John Pappas (his name in Greek is Yiannis Pappayiorgas) started playing Greek music when he was a teen ager. He started his first band, Meraklides, in 1962, and he has been playing ever since. He worked his way through college playing in the Greek night clubs of San Francisco and performing with his own band. In 1971, he changed the name of his band to T' Adelphia. John mainly plays the BOUZOUKI and the KLARINO (Greek Albert system clarinet), but he plays several other Greek folk instruments on some of the recordings.
The band has played many different kinds of events, including festivals, parties, weddings, baptisms, and dances, mainly in the San Francisco Bay area. They have played at various national folk festivals including Seattle and San Francisco! John played and lectured for the 1976 Bicentennial Folk Life Festival at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. In 1975, his band provided music for a scene in the 20th Century Fox film Alex and the Gypsy, starring Jack Lemmon.
The T' Adelphia (Kalakos) band is unique because they play many styles of traditional Greek music including Dimotika, Nisiotika, and Rebetika from all regions of Greece. We play songs and dances from Roumeli and Moria (Peloponnisos), Epiros, Thessaly, Makedonia, and Thraki. We play Nisiotika from many of the Greek islands, including Hios, Ikaria, Crete, Lefkada, Rodos, and others.
Unlike other bands, we only use the traditional instruments: Bouzouki; Klarino; Laouto; Violi; Defi; Guitar; Baglamas. We do not use modern drum sets, synthesizers, bass guitars; nor do we play lots of modern tunes or "American music." We are quite simply a traditional Folk Orchestra, which has been playing authentic traditional Greek folk music since 1962!