Click stop OLIVIA'S LULLABY audio above before watching a video or listening to an mp3.     GREEK BIO

Dear Viewer, Listener & Fellow Traveller,

As you can tell I have prepared a song to accompany your reading.It is entittled OLIVIA'S LULLABY, a soft ,soothing piece .Click again if the music ends before you have finished reading. (Of course you can always click stop the music if you so wish) . . I know this is going to be lengthy.

I call it "THE REAL STORY" & it refers to my life seen from where I am right now with MUSIC as the common denominator. Stay with me if you can, otherwise you can click on RESUME to get the facts.


I was born in Athens, Greece. My father, George Cardamis, a bandleader who played beautiful alto sax & clarinet was one of the few musicians to introduce Jazz to the Greek public. They actually used to call him the Benny Goodman of Greece but he sounded more like Artie Shaw with all the slides & lyricism that went with his playing.

Dad had his own weekly radio show THE GEORGE KARDAMIS SEXTETTE SHOW (50's). Click the icon
to listen to a foxtrot from that radio show with my father on clarinet. (Make sure to click stop OLIVIA'S LULLABY first so you don't mix the songs together...LOL)  

Recently I was very happy to create a tribute to my father on YouTube under the tittle  GEORGE CARDAMIS: The Benny Goodman Of Greece. Check it out...It recreates my father's career in photos while hie's playing the clarinet & I can assure you this has meant a lot to me!! But ....you can also get a taste of his wonderful alto sax playing from a live radio recording in 1954 on YouTube again.

Also check my new renditions of 2 of my father's 1949 hits with Olympia.my daughter, singing her grandfather's hit song as well the one with Roula Vasos.


George Kardamis & his band with famous Greek singer Yiannis Voyagis & international star Nana Mouskouri.

So at a very early age I became very familiar with Big Bands, their bandleaders & featured soloists like Glen Miller, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Harry James & great singers like Ella & Sarah.  

A little later I was introduced to the "cool" Jazz of Dave Brubeck & the out of this world Paul Desmond. I remember having a noon siesta (very customary in Europe) while the vinyl record was still playing filling the room & my head with Dave's & Paul's impros. No wonder I had memorized all those intricate solos after a while & my father would proudly show me off to his fellow musicians. "Come on Spiro sing Desmond's solo"..... & there was Spiro scatting all over the place to the mere delight of dad & his pals.


So that explains why I feel so comfortable with Jazz though I never played with a Jazz band on a regular basis & in spite of long periods in my life I didn't play it at all! As we say in Greece "it runs in my veins " as it did for my father too.

As a kid because of the Jazz environment I liked neither classical music nor Hellenic folk music. And classical music I came to appreciate & love later in my teens whereas Hellenic music I had to come to America in my manhood to appreciate it, love it & create it in a genuinely pure way. (weird stuff but true....actually it makes sense, doesn't it?).  
From my father George, I got the musical talent & a gest for the fun aspect of life & the every minute enjoyment of it!!! THANKS dad..... through this page I wish to acknowledge & honour you for these 2 irreplaceable gifts.  
From my mother Olympia, I got her strong sense of pride & inner strength. (As you can see I'm only referring to the good qualities & traits of my parents which I seem to have inherited... LOL... who realy cares about bad stuff!!) She WAS the pillar of the house & she had an unbelievable & unsurpassed sense of duty & commitment. She was the REAL DEAL!! A real mother, a real friend & a real lady!!
THANKS mom for all your awesome input!! I'm REALLY in awe when I think of the energy you spent here on earth for the well-being of your family & friends. I REALLY MISS YOU!! (She passed away Sep 15 2000... my father still lives in Athens playing & composing music & keeping a healthy lively attitude).
As a kid I used to be extremely lively!! Loved to run up & down the stairs of the rundown house, loved to play soccer & dance. (I still LOVVVE to dance & play baskeball). I was also very risky. I remember I would not cross the street unless a car was really near by so I could avoid it!! (Fortunately I have kept that kind of extreme risk only in my music now.) And I would LOVVVE to have my beloved "yiayia" (granma) tell me stories about the lives of all the Saints of the Orthobox church (...and boy.... do we have lots of Saints!!).  
Every Sunday I would walk to church in my neat clothes & new shoes. My "yiayia" would have already been there from very early. I still remember the feeling of absolute sacredness that filled my body & soul at important rituals during the liturgy especially during the holy week of Easter. This aspect of my early childhood together with the closeness I felt later in life to a contemporary greek Saint St. Nectarios surely accounts for the deep religious feeling of a large bulk of my music.  
When I was about 7 or 8 my parents got separated for 3 years (my mother waited patiently & dad came back home one day just out of the blue..... what an incredibly happy day that was!!!). The separation period was extremely emotional & I suppose painful. I FELT A LOT DURING THAT PERIOD!! And it seems to me that if I hadn't felt those deep emotions back then I wouldn't have been able to express the depth of feeling that was necessary for my music when the moment was ripe. It is obvious (at least in my case) that the artist does not only have to pay his or her dues to learn the craft but also the emotional dues in order to express the depth of feeling in his or her art.  

