Saleas was considered one of the most famous of the Ala Turka style clarinet playets from Greece. Eventually settling in the United States, Saleas was a popular musician in the Greek and Belly Dance nightclubs of New York City. This is the only recording existing that features his classics Greek folk songs. Saleas was born in the city of Mesolonghi in 1928. Vasili Saleas brought forth a different style of playing. He was also responsible for showing that the folk style of playing clarinet was not only an instrument that played folk music during village celebrations but an instrument which could be a part of any orchestra or ensemble or of any recording group.
Return to Our Roots
Possibly one of the most talented Greek/Macedonian clarinetists playing today, Jim Dimitri Stoynoff produced this recording of Greek music as a fund raiser for Greek orphanages. Return To Our Roots is dedicated to the re-introduction and preservation of Greek Folk Dances and Melodies performed in the Solo Klarino (solo clarinet) style typical of early 20th century recording. Since that time we have witnessed an unfortunate departure from the traditionally pure folk genre as foreign musical elements were adapted, in part for commercial reasons. Additionally advances in recording technology have resulted in the virtual extinction of 78rpm records. As a result, future generations are being deprived of the opportunity to enjoy first-hand the performing styles of great Greek folk clarinet virtuosi from the 1920s and 1930s. Our desire to reverse this situation became the inspiration and motivation to undertake this project. Similarly, melodic accompaniment was also provided by John Roussos who performs brilliantly on another vintage instrument, a santouri builit in Smyrna, Asia Minor circa 1895. In all selections, you will hear a strict adherence to unadulterated melodic line and traditional embellishment of percussive elements, designed to enhance the natural energy of this music a music reminiscent of the joys, sorrows, and nostalgia for the homeland experienced by early Greek immigrants to America. And to all who hear this work, especially future generations.