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Stratos Pagioumtzis

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Stratos Payoumtzis (Στράτος Παγιουμτζής) (1904-1971) was a Greek singer, songwriter, and bouzouki virtuoso in the tradition; as a composer his full name was used, but as a performer he was billed as “Στράτος”.

Born in Ayvali, Asia Minor, in 1904, he moved to Greece in about 1918. Nicknamed “ο τεμπέλης” (“the lazy one”), Stratos was a close friend of Markos Vamvakaris and also a member of the famed Τετράς (Tetras), which many afficionados recognise as the prototype rembetiko super group that founded the Piraeus School of rembetiko.

Stratos travelled to New York in 1971, singing at “Spilia” nightclub. He died after singing on 16th November of that year. He was so impoverished at the time of his death that a collection had to be taken up by the Greek-American community to send his remains back to Greece.

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