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Arts & Entertainment

Omar Akram Wins Grammy Award

From Issue: Volume XXI - Number 3

Omar Akram of Long Beach is a highly acclaimed pianist and songwriter who released his latest album Echoes of Love in June 2012. It was nominated for “Best New Age Album” at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards Show Sunday evening and Akram won in that category.

Omar’s previous albums have been Billboard hits and include Opal Fire, Free as a Bird and Secret Journey.

He was born in New York but lived in various countries throughout the world as he was the son of the Afghani Ambassador to the Czech Republic, France and Cuba. His music incorporates flavors from other countries and truly has an international touch.

In late 1996 Dr. E. Mike Vasilomanolakis – an interventional cardiologist practicing in Long Beach for the past 30 years – was approached by a friend and asked how his investments were doing. This friend then asked have you ever thought of investing in a human being. He proceeded to talk about a fellow co-worker who wrote and played beautiful music and who was looking for someone to help him get a record deal.

One week later Omar came to “Dr. Mike’s” clinic carrying a shopping bag full of cassette tapes. They spent the afternoon listening to the tapes and Dr. Mike was moved by his music. He agreed to help Omar record an album.

Several years later record label company Real Music of Sausalito, Calif., heard the music and signed Omar to a contract. Dr. Mike has been his executive producer ever since.

From his office practice next to Community Hospital Dr. Vasilomanolakis states that Omar is an outstanding artist and musical genius who has been patiently waiting to see his career move to the next level.

“You have to pay your dues in this industry. It appears that he has. He now waits to see if he makes it to the top,” Dr. Mike said.
The Grammy Awards were broadcast on CBS from the Staples Center on Feb. 10.

Word of Omar's success was received by the Beachcomber at 6 p.m. Sunday from Dr. Vasilomanolakis.