|Omar Akram and Mike Vasilomanolakis on stage at the Staples Center receiving the 2013 Grammy for best New Age Album|
The Greek-American physician, an active cardiologist (who lives in Los Angeles and is originally from Chania, Crete) when the album was released, had prophetically declared "This one will take us to the Grammy's"!
Afghan musician Omar Akram said, "Meeting with Dr. E. Mike Vasilomanolakis was a turning point, a heart specialist who became my executive producer and encouraged me to begin recording".
Who is Mike Vasilomanolakis?
Manolis Vasilomanolakis is a 60-year-old cardiologist, son of Greek immigrants, residing in Los Angeles. He has 31 years of experience and has trained at the University of Illinois, Chicago College of Medicine with a specialization in Cardiovascular Disease & Internal Medicine.
He is active with local Greek-American organizations, being a member of the AHC and the Hellenic Medical Society.
Working with Omar Akram
Akram started to work professionally in music when he moved to Los Angeles during the '90s. In 1996 Dr. Mike Vasilomanolakis was approached by a friend to invest in an upcoming musician. Dr. Vasilomanolakis was Director of Cardiology at the Long Beach Community Hospital at the time and agreed to meet him a week later.
“I was moved by his music and thought to myself, it takes tremendous talent to create music. In the right environment, this person will go far”, he states.
As for the award-winning album, Akram said "We worked 2 years to produce this. Dr. Mike was the only one who had listened to my songs. Once we completed the album the response was impressive".
The recent success confirms their common course of 16 years, as the two partners state. "Our first album came out in 2002 and since then we have been working hard to breakeven. So, this Grammy nomination proves that finally all our hard work has been recognized", Akram said before the announcement of the results.