When he was 14, Canadian guitarist Pavlo Smitkidis played in a Rush tribute group, and he’s been in his share of rock and blues bands along the way. But his real calling is world music and a pan-Mediterranean sound that incorporates Flamenco guitar, Greek bouzouki music and Latin rhythms.
“I’ve always been studying Flamenco and classical music,” says Pavlo, who performs under his first name and was raised in Toronto by Greek immigrant parents. “As a musician, I think you endeavor to find a niche where you flourish the most as you travel through different genres and different stages of your life.
“Some people — most people, I think — don’t even find that. I was fortunate when I started to write and compose in this style that I call Mediterranean. I found my niche.”
Pavlo, 38, has parlayed that into seven albums, which have sold more than half a million copies worldwide. And he’s hoping for another boost when he films his first PBS special at this weekend’s concert in Dearborn, which will premiere March 8 on Detroit’s WTVS (Channel 56).
“It’s the top of the chain,” Pavlo explains. “If you look at people like Yanni and Andre Rieu, as a result of their PBS specials, these people can now play in front of 10,000 people a night. I’m not saying that’s going to happen to me, but it’s where these kinds of things lead to.
“The style of music I play or Yanni or Andre Rieu play, it’s not like you can open your radio and listen to it. There’s no format on radio for this kind of music. So that’s why PBS and the kind of audience it has, which is trying to see something they normally wouldn’t, is so important and will hopefully introduce more people to (his) music.”
Pavlo performs at 7:30 p.m. Friday (Jan. 25) at the Ford Community Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave., Dearborn. Tickets are $50 and $35. Call (313) 943-2350 or visit www.dearbornfordcenter.com.
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