Lazos Ioannidis: Popularizng the Unique Sounds of the Pontic Lyra

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Lazos Ioannidis was born in Stuttgart, Germany on July 13, 1974 to immigrant parents. He grew up in Lefkonas, Serres in Greece. Music had appealed to him at an early age due to his ancestral connection to Pontus and its music. At the age of 14 he began his involvement with the Pontic lyra and around this time started studying at the Serres Conservatory.

Between 1996-1999, Lazos attained two degrees in music. It was during this time that he and his brother George Ioannidis began their professional music careers. His discography includes three CD's of his own compositions and in which he is the main performer. He has also participated in numerous productions with colleagues either as a composer, arranger or performer.

In 2002, after travelling from the Balkans to Asia, Lazos came up with an idea for a musical production based solely around the Pontic lyra. The production was to include a mixture of different music concepts originating from various cultures. In 2008, after six years of resaerch and study, the music production was finally completed. It was released in 2009 in Greece and abroad by the Friends Music Factory.

In May 2010, he performed with Giorgos Alkaios and Friends playing the Pontic lyra at the Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo, Norway. In September 2010, the first world premiere of his musical production title 'One Lyra for all the People' took place at the Gis Theatre in Thessaloniki, Greece in front of 4,500 spectators. The music and dance production involved 28 musicians from all over Greece and abroad.

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His collaboration with Omar Faruk Tekbilek while performing his own compositions on the Pontic lyra at the Concert Hall in Thessaloniki and Athens became defining moments in his artistic musical journey. In 2015, he began performing with Canadian guitarist Pavlo (Pavlo Simtikidis) while filming the DVD, “Live in Kastoria” in his home town of Kastoria, Greece. By the end of 2016, Lazo had performed to over 150,000 people in North American in cities including Toronto, Montreal, New York, Ohio and Los Angeles.

In 2017 he released his first North American CD titled 'Lazo' and subtitled 'An Ancient Sound for a New World.' The album is produced by Pavlo and features original music. In 2020 he released his third EP with orchestral music of his own compositions entitled 'Overthrow.' In 2021, he participated in Pavlo’s TV production 'Live in Santorini' as part of a USA PBS special.

Beginning in 2023, he will be touring in cities throughout Canada and North America.

Lazos currently lives in Toronto, Canada with his family. To complement his professional music career he also offers Pontic lyra and music lessons while at the same working towards promoting the distinctive sound and unique history of Pontic music to a wider audience.

The official website of Lazos Ioannidis

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