I started piano lessons at age 9... had two lady teachers for 3 years but I was still into Jazz. And then one day through a fellow musician's recommendation my father took me to the person that would dramatically change my.... everything; a new piano teacher, the revered Eve Pana, herself student of famous French legend Alfred Cortot. Pana showed me that playing the piano was not just moving my fingers on the keys but there was a whole system involving the arm, elbow and shoulder. Boy I was starting to feel like someone being initiated into the mechanics of sacred stuff. Bottom line she taught me a system of movement that was completely natural like breathing. Whenever students asked her if we were supposed to get sore muscles from playing the piano she would answer "We are artists NOT construction workers". She would insist on always having a deep sound no matter how soft. (It's easier to get a thin sound when you already know how to produce a deep one than the reverse).

As to musicality & phrasing.... forget about it!! I still remember the day I was playing Chopin without making any technical mistakes but according to Eve my expression must have been superficial... so all of a sudden she tosses my books onto the floor telling me very sternly: "Go home & don't you ever dare play like this again". Well, ever since that day I became Pana's best student, an example for the rest of the students. Eve Pana knew how to bring you to your highest potential. I still remember her coming into the piano room at the National Conservatory where I was waiting for my turn to play for final exams and she says to me: " Spiro it's your turn.... go & play like god, the way you play !!!" And so I did!! Played the best I could ! The result was the jury instead of promoting me to the next Piano level they all suggested I skipped it & be offered the Piano certificate.  
Pana refused the offer saying that the level I had performed was the level the conservatory would have to adhere to from then on. She was that kind of an uncompromising force & integrity person. So I did not get the certificate but did get a distinction & a money prize. I studied under Eve Pana for 6 years. During that incredible period we got really close & I considered her my spiritual mother.  
The first 3 years i didn't play Jazz at all as I was getting into the classical stuff & Eve considered Jazz detrimental to my classical technique. Now I see how important it was for me to put Jazz aside for a while until I had had a solid classical technique & a broader musical perspective. Meanwhile my role model became famous Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter for he had the traits I was trying to develop, incredible technique, total tone control that made the piano sound like an orchestra plus a modern attitude of interpretation with no extreme rubatos etc. THANK YOU Sviatoslav!! At the same time I developed my Jazz harmonic vocabulary by scrupulously studying & memorizing 5 music books for Piano (thanks dad again for buying them for me) by George Shearing called "INTERPRETATIONS for Piano". These books became my JAzz Bible. George I can't THANK YOU enough.... what a service!!!! When I was 19 Eve passed away & I can vividly remember my visiting her at the cemetery every sunday for at least a year or so. What a rich meditative healing experience that was!!!
THANK YOU EVE!!! WHAT A GREAT GUIDE YOU WERE!!. I hope my piano playing is a credit to your illuminating teaching & guidance!

After Eve's passing I continued piano studies with soloist Lili Aretaiou Georgiadou former student of Pana's who introduced me to more advanced piano techniques (german system more finger oriented). Thank you Lili!! During that time I was exposed to Bill Evans. What a revelation that was!! Here was a pianist who used classical touch but sounded so cool & Jazzy & attractive with all those rich, romantic, harmonic progressions, the continually busy rythmical left hand with the off beat accents, the subtle groove, the convincing logic of his lines as they were unfolding. It took me a very long time to cut loose from his style. MAJOR INFLUENCE!! Thanks Bill! You were my guide even if we never physically met.


                   LIVE @ ArtMusic CoffeeHouse paying homage to Bill Evans & George Shearing



Meanwhile I started studying law (go figure....) at the Athens University & started playing professionally with a rock pop band the STORKS.

