John Ioannou

John (and his wife, Anna) were officially welcomed into FullCircle in the fall of 2003. John has many years of band experience behind him and is a skilled lead guitarist, bouzouki player and vocalist. His familiarity with folk music of Greek and European cultures brings exciting new possibilities to the group for expanding their usual repertoire.

John was born in Toronto on September 7, 1957 and raised in Downsview. His earliest musical experiences began when he was eleven listening to Elvis Presley, the Beatles and much of the "British invasion" that was popular at that time. A neighbour, who was studying classical guitar, would invite him over to listen to his practice sessions. It was here that John got “hooked” on guitar.

He received a guitar from his parents that very Christmas and he strummed it until his thumb bled! Shortly thereafter, he went on to take formal guitar lessons. Although he enjoyed listening to the current hits of the time like any other youth, John's Macedonian heritage exposed him to both Greek and Macedonian music as well. A relative, who was frustrated with attempts to learn to play the bouzouki, gave the instrument to John. He taught himself how to play it and quickly learned a repertoire of popular songs.

At fourteen, he was invited to join an established band performing at various social functions in and around Toronto playing both guitar and bouzouki. John continued to foster his love of music even at school, playing the double bass in the string orchestra. Throughout his high school years he joined various "garage" bands playing everything from rock to pop to jazz. After attending George Brown College and Devry Institute of Technology, John was hired by Bell Canada where he is still currently employed as a technician.

By the end of the seventies, John, together with three other musicians, had formed the band Odyssey . With their varied musical backgrounds, the group created a unique style of music that encompassed pop, jazz, rock and roll, Greek, Macedonian, Italian and other international music. Playing at weddings, dances and a variety of other functions, they quickly gained popularity. Together for a number of years, Odyssey performed often for the Toronto Island boat cruises, the Mariposa Belle and the Trillium. Other memorable performances included the CHIN international picnics and the Sunday Serenade Series at Mel Lastman Square in Toronto.

In 1988 Odyssey played at the Prince Hotel in Toronto where he met his wife Anna. They were married in July the following year and settled in North Toronto to start a family. Looking for another place to raise their three children, the couple chose to move to Uxbridge in 1998 where they discovered a thriving arts community. John soon linked up with several Uxbridge musicians, which led to a stint with Hot Air , a local big band. In September 2003 both John and his wife Anna were invited to "jam" with Reid, Norah and Doug. After a number of practice sessions, it became obvious to everyone that this was a “good fit”, and they were invited to join FullCircle full time. John is thrilled to be making some great music with FullCircle.