Evergreen performer back for winter shows

In the past, the popular singer-songwriter Nikos Papazoglou, one of the country’s more telling artists of the past couple of decades, has shown a distinct preference for limiting his concert activity to the summer season in open-air performances at theaters around the country, with Athens, usually, as the grand finale. Change came two years ago when Papazoglou committed himself to a winter-long season at an Athens club alongside Dionysis Savvopoulos for an extravagant production that exceeded Papazoglou’s more modest ways. Now, two years later, the artist has lined up a series of Thursday-to-Saturday shows at Zygos (22 Kydathinaion, Plaka, tel 210.324.1610) for an indefinite period, which, nevertheless, is expected to run through the upcoming festive season. Papazoglou, an impressive vocalist whose delivery carries a Byzantine influence, will be accompanied by his customary backing band Loxi tou Falaga as well as three female vocalists, including Lizetta Kalimeri, who has put out several worthy albums of her own. Papazoglou, now in his mid-50s, emerged in 1978 with a landmark release, «I Ekdikisi Tis Gyftias,» on which he sang tracks composed by fellow newcomer Nikos Xydakis, who has since established himself as one of the country’s finer songwriters. Papazoglou’s respectful take on Eastern-tinged popular Greek music has rendered some of this country’s more potent material. Remarkably, though Papazoglou has avoided change throughout the years, he has been able to extract interesting ideas from his mostly linear course, one based on old-school laiko (popular Greek) and its highly danceable tsifteteli offshoot. Despite occasional rumors of a new album, nearly a decade after his last outing – 1995’s «Otan Kindinevis Pexe tin Pourouuda» – Papazoglou has not yet delivered the goods. Even so, despite the passage of time, his existing published material remains remarkably fresh, including on stage.