Stathis Nikolaidis

Stathis Nikolaidis (Gr: Στάθης Νικολαΐδης) is a popular singer of Pontic Greek music from Greece. He was born in Kazakhstan in 1958. His paternal roots are from Kounaka, Matsuka (today Maçka) and his maternal roots are from Rize. His love of singing began at the age of 7.

His grandparents fled Pontus in 1917 and arrived at Sukhumi in what's known today as the Republic of Abkhazia. His parents were born and lived there until 1949 when they were deported to Kazakhstan during Stalin's rule. In 1966, his parents Ioanni and Anthoula fled with their 4 children and settled in Athens, Greece.

His father was a kemenche player and would often play at weddings and christenings. During a holiday in Sparta, Nikolaidis met Pontic musician Thanassis Tsoleridis. It was through this meeting that Nikolaidis met his future wife Sofia, the sister of Tsoleridis. One night in 1976 at the Pontic club Kortsopon in Kallithea, he sang two impromptu songs with Pontic lyra legend Giorgos Petridis. After a discussion with the owner, Nikoladis was invited back and became a regular, until he was drafted into the army service.

nikolaidis stathis blackIn 1978 he began releasing music albums. His first was with Yiannis Tsanakalis titled The Kementzetzides which became a huge hit. More albums followed including To Aidoni tou Pontou, Anastenaria, Apo ton Ponto stin Athina, Asin Poulantzaki so Ata Pazar, Kivotos and O Metikon. In 1988 he began performing with accomplished kemenche player Giorgos Amarantidis. He also performed with a string of other accomplished musicians such as Dimitris Karasavvidis, Theodoros Veriotis, Christos Chrysanthopoulos and from 1998 with Giorgos Atmatzidis.

After a conversation with Lefteris Hapsiadis, he was told that the famous Stelios Kazantzidis was eager to speak with him. Kazantzidis wanted to produce a Pontic album, and wanted to sing some of the songs that Nikolaidis and Veriotis had performed on the album Odiporiko ston Ponto which were the songs of Nakis Efstathiadis and Thanassis Tsoleridis. The CD was released and it featured the singing of Kazantizidis, Nikolaidis and Chrysanthos . The CD was titled Ta Aidonia tou Pontou and it reached Gold status. He continued to sing with Kazantzidis and together they released further CD's accompanied by talented musician Christos Chrysanthopolulos.

The friendship with Kazantzidis continued. In 1994 Kazantizidis baptized the youngest of Nikolaidis' three daughters Yesthimani  which was the name of Kazantizidis' mother.


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