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Aris San

Updated: 2016-09-21T17:47Z

Aris San (Greek: Άρης Σαν, Hebrew: אריס סאן‎‎; January 19, 1940 – July 25, 1992) was a Greek singer and nightclub owner who popularized Greek music in Israel in the late 1950s and 1960s.[1]


Aristides Saisanas (Greek: Αριστείδης Σεϊσανάς) was born in Kalamata, Greece. At the age of 17, he sailed from Athens to Israel, shortening his name to "Aris San" on board. San began playing at the Arianna nightclub in Jaffa, a bastion of Israelis from Thessaloniki. He became an Israeli citizen and went on to become co-owner of four nightclubs.[2]

Lucy Maloul, a singer known professionally as Aliza Azikri, visited the club with her manager and husband Nissim Azikri. A romantic relationship developed between Ari San and Azikri that became grist for the gossip columns. They had a daughter, Sani.[2] San wrote songs for Azikri (Bahayim hakol over, Yesh ahava ata omer) that opened Israeli society to Greek and Mizrahi music.[3] Sigal and Boom pam were major hits.[4]

San left Israel a few months after the birth of his daughter on Yom Kippur eve. The speed with which he obtained his Israeli passport and his close relationship with army officers, including Moshe Dayan, encouraged gossip columnists to accuse him of being a spy, a charge he denied out of hand. He settled in New York City and opened a successful nightclub, Sirocco, which was eventually raided by the FBI, which discovered drugs on the premises. San did not cooperate with the investigation, was convicted and served a two-year sentence. Upon his release he opened a poultry business in Harlem and another nightclub, which was unsuccessful. He died under mysterious circumstances in Hungary in 1992. His remains were cremated.[2]


See also


  1. ^ "From margins to mainstream,". Retrieved March 24, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d Star crossed
  3. ^ "Songstress brought Greek music into the mainstream". Retrieved March 24, 2010. [dead link]
  4. ^ Save the Music: Aris San[dead link]
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