Born and raised in South Australia, musician and bouzouki player Con Dalagiorgos has officially opened the first bouzouki school in Australia, hoping to share his knowledge, experience and passion for Greek music.
“The idea to set up a school and teach bouzouki was playing in my mind for a while but it wasn’t until last year that I decided to set up a proper bouzouki school where people of all ages can come and learn how to play what I consider to be the most iconic musical instrument of our ancestors,” Dalagiorgos tells Neos Kosmos.
So far the idea has been well received and the school already has 25 students studying music theory, history of Greek music and, of course, practical bouzouki playing.
“Our youngest student is an eight-year-old boy and the eldest member of our team is a 61-year-old man. The school is now open and we welcome anyone who has a real passion and willingness to dedicate their time in learning not only how to play a musical instrument, but to immerse themselves in the history of Greek music as well as the life and work of some of the most iconic representatives of Greek music who left us an indisputably valuable cultural and musical heritage in the past few decades,” says Dalagiorgos whose family originates from Kozani and the island of Kalymnos.
According to the 54-year-old artist, his love for this particular music instrument started at the age of five and he has dedicated his life to it, playing with his band and keeping the musical heritage alive.
“I saw my friend playing one day and I immediately thought to myself ‘this is what I want to do’.
“I haven’t looked back since and to this day I still enjoy performing but, when I come across young children who have a passion to learn and ask to watch YouTube videos of old rembetes playing the bouzouki, I feel so blessed and hopeful that I can finally introduce the instrument and share my very own love for Greek music with my students,” says Dalagiorgos who, with music teacher and performer Tsambika De George, is working tirelessly towards one common goal: to keep Greek music alive.
“There are a few events that we have been invited to perform at, starting with the Odyssey Festival, presented by the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia this month.
“The bouzouki is an institution for our heritage and as musicians and Greek Australians we ought to do everything in our power to keep the sound alive for the generations to come. We owe it to our children, we owe it to the Greek iconic musicians of that era, and most importantly we owe it to Greece.
“At our school, students are introduced to the prominent Greek musicians of the past, they learn the history of Greek music and above all, they learn how to perform like Greeks; how to engage and develop rapport with the crowd so that they can all enjoy and have a good time.
“Above all, students learn how to spread kefi and play from their hearts,” he concludes.
For more information and enquiries, visit facebook.com/Con-Dalagiorgos-School-of-Music or call 0411 185 166.