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Ganosis Giorgos | Lesvos | Biographical data
• Place of birth

Palaiochori, Lesvos
• Short biography

Giorgos Ganosis was born in 1927. He was a professional musician, who played the santouri and the drums. He was also involved in agricultural activities, especially the cultivation of olives in the region of Palaiochori. Other musicians in his family are his son (drums), and his brothers, Panagiotis and Dimitris.

He was a practical musician. His brother, Panagiotis, who had studied music, taught him how to play the santouri. Following that, Nikos Kalaitzis, also known as “Bidagialas”, a santouri player from Mesotopos, helped him improve his technique. When his younger brother, Dimitris, learned to play the accordion, Panagiotis urged Giorgos to learn to play the drums, so that the three of them could form a family band that would include a violin, an accordion, and drums.

He began playing the santouri on a professional basis in the late 40s, in Kalloni. In the early 50s, the three Ganosis brothers formed their own band, which became known in Lesvos by the name of “Ta Ganoselia”. (Giorgos Ganosis played the drums, Dimitris Ganosis the accordion, and Panagiotis Ganosis the violin).

After 1952, the band was joined by Koutalellis, or “Koutalis”, who played the bouzouki. Between 1955 and 1956, the three Ganosis brothers collaborated with Nikos Kalaitzis, or “Bidagialas”, who played the santouri. Giorgos played the drums, Panagiotis the violin, and Dimitris the accordion.

In 1957, Giorgos Ganosis left Kalloni and returned to Palaiochori. His younger brother, Dimitris, became a priest and stopped playing music professionally, while their older brother, Panagiotis, remained in Kalloni and continued to play the violin alongside local musicians. From 1957 to 1967, Giorgos Ganosis played the santouri in a band that included the Panteleli brothers, from Paliochori. For a time, he also worked with Poseidonas Karavas and Michalis Ververis, both violinists, in Plomari.

Between 1967 and 1968, Giorgos Ganosis played the drums in Dalabekis’ nightclub, called “Klimataria”, in Mytilini. While there, he collaborated with Pappas, who played the bouzouki. After 1968, he returned to Palaiochori, once again, and continued to play the santouri or the drums in local bands, up until the 90s.

During his career as a musician, he visited most villages in Lesvos: “The only place I haven’t played is Eresos. I’ve been to all the other villages.” He also performed in major festival across Lesvos, such as the festival of Tavros in Aghia Paraskevi, the festival of Panagia, on August 15th, in Agiasos, and the festival for the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women, in Mantamados, where several of the island’s bands gathered.

Giorgos Ganosis could play all the local tunes and dances on the santouri, such as karsilamas, syrto, zeibekiko, kalamatiano, and tsamiko, all of which were commonly played at festivals. He also played rebetika, laika (folk), and the so-called “European” dances, such as the waltz, “The waves of the Danube”, “Kobarsita”, depending on the audience’s preferences. In Kalloni, where many refugees from Asia Minor had settled, they often played traditional tunes of Asia Minor, many of which were unknown in Palaiochori at the time.