Panagiotis Aslanidis was born in Kalamaria, Thessaloniki in Greece in 1947. His family's roots are from Kromni in Pontus. At the age of 13 he began playing the Pontic lyra in the company of two greats; Gogos Petridis and Yiannis Vlastaridis (better known as Tsanakalis). Aslanidis is renowned for his rhythmic and expressive playing style in particular with dance tunes, making him one of the most famous and loved Pontian musicians worldwide. Aslanidis is known by many as Aslan, the word Aslan being of Turkish origin and meaning 'Lion'.

Aslanidis has recorded over 10 albums and 10 CD's. His first recording was in 1974 with Vasipap titled Pontian Echoes No:1 with Pavlakis Draminos, Giota Papadopoulou and Takis Papadopoulos. He is perhaps the last of the great first generation Pontic lyra players.


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