Greek-American Music Heritage Celebrated at Philadelphia History Museum


By TNH Staff

Published in The National Herald, March 17-23, 2018 


I am excited to announce that The National Herald has given Hellenic Genealogy Geek the right to reprint articles that may be of interest to our group. 


PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Greek American Heritage Society of Philadelphia (GAHSP) Photo Tour 2018, A Musical Odyssey – The Heritage of Greek Music in Philadelphia an exhibit spanning 100 years, opened at the Philadelphia History Museum on March 10, featuring Greek musicians and bands from the Philadelphia area, and tracing the roots of Greek music, back to the arrival of the first Greek immigrants to the city and the creation of Greektown. GAHSP initiated the project nearly a year ago, researching the bands and their history. Over thirty bands and musicians, including John Argyropoulos, Lefteri Hasselidis, Neo Kyma, Atlantis of Philadelphia, and George Giordas were among those featured. Harry Karapalides, a bouzouki player for Seizmos Music, formerly of Atlantis of Philadelphia, and Orpheus, said, Cosmos Philly reported, “These bands and musicians are the soundtrack to our lives. These bands performed at your baptisms, weddings, festivals, dances, and social affairs of every kind. We were at your most cherished moments of your lifetime and helped you celebrate.”

Bands from the 1940s and 50s were featured in the documentary film that was screened at the event. The film was produced and written by Eleftherios Kostans, a member of the Heritage Society and Chairman of Photo Tour 2018. “We wanted to introduce our guests to some of the musicians who are still with us and some that have passed,” he said Kostans, adding that “it’s all about uniting the generations and preserving the history. That’s what we’re all about.”

Artemis “Tami” Tsinirigopoulos served as Emcee; more than 300 guests attended. GAHSP President Nikolaos Yiantsos was honored for his dedication to the Philadelphia community and GAHSP over twenty years with the first Hellenic Heritage Hero award. The organization has grown significantly through his leadership, new initiatives, and partnerships with local universities and local media. “We are a volunteer based organization with a mission of preserving and promoting Hellenism and we invite you to join us,” 

Yiantsos said in his acceptance speech. Yiantsos noted the success of the exhibit and told The National Herald that it relates to the wider American public. “Third and fourth generation Greek-Americans are looking for their roots. They are interested in their DNA and want to complete their family tree. Exhibits like this give them the opportunity to complete their family tree,” he said. 

The exhibition will begin a tour with stops at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Media, PA, St. Luke in Broomall, PA, and at other Greek Orthodox communities in the area.“Our aim is to record the history of the Philadelphia community with the motto ‘one history at a time, a conversation and an embrace at a time.’”