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Pipidis Sakis | Chios | Biographical data
• Place of birth

Mesta, Chios
• Short biography

Sakis Pipidis was born in 1971. He is a professional musician and singer, with a background in music theory. He worked in construction up until the end of the 80s. He also learnt the art of carpentry at a young age, and worked in a furniture workshop from 1992 to 1994. In 1994, he embarked upon his career as a professional musician, and has since practiced it full-time.

His basic instrument is the clarinet, but he can also play the flute, recorder and saxophone. He began taking music lessons with Michalis Neamonitakis in 1985. Initially, he learnt to read the notes and understand (western) musical notation. Following that, he practiced the clarinet for two years, and studied pieces performed by other musicians, which he listened to on a tape player. He began playing the clarinet in festivals in 1987, alongside his teacher, Michalis Neamonitakis.

Sakis Pipidis has been in a band since the early days of his career. The band’s other members are Stelios Varkaris, who plays the bouzouki, Giannis Voukounas, and his brother, Michalis Voukounas, who play the drums and other percussion instruments. They occasionally work with certain singers. The band doesn’t have a name, but it is commonly referred to by the names of its two basic members, Varkaris and Pipidis. Sakis Pipidis’ brother, Aristeidis, who plays the harmonium, was also a member for a while.

Overall, Sakis Pipidis has collaborated on and off with several musicians of Chios, and he maintains good relations with all of them. He mentioned, in particular, the Stroumbaki brothers, Panagiotis and Vangelis, who play the clarinet and the guitar, respectively, Giannis Lignos, who plays the clarinet, Giannis Vafeiadis and Lefteris Bournis, who also play the clarinet. He has also worked with Markellos Mouschouris, who plays the clarinet, Giorgos Floradis, Marios Neamonitakis, Louloudis from Neninta, who plays the violin, Thodoris Douslatzis [bouzouki], and Pandelis Erotas [oud] from Oinousses, Kostas Psaltakis, a guitarist and singer, Giorgos Avgoustidis, and Markelos Poupalos [oud, lute]. He has also worked with numerous female vocalists from Chios, such as Jenny Spanoudi, Despoina Tsourou, Gianna Fafaliou, Athina Velisari, Patra Neamonitaki, and Louloudi Souti, who only sings traditional songs.

Sakis Pipidis has played the clarinet all over Chios, in festivals, weddings, and christenings. One of the festivals he performs at regularly is that of Aghia Merkella, which takes place in the village square of Volissos. In the past, he used to take part in shows at the “Omireio”, in the centre of Chios, alongside Louloudis. Finally, he was a regular act in a club called “Charama”, in the centre of Chios, during the winter season of 2000 to 2003.

Apart from Chios and the nearly Oinousses and Psara, Sakis has performed in several parts of Greece. He has worked in Athens, Chalkida and Thessaloniki, in events organised by local Chios Associations. He has also performed in shows organised by cultural organisations in Kefalonia, Patra, Thessaloniki, Chania, Mesolongi, Giannena, Samos, Mytilini, and several parts of Thrace, Epirus and Macedonia.

Finally, he has also been invited to perform outside of Greece. From the winter of 1996 and until 2000, he was invited to play at weddings and christenings of various immigrants from Chios in America. In May 2004, he played at a Chios wedding in London, and in 2006 he performed at a cultural event in Norway, as part of an advertising campaign for Chios. He has also performed in Germany, Italy, and along the coast of Asia Minor. In 1994, he joined a band that performed in Cesme, Turkey, in an event organised to mark the twinning of Chios and Cesme, by initiative of the respective prefectures.

Sakis Pipidis’ first CD was released in 1996, and included songs commonly played in the festivals of Chios. His second CD came out shortly after, and was entitled “I diki mas anatoli” [Our own East]. The title was chosen because the record featured Sakis Pipidis and his band’s favourite traditional songs from Asia Minor and Chios.