Friday, August 7, 2009

Global Greek Performers - Presenting talented musician, guitarist and performer extraordinaire - Greek Australian Orianthi Panagaris!!

Source: Orianthi
Meet Orianthi Panagaris, talented musician, guitarist and performer extraordinaire!!

Listen to According to You, Orianthi's first single from her 'Believe' Album released today, 26 October 2009! It's really great and so catchy! A real hit!

Orianthi’s story begins in Adelaide, in South Australia where, she was born to Greek Australian parents on January 22, 1985.

At the age of six, Orianthi began taking an interest in her dad's record collection. "Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Cream, Santana… he was into guitar players that are real songwriters," she boasts.

Growing up in the 80s, a decade remembered for its many guitar greats, Orianthi listened to a lot of Whitesnake, Van Halen and Def Leppard. Her father, who used to be a player in a Greek band, also kept plenty of instruments around the house, and it didn't take long before Orianthi strummed her first chord. Mastering the six-string came naturally.

When I was 11, Carlos Santana came to play in Adelaide and that show really affected me," she recounts. I begged my dad to get me a second hand electric guitar so I could be like Carlos, and that was it, no more acoustic. After that, I would buy all of Carlos' videos — on VHS! — which I kept rewinding to try and learn his solos. I totally wore out the tape.

Some seven years later when Carlos Santana passed through Adelaide again , she tells us on My Space,

I had the opportunity to meet and jam with Carlos Santana when I was 18 in my hometown. He invited me to get up and jam with him at soundcheck then later asked me if I would join him on stage that night to jam! It was an awesome experience to meet and jam with my idol...dreams really do come true!

Performances, tours and guest appearances with Steve Vai, ZZ Top and Prince have kept Orianthi busy up to now, and at the age of 24, Orianthi has already experienced what most aspiring musicians only dream of - she's opened for her hero (Steve Vai), backed an Idol (Carrie Underwood), and traded solos with a legend (Carlos Santana), a Santana who had this to say about Orianthi, (you can hear it for yourself in the interview on Australia's Today Show below) ...

If I was going to pass the baton to somebody, my first choice would be her!!!

Her electrifying performance with Carrie Underwood on stage at the 2009 Grammy Awards set the blogosphere buzzing with news of this little-known guitar prodigy. It prompted Michael Jackson to call with an offer for her to be his guitarist for his upcoming This is It concerts at the O2 Arena in London, following a prestigious line of guitar players including Eddie Van Halen, Santana, Slash, Steve Stevens, Jennifer Batten and Larry Carlton.

The world at large found out about Orianthi , and her amazing talent, when the Michael Jackson last rehearsal video was released just after Michael’s untimely death, and this brilliant young Greek Australian guitarist was literally catapulted on to the international stage.

A visibly moved Orianthi also performed on stage at Michael Jackson’s Memorial service joining in the tribute to the King of Pop We Are The World - his legendary song written with Lionel Ritchie for the children of Africa


We are sure we will hear a lot about this extremely talented young woman who now lives in Los Angeles and is preparing for the release of her album, Believe, with Geffen Records.

For now we will finish this post with her message to visitors to her Orianthi website:

I wanted to thank you all for your support and messages. I am so grateful to have been ab

le to play guitar with Michael Jackson and the band. Working with Michael was a life-changing experience, one I will never forget. It was awesome watching Michael dance and sing at rehearsals with us. He looked so happy. He was a musical icon and wonderful person and he has left us all too soon. I am really saddened by Michael’s passing and send my deepest condolences to his family.

You will be hearing more from me soon as I need some time to reflect.

Take as much time as you need, Orianthi.

Your friends around the world, and especially those in the Global Greek World will be waiting!

Sources, and to read more about Orianthi:

At Orianthi Click here

At MySpace Click Here

Interview on Australian television's Today Show

Orianthi's 'Believe' For more info Click Here

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