About Nick Dakis (Pourpourakis)




About Nikos Over 50 years of entertaining in the USA.
Nikos Pourpourakis/Nick Dakis: Born on the island of Oinousses off the coast of Chios. Nick learned to play the mandolin and at age 9 and followed his father John Koutsoudakis, a musician who played laouto, playing with him at various festivals, weddings and events that took place on the island.

Nick came to the United States at a young age in the early 1950's. He landed in Virginia where he stayed with some relatives. He brought a bouzouki with him. When he went up to New York, he had the bouzouki in a bag (he did not even have a case for it) and went to one of the clubs and announced that he was a bouzouki player. The owners gave him a job immediately as in those days not very many people here in the states played the bouzouki. So at 16 years of age he began playing at the club, sitting in the back row. One week later, the club owners saw something special and brought Nick up to the front row with the major players.

Nick was earning $12.00 a week in the early 1950s. Eventually a club owner from Boston noticed him and offered him $100.00 a week to play at his club. There was no stopping Nick now.

Nick worked with Markos Melkon and Udi Hrant in the early years, playing "alla turka." He began orchestrating and directing music and recorded approximately 45 records under the label Kalos Diskos. He recorded his famous "O Soultanos" and worked along side Theodoros Kavourakis, Andreas Poggis, Athanasios Athanasiou, Roza Eskinazi, Virginia Magidou and Angeliki Pallagoudi.

Nick worked with Beba Blans, Zoe Nahi, Poly Panou, Yianni Tatasopoulos, Anna Chrisafi, Manolis Angellopoulos, Vangeli Perpindiadis, Evgenikos, Roukounas, Nicos Tseperis and many more (this list will be updated).

He also worked with Manoli Hiotis at the Zappion Pavilion in New York. They worked the same stage, separate shows but did play together as well when the occasion called for it.

Nick recalls various stories such as going for coffee with some customers who came to see him in New York. He fell asleep for some reason in their car and wound up in Chicago the next morning. This "kidnapping" turned out to be a good thing as he remained in Chicago and worked there several years.

He remembers working in Detroit where customers were tossing silver dollars at him and the band. He recalls going for a walk in Detroit and walking into a music store that had his pictures all over its walls.

In Boston there were two clubs, Zara and Khyam, that fought over him and took him to court.

His travels took him to New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Rhode Island, Detroit, and Cleveland. A very popular entertainer and a very good musician.

Nick was the first to add drums to his Greek band, the first to add a belly dancer and transformed the bouzoukia to make it more family friendly environment. He also opened the first Greek restaurant in Astoria called Ellas Cafe.

Nick was also the first to add not just one but two pickups to the bouzouki taking the instrument to a new level of sound. This caused quite a stir. He was known as the master of gadgets. He has his own unique style of playing that can be seen on some of the videoclips on this site.

Cleveland was the last stop for Nick in the East. Life dealt a bad hand and he was forced to leave everything behind.

He came to California where he worked from 1970 to 1974 all up and down the coast and then to Hawaii where he performed at the Mad Greek in Honolulu for 9 years.

Nick's personality and style of entertainment has become his signature. It's not often that you see a bouzouki musician climb on to tables while playing at lightening speed and jumping off without missing a beat. To top that off, how often do you see a musician playing with three cigarettes between his note tapping fingers. He also strokes his fingers along the strings to make a "whooping" sound.

Leaving Hawaii, he returned to Los Angeles where he met his current wife, settled down and finally started his family. He is now the proud grandfather to a beautiful little girl and waiting for his grandson who is due in January 2011.

Nick says he's happiest when people are enjoying his music and are dancing. Nick has a wonderful smile and a great personality and people that meet him instantly like him. Many old friends from all over the United States have finally found him through Facebook and all of them have fond memories of him. He always plays to his audience and acknowledges them.

Nick is still active and has been working in a restaurant in Sherman Oaks, California for the last 15 years. He recently took some time off and is ready to get back out there to entertain. Who knows where he will wind up next!

Relationship Status Married to Lea Dakis
Anniversary July 6
Contact Information
Phone

* 1 818.708.2626Mobile

Email

* ldakis@juno.com