It was at that time (around 21) I was introduced to famous Greek composer Yiannis A. Papaioannou (through my best friend at the time composer pianist George Niarhos) to study advanced music theory & composition.

I still remember my father proudly saying to me the very first day of my lesson:"From now on you can call yourself a MUSICIAN". Thanks dad for your urges & reminders to take up lessons with another great guide teacher & eye opener Andrea Y. Papaioannou. As with Pana I had to unlearn the bad habits I had aquired from previous teaching methods; the difference was that Pana had to physically show me the new way (hand,arm position & movement) whereas Papaioannou did it by not giving me any rules at all, just with incredible unique assignments of his own that triggerred the student's musical intelligence.Under his openminded guidance I studied Advanced Harmony, Counterpoint, Fuge, Orchestral Techniques, Compositional Styles & Forms (he insisted on Debussy's preludes....how right!!!) 12tone & beginnings of Serial Music.

Through a book that Papaioannou's recommended, Jepessen's textbook on Counterpoint based on PALESTRINA, I came to love counterpoint, completely understood the horizontal aspect of music where harmonies are the outcome of musicaly moving, melodic lines & not the center that defines the melodic movements; became fluent on Renaissance counterpoint and the road opened up for Bach, the perfect balance of harmony & counterpoint. Someone who listens carefully to my RELIGIOUS MUSIC (all the VOYAGE MUSIC, AENA, REQUIEM, CUSTODIAN etc) will definitely discern my Palestrina orientation in the way melodic lines move, the more than often use of CAMBIATA, a melodic motif & trend of Palestrina's period as well as the use of suspensions. Bach took suspensions further with his bold treatment & I believe I have taken suspensions even further at my piece " THE CUSTODIAN ". IT IS A GREAT PITY THAT "SUSPENSION", THE GREATEST MEANS OF ACHIEVING TENSION & RELAXATION IN MUSIC WAS ABANDONED.  
Of course (LOL) I became one of Papaioannou's favourite & top students but only after I was ridiculed once again (remember Pana?) during my 1st year of apprentice. I remember it had to do with an assignment where I tried to impress him with chord progressions & after he had examined it he said to me in his soft but very serious manner: "Mr. Cardamis This Is All Nonsense!!". I was SOOO embarrassed !! Went home & made a promise to myself I would never hear those words from my teacher's mouth EVER AGAIN!!
Years later I related the incident to Papaioannou.... his brief with a smile response was:" I knew who I was talking to!". THANK YOU Andrea Y. Papaioannou . From this page I honour you & acknowledge the wisdom of your guidance.

Under his guidance I did 3 compositions one of which (a quintet entitled "ANAMESSA) received 1st Prize by the Ministry Of Culture (Chamber Music Competition). Meanwhile I got involved in pop, made 2 hits & stopped playing with bands preferring the solo piano scene (Hilton Hotel, high class restaurants etc.). From time to time I would participate as a composer and orhestrator in pop music festivals. Got married, had 2 beautiful kids Olympia (she's a singer) & William (he's a Broadway dancer).

While still married I went to EASTMAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC in Rochester N.Y for my Master's in Music majoring in composition. I stayed for a year, (boy what kind of winter that was in 1980!!!) completed all my credits & returned to Greece where I wrote my thesis "Blood & Light On Two Persistent Rhythms" (a completely serial piece) in ABSENTIA. Eastman was another eye opener basically because of the exposure to so much music -especially contemporary- & the high standard of performance. I studied composition with Samuel Adler & Warren Benson, Advanced Techniques with Robert Morris & my most favourite subject Advanced Conducting with David Effron the excellent conductor of Eastman Philarmonia whose conducting gestures I tried to emulate.


My piano playing got noticed & I recall being called "Piano Choreographer" after performing my Piano Suite & receiving standing ovation by the teachers & classmates at the Kilbourn Hall (obviously because of the way my body responded to the expression I was trying to install...lol...)

While at Eastman I got completely engrossed in ODYSSEUS ELYTIS' poetry & ideas. This remarkable, extraordinary entity (by the way he received the Nobel Prize for his poetry), a Greek worthy of our enlightened ancestors introduced me to a way of seeing life & Greece that was more in tune with music & the REAL me!! I consider him the precursor of my final spiritual awakening.


