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  • Born

    7 July 1936

  • Died

    8 February 1980 (aged 43)

Νίκος Ξυλούρης {Nikos Xylouris/Xilouris/Ksilouris} (7 July 1936 - 8 February 1980), also known as Ψαρονίκος, was a Greek composer and singer from the village of Anoghia in Crete. He is the elder brother of two other great musicians of Cretan music, Antonis Xilouris or Psarantonis, and Yannis Xilouris or Psaroyannis. He was part of the movement against the Greek military Junta of 1967. His songs and music captured and described the Greek psyche and demeanor.

When he was five years old his village, Anoghia, was burned down by the Germans and he had to leave together with the other residents of the village and settle in a nearby village in the area of Mylopotamos.

At the age of twelve he convinced father to buy him his first lyre, a traditional Cretan instrument, and displayed potential to play local folk music. Xilouris was seventeen years of age when he started performances at Kastro folk music-restaurant in Heraklion.

On 21st May 1958 he met Olympia Melabianakis whom he married the following September. Together they moved to the city of Heraklion.

A turning point in Nikos Xilouris' career occurred with a recording in 1958. He first performed outside Greece in 1966 and won the first prize in the San Remo folk music festival. In 1967 he established the first Cretan Music Hall, Erotokritos, in the city of Heraklion on the island of Crete. The recording of Anyfantou in 1969 was a big success. Xilouris soon started performances in Athens, which became his new permanent residence, at the Konaki folk music hall.

He died in 1980 from a brain tumour.

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