Several years ago, I met Jim Stoynoff, a Greek/Macedonian clarinet player from Chicago. We met at a Chicago music/folk dance festival that I attended because I knew oudist Joe Zeytoonian was coming in to play the gig and we had become friends and started to work together. Through this connection from Joe came Jim and through Jim came a wonderful CD of Greek folk music called Return to our Roots which was produced by Jim Stoynoff which I have carried through American Recording Productions for several years.
The music on this album is led by Jim with a wonderful ensemble which included a special guest artist, John (Yiannis) Roussos on the santouri. The Santouri is a stringed instrument in the hammer dulcimer family. There are Greek, Persian and an Indian types which are distinct from each other in style, construction, tuning and technique.
I recently became reconnected with John through his music via Facebook (thanks again to Joe for commenting on an interview he saw!) and I wanted to share this great video interview of John that recently appeared in Cosmos Philly, a Greek-American online newspaper. Enjoy!