1913 - 1972
Style, sophistication, elegance and Swing . Swing ? Yes swing ! Try and think of Ioannis Papaioannou as similar the Great Jazz composer Duke Ellington . We are comparing Papaioannou to the great American "Duke " , because his compositions as well as his character and particularly his stage presence , were very much the embodiment of these first three attributes. In our opinion, Papaioannou was very much the Hellenic "Duke" of Rebetiko music . Many of Papaioannou's compositions were often very big hits. Especially with the Greek - American crowd . Much of his material was for a variety of reasons , much admired and very accessible for many a Western audience . Which is interesting , because he never really compromised his compositions or performances by attempting to overly "Westernize" them for the benefit of a Buck . Some of his songs had a hard driving lyrical rhythm, that was very appealing . You just don't hear that sound from any other Rebetic composer . Probably the best description I can offer in regards to this characteristic , is that unlike most other Rebetic numbers , Papaioannou's music often seems to emphasize various elements , that suggests a youthful type of exuberance and natural spontaneity . His music often seemed to have the rare capacity to take you away from your respective thoughts , even long after the number has ended . Papaioannou was also an excellent instrumentalist with the Bouzouke and that capability undoubtedly influenced his compositional style . He is the one authentic Rebetis , I would recommend most to individuals who are new to this music and want to explore Rebetiko music in greater depth . He merit's this recommendation not only because his compositions are some of the most immediately accessible and thoroughly intriguing, but more importantly because Papaioannou had a sound, that for some mysterious reason , never seems to grow old . Tragically Ioannis Papaioannou was killed in an auto accident in 1972 .