Kostas Gourgourmis was born in Somerville, Massachusetts on April 11, 1919. In 1919, his family moved back to their village, Alatsata, Asia Minor. At the age of two, Kostas' family fled Asia Minor after his father had been beheaded and they moved to Thessaloniki. In 1947, after serving five years in the Greek Army during World War 11, Kostas came to Somerville and married Mary Pakitsas.

At the age of nine, Kostas started his musical career by playing the mandolin. In his teenage years, he started playing bouzouki in nightclubs in order to earn a living for his family. When he came to the United States, Kostas played mostly at private parties and gatherings for the enjoyment of his family and friends.

In 1956, Kostas formed a band called the "Glenzethes" along with his brother Jimmy on bouzouki, guitarist Stavros Argentakis, and drummer Andy Chiklakis. The band played many functions throughout New England and New York. Some of the most memorable places that Kostas played were the picnics at Camp Ararat, the Topsfield Fair Grounds, Papalimberis Farm, Canobie Lake Park, the annual Somerville Choir "Queen of Hearts Dance" and many wed

dings and private parties. He played at numerous restaurants and nightclubs such as the Frolics in Salisbury Beach, Franks Sea Grill in Lynn, the Wonderland Ballroom in Revere, The Pine Tree Inn on Cape Cod and The Agganis Night Club in Lynn.

Kostas had fans who would follow the band no matter where he played. Some other highlights of Kostas' career include playing for Mary Linda when she gave a concert in 1964 in Boston, and playing background music for WGBH Channel 2 (Public Television) in Boston. Kostas and the band retired in 1969.

While always an entertainer, Kostas has also influenced and motivated many of today's musicians and musical groups, as a teacher for some and as an inspiration for instilling the love of Greek music for many others. Among those musicians he taught are Richie Papadonis, John Mitaras, George Stringos, George Alevizos and Alex Panos. He also inspired Charlie and Nick Makredis, Anthony Pentikis, Chuck Samiotes, and many others. All these people whom Kostas touched consider him a legend.

Kostas's daughter Despina explained his love for Greek music in the simplest way,

"Dad loved music so much that every night the house would be full of musicians coming over either for lessons or just a jam session.," She adds, that "although he played and was paid in his enjoyment of playing for people, he would always treat his friends to a drink. in fact, on most nights he would spend almost all of the money that he earned Just treating his friends. He truly loved playing for people, not himself."

Kostas Gourgoumis lives with his wife Mary in Somerville, Massachusetts. He has three daughters, Despina Tsagaris, loanna Tsionis and Anthi Traver, and six grandchildren.

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