Press Releases

Ottawa, Canada – January 12, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                     Ottawa, Canada January 12, 2013

Chairman George to perform in China at 2013 International Camellia Festival

Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 8pm
Opening Ceremony, 2013 International Camellia Festival

Location: New Asia Stadium Xingyao Sports Center, Kunming City, Yunnan Province

Greek Canadian former civil servant a rock star in China:

Imagine a 55-year-old Mandarin speaking Greek Canadian latter day bohemian, tall and lanky with wild shoulder length grey curls, a brilliant mathematician with a PhD in statistics – who also happens to be a bouzouki playing rocker, two time Olympic torch bearer, Olympic Village entertainer and multi-lingual singing ambassador at high profile cultural events in Ottawa, Toronto, and yes, China, a Peter Pan brimming with enthusiasm for life, yet who still lives at home with his mother.

The many faceted George Sapounidis, aka “Chairman George”, is today considered a rock star in China, a Canadian troubadour enchanting Chinese audiences with a blend of passionate folk, rock and traditional Chinese songs.

His mutual love affair with China has continued to grow – over 30 trips to perform in the last decade. 

And now he’s been invited to perform again, this time at the January 22nd opening ceremonies of the 2013 annual International Camellia Festival in Kunming, capital of south China’s Yunnan province.  The festival showcases the camellia in all its forms at events from arts competitions to flower exhibitions.  For a foreigner it’s a huge honor.

The turning point in Sapounidis’ Chinese connection was a concert called East meets West that he gave twelve years ago at the National Library of Canada Auditorium in Ottawa, (now Library and Archives Canada). He invited both Chinese and Greek diplomats.  Within a few weeks he was winging his way to China at the invitation of the Chinese embassy to perform at two major international arts festivals in Shanghai and Nanning.

He was an instant hit.  Endless TV and radio interviews followed. People recognized him in the street. 

The anomaly of this gently intense, tall, charismatic middle aged foreigner singing his heart out and bantering with the audience in Mandarin spurred normally poker faced VIP politicians to break into broad smiles and clap – even sing – along with him.

In the meantime, Sapounidis formed a band called Ouzo Power, and on his upcoming trip he will perform with his drummer and well known producer, Ross Murray who has collaborated with bands, composers, choreographers and film makers worldwide.

George Sapounidis, the most charismatic and engaging of anomalies, acquired the handle, “Chairman George” from the title of a deeply personal award winning documentary that aired on CTV and the BBC in 2005. It chronicles his heartbreaking pursuit of a dream to perform at the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. The music from the documentary was released in a CD called “George from Athens to Beijing”, nominated for Best World Music at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.

Canadian Chinese cultural leaders consider him a bridge builder between the Chinese community and mainstream Canadians.

He has recently completed a new collection of Greek-Chinese fusion songs with Murray in a recording studio near Chelsea, Quebec which he will promote in his upcoming month long China trip.

Ottawa, Canada – May 20, 2009

May 20, 2009



May 27 – 30, 2009 in Yanqing County, Beijing


George Sapounidis “Chairman George” (vocal, guitar)

Stuart Watkins (electric bass, backing vocal)

George Sapounidis “Chairman George” and Stuart Watkins have been invited to Beijing to perform in one of China’s biggest international festivals this spring, the 2009 MEET IN BEIJING Arts Festival. Sapounidis and Watkins will perform a combination of Chinese folkpop and international songs in other languages. Their repertoire also includes original songs written and performed by Sapounidis in Mandarin, as well as Olympic-themed tunes.

In May 2009 performing troupes from Israel, Benin, Chile, Mauritius, Sweden, Canada and 9 other countries will participate.

MEET IN BEIJING Arts Festival 2009 is a month-long gala featuring diversified cultural performances by artistic troupes from around the world. Chinese performances by top-class arts groups from different regions in China will also be included. The Festival is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, the Beijing Municipal Government and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and is organized by the China Performing Arts Agency.

For information : George Sapounidis “Chairman George” Mobile 13693364944

MAY 23 – JUNE 3 in Beijing

Email :

About George Sapounidis “Chairman George”

International Performer (Canada)

Bouzouki !

Bouzouki !

George Sapounidis “Chairman George” (vocals, guitar, bouzouki) has been called a poster boy for Canadian multiculturalism. He is a Greek-Canadian performing artist who sings international folksongs in Mandarin Chinese, Greek, Spanish, Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, Russian, Hindi, English and French.

