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Greek guitarist Pavlo likes to bring audience up on stage

DETROIT LAKES -- When the Greek guitarist known as Pavlo takes the stage at Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre on Thursday, Jan. 31, audience members may be surprised to find themselves right up there with him.

"My shows are very interactive," the musician explained in a Tuesday telephone interview. "There's an open invitation for anyone to come up on stage with me.

"My shows are quite lively," he continued. "I stand up, I dance, I go out into the audience and bring people up on stage..."

Though he's played at venues large and small, in communities all over the world, Pavlo said he was very much looking forward to the opportunity to perform in Detroit Lakes next week.

"I will be doing three shows in the area -- Detroit Lakes, Staples and Fairmont (Minn.)," he said. "It's more of an intimate show. Normally, my band is 16 people, and it includes all kinds of dancers and musicians. This tour, I will have just five musicians -- very bare bones. I love that sort of dynamic.

"Sometimes, I like to let the music breathe and have more of an intimate sound. Every city, in every country I play, I have a little bit of a different lineup."

So what can people expect to hear if they go to a Pavlo concert?

"I write my own music," he said. "It's primarily instrumental, though I have a few vocal compositions.

"I play what I like to call Mediterranean music -- it's a combination of Latin flamenco, percussion and Greek bozouki music all rolled into one."

Though Pavlo has released seven albums of his original music, he is currently concentrating on touring -- and planning for his first-ever PBS special, "Pavlo's Mediterranean Nights," which is scheduled to be filmed during a special live performance this Friday, Jan. 25, at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center in Dearborn, Mich.

"I'm en route to Detroit (Mich.) right now, stuck in a blizzard," he said, adding with a laugh, "I hope I don't die. "

Pavlo admitted he was "very, very excited" to be taping his first live TV show, which will be aired in the Detroit area on March 8 and nationwide in June.

Eventually, he says, the PBS show will be made into a DVD.

Since he first learned to play the guitar at age 10, Pavlo has been immersed in the world of music. He played with rock bands from his teenage years until his early 20s, when he branched out on his own.

In addition to recording seven albums, he has performed all over North America, at venues ranging from performing arts centers to craft fairs.

When asked how much time he spends on the road, Pavlo said, "I perform 200 concerts a year --in a slow year, I might do 150."

But he still manages to find time to spend with his 12-year-old daughter, Dimitra.

"It's her birthday tomorrow (today), and she's being kind enough to fly in and spend it with me in Detroit," he said. "I'm a very lucky dad."

Pavlo's 7:30 p.m. performance on Jan. 31 at the Historic Holmes Theatre will be preceded by a party in the Holmes Ballroom (across the hall from the main theater) featuring appetizers (catered by the Holiday Inn), dancing and music with a Greek flair, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students, and can be purchased by calling the Holmes Theatre Box Office at 218-844-SHOW, online at or in person during regular box office hours (10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday and two hours before the start of every show).

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454