When later on I sent him my CD thanking him for the effect he had had on me & my music I received his card with one word on it "THANK YOU !" The best thank you note I have ever received!!..... Oh !! Before I forget, it goes without saying that of course I attended numerous rehearsals & performances of Eastman's famous Jazz Ensemble. Over all a very rich informative experience that catapulted me to the future. Now that I had been presented with "WHAT'S OUT THERE" all I had to do was sort out the info & make my options. I remember coming back to Greece & spending the summer doing a lot of catching up & assimilating as much Eastman info as I could. Upon returning I got a post at the National Conservatory to teach Advanced Theory & Orchestration. Kept the post for a year, wrote my thesis & now it was time to embark to new & better stuff. Time to find my manhood, my bliss, my mission. Time to go back to America!!


The very first day I arrived I went to a wake . The father of one of the fellow musicians I was going to collaborate with had just passed away. His name was Spiro!!!! I remember coming back to the studio that night & telling my fellow musicians about the coincidence & Lakis, the drummer telling me: "Don't you worry Spiro... this is a sign that the old Spiro will die & the new Spiro will emerge". I had to wait 4 years to realize the truth of that statement for towards the end of 1988 beginning of 1989 the new me was born, an extension of what had been the best of me & a realization of my full potential. It was an opening of the heart through my falling in love & simultaneous exposition to Joseph Cambell's " THE POWER OF MYTH". I just followed my heart & bliss & responded to the obvious call of the Universe for spiritual awakening. Thank you Joseph for the incredible inspiration that urged me to be the best I could.


Of course there was the human drama of divorce but above all there was the new direction I had chosen to take both as a man & artist inseparable. It wasn't easy at ALL... let me tell you!! My inherited tendency to improvise (thank you dad & jazz for that) along with a fearless trust that all IS WELL (thanks soul mate for your faith in me) led me to continually explore on the keys & focus on the moment with all my being.


With solid harmonic & compositional background I started the process I have come to call "composing on the spot" which keeps everything alive & sacred. Along with the free flow of music there came the free flow of ideas some of which I have jotted down on my ' sacred diary '.

The most important realization has been the priority of our spiritual nature, that there is an experiencer who experiences the physical world through the physical body & who continues to experience after the physical body is gone. That underneath our DNA differences there is a sameness that connects. That the human software needs to be updated on a regular basis through conscious individual realizations & decisions in order to meet the changes & new challenges.


Of course there was the human drama of divorce but above all there was the new direction I had chosen to take both as a man & artist inseparable. It wasn't easy at ALL... let me tell you!! My inherited tendency to improvise (thank you dad & jazz for that) along with a fearless trust that all IS WELL (thanks soul mate for your faith in me) led me to continually explore on the keys & focus on the moment with all my being.


With solid harmonic & compositional background I started the process I have come to call "composing on the spot" which keeps everything alive & sacred. Along with the free flow of music there came the free flow of ideas some of which I have jotted down on my ' sacred diary '.

The most important realization has been the priority of our spiritual nature, that there is an experiencer who experiences the physical world through the physical body & who continues to experience after the physical body is gone. That underneath our DNA differences there is a sameness that connects. That the human software needs to be updated on a regular basis through conscious individual realizations & decisions in order to meet the changes & new challenges.



We are the painters of ourselves.

That to become powerful, compassionate human beings is our potential reality.

That human drama as exciting as it is, does not have to be the main vehicle towards enlightment.

We can choose other types of excitement & follow the light instead of the dark side.

Above all we have to realize we are all a family.

The Heroic Adventurous Human Family That Has Chosen To Come To Earth To Play The Game Of Separation.

Isn't it about time for this game to come to an end?



The spiritual awakening with all its profound manifestations continued until 1997. Meanwhile a musical group, "DREAMBAND" had been formed that played on the spot with the integrity & intelligence I aspired to. It was during that period that my soul mate & I decided or better realized that our paths had to change course & move on individually from then on. So here we go again!!!! Thank you soul mate! I take the opportunity on this page to honour you & to proclaim that you were fantasticand that you have my love for that!!

Wish you the very best.You deserve it. So we did move on!! (Again it wasn't that easy!! lol).


Musically after I had expressed the piece "The Custodian" I felt I had taken things a little too far or deep so I decided to add a more "human element" to my music based though on the rich spiritual background I had already acquired. And there came Dino Makropoulos, a powerful, no nonsense, Greek American poet with his collection of poems called "THOMATA" (greek word meaning things given... very spiritual title I'd say... coincidence ?... LOL!!). His poetry gave me the opportunity to elicit all my greek heritage which had already become richer through my working at Greek night clubs in the metropolitan N.Y area. But this time there was a definite spiritual & New Age background.