He is a two-time Olympic Torch Bearer (Beijing 2008, Athens 2004) and performs regularly in China where he dramatically crosses cultural boundaries by belting out traditional and pop music standards as well as original compositions in fluent Mandarin and Greek from back alley Hutongs to the Olympic and Paralympic Villages in Beijing and for millions of delighted Chinese on state television and radio.

Chairman George TorchBearer, Beijing Olympics, 2008

Chairman George has appeared at international performing arts festivals across China, in Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, at the Great Hall of the People and on stage beside some of China’s pop and classical music icons including Cui Jian, Dai Yuqiang and Mao Ning. He was National Olympic Committee Assistant with the Chinese Delegation at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

In 2008 Chairman George released an Olympic themed world-pop CD called Expect the World with a concert held at the National Arts Centre in Canada. It contains eight Olympic songs performed in Mandarin Chinese, English and Greek. In 2007 he hosted the national CBC Canadian Television Special China-Canada Hand in Hand : A celebration of the Olympics featuring top performers from across China. In 2005 he was the subject of the award-winning W5 CTV / BBC international television documentary Chairman George. His CD George from Athens to Beijing was nominated for Best World Music at the 2005 Canadian Folk Music Awards. Tianjin Satellite Television in China is currently producing Part III of a documentary mini-series about Chairman George to air across China in 2009.

George Sapounidis holds a Ph.D. in mathematical statistics from the University of Toronto.

About Stuart Watkins (Canada)

Stuart Watkins (electric bass, backing vocals) has performed at the Athens, Torino and Beijing Olympics. He appears regularly with the Grammy-nominated East Village Opera Company (Decca/Universal) from New York City who performed at the 2006 Ms. USA Pageant in Baltimore and at the world premiere of the DaVinci Code in Hong Kong. In 2002, Watkins received a prestigious grant from Canada Council for the Arts to travel to Dakar, Senegal, where he became the first western student of bassist Habib Faye. He has previously toured China twice with Chairman George, in November 2006 and May 2007.


Ottawa, Canada – January 26, 2006


Picture 053-795730


For Immediate Release January 26, 2006


George Sapounidis has returned to Canada after a multiple city performance tour in Beijing, Yichang, Nanjing and Wuhan.

On January 3 he took part in the 2006 Yangtze New Year’s Concert in Wuhan, Hubei province where he sang ‘Ganlan Shu’ and ‘Hong Hu Shui Lang da Lang’ accompanied by the Hubei Opera and Dance Orchestra lead by Yang Yang one of China’s top conductors. He sang a duet in English and Arabic with Chinese female singer Yu Yizi and performed classical guitar for a duet between Yu Yizi and Yang Zhan. The concert featured China’s reknowned opera singers Yao Hong and Dai Yuqiang who has performed with Pavarotti. Jeremy Moyer also appeared with Sapounidis in the concert which was filmed by Wuhan Television.

In September 2005 Sapounidis represented Greece at the ‘Yichang International Tourism Festival’ where he performed songs in Greek and Chinese with guitar and bouzouki. He appeared with Scottish harpist and singer Katie Targett-Adams in a double bill performance at the prestigious Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing on October 14. He performed duets with Chinese singers Liu Xiang and Gao Dongling and was accompanied by Zhou Ying on violin and the ‘Musicat’ ensemble.

In Nanjing Sapounidis performed Moyer’s ‘Olympic Torch Song’ for CCTV-5 and Jiangsu TV in Greek and Chinese during China’s 10th National Games and was also interviewed by Beijing TV. In November he was invited by the Humanistic Olympic Studies Centre
at People’s University in Beijing to give a series of Olympic volunteering lectures and musical performances. These took place in the Gaobeidian municipality, People’s University Professional Training Centre, Beijing Capital Library, Beijing Concord College of Sino-Canada and for the Chaoyang district administration. He gave interviews and performed for China Radio International three times and appeared on Beijing People’s nightly live talk radio show.

Sapounidis’ CD ‘George from Athens to Beijing’ was nominated for Best World Music in Canada in 2005.
He is also the star of the BBC / CTV television documentary CHAIRMAN GEORGE produced by EyeSteelFilm.

Mason International Culture Exchange Co. Ltd.
Mei Shiqiang
Beijing tel 8610-63332289 mobile 13901241294

(613) 951-6439 , (613) 228-5307