|The Sahnas Brothers
Beautifully blending the sounds and rhythms of their native Greek culture with the warm, inviting romance of the classical Spanish guitar, brothers Thano and Demitri Sahnas have created a magical and intimate Mediterranean style that perfectly complements the powerful jazz-fusion of their popular Phoenix based band Turning Point. Sahnas—as the brothers are collectively known—has enthralled thousands of people at clubs and arts and crafts festivals throughout the Southwest with their unique hybrid sound.
When they’re not touring as two-fifths of Turning Point, the brothers are together, playing the music they love in the nylon string based style they first discovered at 11 years old. In 2005, Moondo Records released their first two independent albums, From Mykonos to Madrid (a mix of covers and originals that captured their sensual Mediterranean spirit) and Odyssey, which urged listeners to “explore their passion.” Romanza, their perfectly titled third release, takes this concept to even deeper places in the heart, finding the true emotional core of some of the world’s best loved pop songs.
Many of Sahnas’ fans may wonder how two Greek brothers who grew up playing traditional Greek instruments developed such an affinity for Spanish music. “When our fathers parents came over from Greece, they settled in Arizona, but many of our mom’s relatives lived south of the Border,” says Demitri. “We spent a lot of time there, and our uncles would teach us Latin rhythms and flamenco music. Our album Odyssey is an exploration of how all of these wonderful influences blend together.”
The music of Turning Point and Sahnas as a Spanish Guitar Duo appeals to fans of many of the top rock, R&B and smooth jazz artists they have opened for, from Michael McDonald to Little Feat, chill performer Praful, acid jazzers Down To the Bone and The Rippingtons. Over the years, they’ve also shared stages with Craig Chaquico, Otmar Liebert, Mark Antoine, The Commodores, James Brown, Peter White, Rick Braun, Jesse Cook, Bobby Caldwell, Boney James, George Benson, Tower of Power, Gato Barbieri, Esteban, and many more.
“Our work as a duo doesn’t compete with Turning Point,” says Demitri, “because they really work hand in hand. The styles of music really do complement each other, and Sahnas is simply an extension of what we do artistically. We love the fact that we have an opportunity to express ourselves in two different ways, and that fans of instrumental music are very receptive to both. That’s where the true passion and intensity of the music lies for us, in the exciting interactions we have with the audience.”
For Thano and Demitri their mission is simple, play music that touches the heart and perform it with passion.