I was REALLY ready for this & the music sprang up effortlessly. The result was the formation of a Greek American group composed of 2nd & 3rd generation guys & girls called "2H-3H YENIA". I produced a cassette with 4 songs one of which "WE THE HELLENES " became a great hit within the Greek-American community.


My vision for this project was to organize concerts all over the USA & get local folk dancing groups & choirs involved. Unfortunately in spite of the success we were not sponsored by the Greek Authorities. The project has been suspended for a better timing I suppose.

Since 1999 musically I have focused on piano explorations on my new Yamaha Electric Piano P-200 as well as on experimenting with computer based loops (started in 2001) & updating my studio. My music will have to reach a large crowd without sacrificing my integrity.

May 30, 2011 -Memorial Day- UPDATE

What Happened To Spiro Cardamis?

It's called procrastinating  and in my case it has to do with not having released at least 3 new CDs since my last release in 1994....(WOW!!!!).....Namely the 3rd CD"Spiro" which will complete the trilogy of my New Age Spiritual music, another CD of my Piano Explorations and "My Hellenic Music" CD.

If procrastination is postponing taking action on the path you have chosen because of the fear of responsibility then I am the champion of that and need to shape up.. not only acknowledge it but deal

with it asap .......Do Some Spiro !!! DO SOME !!!!!!!!!!!

On the other hand YOUTUBE has given me an incredible outlet to present my music & energy to the World through the years and there I -must admit- have been extremely prolific (48 videos) & enjoyed great response (WORLD NEW AGE Hellenic MUSIC has hit already over 400.0000 views!!!)

So in reality YOUTUBE has replaced releasing my CDs. (and costs no money on top ...lol...).

Still except for my 2004 concert at Satalla with Dreamband -to honor & celebrate the Olympic games- I have not presented my music live in public since then except for a private concert at Artmusic Coffeehouse with soprano Julie Ziavras in june 25, 2010 which is to be held again this year on March 2, 2012.

A big Thank you to Don Slepian & Jan for their kind invitation!!..

Ohh Yes..... March 27, 2011 - I managed to have "WE THE HELLENES" and "HYMN TO HELLAS ETERNAL" presented on 5th avenue during the Hellenic Independence Parade...And this through the urge & help of a few special friends I came to know recently who have also become fans of my music.

Seizing the moment & momentum I was interviewed by Panicos Panagiotou on NGTV channel regarding the parade & my overall musical offer & projects.

Speaking of projects.... A project that has occupied a lot of my time in the past 2 years is collecting & arranging my father's hits of the 50's planning to make a CD entitled "George Casrdamis' Hits Revisited" . This is a MUST project & it is the least I can do for a great musician, my father, George Cardamis.


Recently I added another great synth to my arsenal, Yamaha 88keys S90xs... also AxiomPro controller for my live performances in conjunction with my MacBook Pro running the program Mainstage. Mainstage is an app or program which enables me to use creatively all the sounds of my computer (Logic Pro) as well as those of 3rd parties like Spectrasonics whose products I totally Love & am greatful for!!!! A big BRAVo to Eric Persing & his Gang for a tremendous job & service to all of us. It is the only company I know that does heavy duty upadtes & does NOT charge a penny those who have already purchased the program!!!!!

Way To Go Eric!! Thank You!!!


Since 2008 I have been in a wonderful relationship with a wonderful person .

She is my Amigo Para Siempre (APS) in a relationship based on Love, Respect , Friendship.

We are experiencing Togetherness while keeping things Up & Simple & Light (as much as humanly possible...lol..).. We're having fun... & lots of laughs!


Sequel to my relationship I have moved into a much more comfortable and spacious environment and my studio now is my little palace besides my sanctuary (which it always was of course).


So.... a new chapter has unfolded and the years of Mystic Transportation (1989- 2008) have given place to Anchor (2008-)... Yet... the motto

"THRU SERVICE WE GROW" has remained unchanged.



My dream is to have the music of my 3rd New Age CD "Spiro" performed live at the John The Divine Cathedral in Manhattan, a MagicalMysticalMusical show interspersed with classical singing, dance & narration.




P.S There's a very special person I forgot to mention, my brother Anastacios who has been for me & my music all the way. I'm sure his musical talent will shine in the years to come. Thanks athelfaki (little brother in Hellenic).