Voices of Greece Charity Concert in NYC
Greek tenor and international recording artist Mario Frangoulis teamed up with his long time friend and mega stage talent Alkistis Protopsalti and up-and-coming Greek-French singer George Perris for a one-time charity event this past November in order to raise funds for children in need in Greece. The spectacular concert, held at the historic New York Perbyterian Church, was an initiative of ALMA Bank and the idea was to bring a message of love and support to children and families in Greece truly in need during these difficult economic times, along with the proceeds from the sold out event.
Greek superstar Alkistis Protopsalti has 26 albums to her name (most of them gold or platinum), and has appeared in thousands of performances over a 35+ year career. Her explosive, dynamic and tender performances captivate and imbue audiences with a powerful Mediterranean touch. Protopsalti is known for supporting charity causes inside Greece that are grassroots and provide support and services to those most in need.
Mario Frangoulis, acclaimed Greek tenor and humanitarian, had just completed 30 concerts in Greece on a summer tour called “With Open Wings” where he presented an all-Greek program and traveled to every corner of the challenged country to engage, inspire, and bring hope to his audiences — reminding them of the great music, culture, poetry, and legacy Greece has to offer ― and asking them to reach out to each other during this time of need, to rekindle the Greek spirit. Frangoulis is known for his humanitarian work with the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans in the United States, and the World Centers of Compassion for Children International in Europe – he is especially committed to children in need.
George Perris, an emerging international Greek-French singer who has received significant attention over the last 3 years from artists such as Lara Fabian, and composer Stephan Moccio, sings in 6 languages. He has traveled the world touring with Mario Frangoulis and has performed with Alkistis Protopsalti on many occasions. He, also, is committed to philanthropic causes.
Spiros Exaras, a New York based, widely acclaimed jazz guitarist and composer, did the arrangements and led the orchestra, comprised of American and Greek musicians.
ALMA Bank is a full service commercial bank and it was established by Greek Americans. It remains close to the community, supporting the promotion and protection of the Greek language and culture. According to Panos Stogioglou, Senior Vice President of Marketing and PR, “ALMA Bank has strong roots in the Greek American community. All proceeds from the concert event went to two causes for children in Greece: ‘Floga’ and ‘To Hamogelo Tou Paidiou’ – two great organizations, chosen by the artists, that have strong track records of truly helping families. Even though we are separated from Greece by an ocean, we are still all part of the same family. At ALMA, we are grateful to Alkistis Protopsalti, Mario Frangoulis and George Perris for lending us their powerful voices so that the children of Greece can be heard.”
“It is a great mission in my life to help others in need especially when those groups of people are children,” said Mario Frangoulis. “They have a special place in my heart.”
As Alkistis Protospalti stated, “I believe in music and through this I train my hope, I consider it blessed. For some it can be irrelevant, especially at this stage-and-perfectly justifiable to me, however, it is very important. It is no coincidence that in difficult times the arts-from wherever they come from – continue to develop making the role of the artist doubly hard against the crisis of survival, identity, in an invisible economic war.”
“Music, for me, is like a beautiful rainbow with many colors… it knows no nationalities, no barriers, no frontiers. Because music has its own language: the language of love, of freedom, of the dream, but above all, of hope,” added George Perris.
“The Smile of the Child” (Hamogelo Tou Paidiou), since its establishment in 1996, has confronted the serious problems of children in-need living in Greece. Through its varied services, the organization protects children’s rights and provides them with emotional and psychological support. Also, it supports children who suffer from health problems or any type of abuse, neglect or abandonment.
“Floga” (“Flame”) is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 by parents whose children suffer from cancer. Its aim is to provide the best possible medical, psychological and social care to children and their families. The association’s Board of Directors and its members consist exclusively of parents of children with cancer. “Flame” provides multifaceted services including granting support to parents, financial aid to less privileged families, coverage of the cost of medical tests not covered by public health insurance, assistance to children’s hospitals for improving conditions and medical equipment, and organizing concerts for the entertainment of the children.