonian who was born in Kozani. She said her own cultural background – both Greek and Australian – is important to her. She became involved in the Pan Macedonian Federation in 1981, then assisting the Vergina committee, before becoming its president in 2012.

Maria said their annual music dedications to Greek legends are very supported by the community, with the most recent tribute to Kazantzidis a huge success.

“His music is appreciated by young and the not so young. It transcends generations,” Maria told The Greek Herald.

“As a committee we decided to bring his music alive to be enjoyed by all young and the young at heart.”

Members of the Vergina Greek Women’s Cultural Society.
Food on offer on the day.

Tria Zorba is made up of: Tsambika De George (vocals), Mihalis Gribilos (keys and vocals), Chris Panteli (bouzouki), Steve Papadopoulos (guitar) and John Sioutis (drums). 

Tria Zorba has been a supporter of the Greek music scene in SA for many years, particularly at Vergina Greek Women’s Society events. Their love for the Greek music culture has seen them collaborate with the next generation of talented Greek musicians.

Chris Panteli on the bouzouki.

Guest vocalist Stamatis Dimitrakopoulos from the band Floga joined Tria Zorba for the tribute.

Stamatis, 33, migrated to Australia in 2015 with his father from the town of Tripoli (Peloponnese).

At the age of five, Stamatis started singing with his sister and at 14 began bouzouki lessons. He credits Greece with influencing his music career.

“The reason was my parents migrated to Australia in 1987 and they played all day on the cassettes traditional and many Laika songs,” he recalled.

“Greece was and is the centre of all my artistic and music knowledge.”

Smiles all round at the musical tribute to Stelios Kazantzidis.

The Vergina Greek Women’s Cultural Society does not receive any type of funding to stage events, but the dedicated committee raise funds by organising fundraising activities while ensuring events are also affordable.

The Committee is made up of: Maria Genimahaliotis, (President), Zoe Metaxas (Secretary), Kathy Malakozis (Treasurer), Theodora Paleologos, Agatha Karkafiris, Vasiliki Aslaniidis, Eleftheria Antonopoulos, Koula Mazmanidis, Chrysanthi Fotkou, Georgia Diamond, Daphne Sorvanis, Anna Lillis, Ritsa Kaliontzis, Eleni Malakozi, and Nicole Genimahaliotis.

The next event presented by PanMacedonian Federation of SA Inc will be a “Fasolada” lunch on Sunday, August 6 at midday for $25 per person featuring the live Greek band – Floga. Contact Konnie for more details on 0413 458 382.

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