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Lekkas Solonas | Lesvos | Biographical data
• Place of birth

Pigi, Municipality of Loutropoli, Thermi, Lesvos
• Short biography

Solonas Lekkas was born in 1946. He was an amateur singer who performed, periodically, on a professional basis. For several years, he made his living building dry stone walls. When there was no longer any demand for them, he began building springs, stone fences, chapels and other small stone structures, which he usually decorated in his own, original way, with mosaics made of small, hand-picked stones.
The way Solonas Lekkas sings has been shaped by musical experiences he gained from his relatives and old generation “glentistes” (party-goers), whom he met, mostly, in Pigi. He doesn’t play a musical instrument, but he sometimes uses a toubeleki (drum) to keep the beat while singing.
He began singing in the village cafés without live music or musicians, but always among other customers and with the radio playing in the background. At the local festivals, was renowned for his talent, especially when it came to amanedes [traditional vocal songs], and was always encouraged to sing.
For a short period of time, during the early 1970s, Solonas Lekkas performed in certain festivals in Lesvos on a professional basis. It wasn’t long, however, before he abandoned this particular occupation, as he didn’t like singing according to the audience’s requests, most of which were for contemporary laika [folk] songs, rather than the old mikrasiatika [songs of Asia Minor] he enjoyed. He also found it hard to adapt to the requirements of the job, which forced him to sing the same song over and over again, according to the requests that were made.
In 1996-1997, Solonas Lekkas began singing regularly at the “Boudroumi” taverna in Mytilini, where he met several professional and amateur musicians from Lesvos, all over Greece, and even Turkey. These performances were of no financial benefit to him, as he never received payment in cash; they did, however, enrich his experience, bring him into contact with members of local and national music schools and organisations, local government officials, and give him the opportunity to perform for a wide audience, and gain many new friends and fans.
Since that time, he has received several invitations to perform in Athens and Thessaloniki, taken part in various events dedicated to the traditional music of Lesvos and Asia Minor, and been offered a number of professional opportunities.
Ever since the late 1990s, Solonas Lekkas has almost abandoned his former profession of stone structure builder. Once or twice a month he sings, in a professional capacity, at various events [mainly] in Thessaloniki, but also [on occasion] in Mytilini.
Following his reappearance on the music scene during the 1990s, Solonas Lekkas collaborated in Lesvos [after 1997] with Michalis Kyriakoglou and Nikos Christianos, both violinists, Stratis Kyriakoglou [accordion, bouzouki], Panagiotis Sousamlis [percussion, trombone], Vasilis Limnaios [bouzouki, vocals], and many others.
Since the late 90s, he has also worked with [professional] musicians based, mostly, in Thessaloniki or Northern Greece (such as Vasilis Vetsos [from is from Lesvos], Kyriakos Gouventas, Kyriakos Kalaitzidis, Charis Syneonidis, etc), and performed alongside artists of national acclaim (such as Aidonidis, Papazoglou, Mario, Ross Daly, etc). He has sung in tavernas, concerts and other musical events in Thessaloniki and across Northern Greece.