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THE MUSIC OF AVISINOS

Georgios Sfakianakis, better known as Avisinos, was born of the 1st of March 1931 and descends from a farming family. He grew up at Skalani, where he stills live till today. The name "Avisinos" was given to him by his teacher that called him thus because of his dark coloring. Giorgis Avisinos showed an interest in music from an early age. At the age of 15 he had become extremely good at playing the violin and could be heard at the caffe shop that his father owned. So every night the locals will go and listen to Giorgi and his violin. Avisinos used to play at weddings and carnivals until he was drafted for the army. He served at the 19th infantry regiment, where he still continued to entertainment the regiment with his violin. After dismissed from the army, he opened his first shop at Skalani in 1960.

There he became famous all over Crete and Greece.Fabas, Zouganelis, Tenidis, Rodousakis, Joan Paez, Aliki Vougiouklaki, Jeni Karezi, Kostas Voutsas and Manos Katrakis would go and listen to Giorgi every time they found themselves in Crete. In 1974, Avisinos opened the shop he now has at the Spilia Herakliou, since the other shop was too small to accommodate all the people that wished to see him. Giorgis Avissinos taught himself to play traditional Cretan music and has been playing it for the last 45 years. Some of the records, from the many he has released are "Nihtoximeromata", "Kodiles and songs from Crete with Avisino", and many more. He has been honoured on 21st of July 1986 for his contribution to Cretan music by the municipality of Heraklion, and later on by the municipalities of Chania and Rethymno.

He was also honored by the Pancretan Association of America in November 1982, by the Cretan Music Union of the Municipality of Chania on the 12/1/1989, by the Cretan Music Union in Athens in November of 1979, by the Pan - Kalohoriani Union "The Istron" on the 26 July, from the Daphnes Cultural Association in 1999, the Municipality Mallion on the 3/9/1999, by the Pancretan Cretan Music Artists Union on the 8th of March 1999 and many more. He has appeared many times in Europe, America and Canada. He is married to Katerina and has three children Kosti, Gianni and Manoli and three grandchildren, Katerina, Erifili and Little Katerina. He son Kosti, has also followed in his footsteps and is professionally pursuing music.

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