Dino Kartsonakis (born July 20, 1942) is an American pianist of Greek heritage. He is known for his virtuosic arrangements of sacred music for the piano.
Dino was born in New York City and attended Glad Tidings Tabernacle. He began playing his grandmother's piano at the age of three. The first song he had learned was "At the Cross." He was enrolled in piano lessons at age five. Dino received his professional training at The King's College as well as the Juilliard School of Music. For many years he served as pianist for the evangelist Kathryn Kuhlman. Dino has traveled extensively and produced well over 50 recordings on his own as well as mainstream labels. He has worked with various other evangelists.
Dino has hosted two television shows, the "Dino and Debby Show" in the 1970s with his first wife Deborah Keener and "The Dino Show" which presently airs weekly on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Dino has described his style as combining the classical and the sacred. His technique has been described as fluid and brilliant and he has been termed the "Christian Liberace" because of his flair, costumes, pianos and jewelry.
Many of his works are religious-based or contemporary arrangements of classical works. Dino also performs in his own show in Branson, Missouri. Among his accomplishments is production of what is known as the "Peace Series", a collection of CDs featuring more subdued piano arrangements against a backdrop of nature sounds.
Dino performed at Carnegie Hall on December 15, 2005. He has participated in an auction benefiting Music Cares, a charitable organization that helps struggling musicians and entertainers.
Dino received a participation Grammy Award in 1999 for his work on the soundtrack of the movie The Apostle.
In 1974, Dino married his first wife, Deborah Keener, and together they have a daughter, Christina (who is now a singer-songwriter and producer, and goes by the stage name Sugar Dame). After touring as Dino & Debby, the two divorced in 1981. In 1986, Dino married his second and current wife, Cheryl, who is the sister of Gospel music singer, Gary McSpadden, formerly of The Imperials and the Gaither Vocal Band. Cheryl has a daughter from a previous marriage.
In 2007 Dino and his wife Cheryl opened a bakery in Branson, MO called Dino's 24Karrot Cake Company. Dino remarked that baking was his passion second only to performing his music. They are a major supplier to the Neiman Marcus stores and cafe's.
In 2011 Dino and his wife Cheryl lost their home during a flooding in the Missouri area. Dino lost all of his possessions such as his grand show pianos as well as all of his costumes, industry memorabilia and awards. The Kartsonakis' then started helping the community by doing fundraising concerts to help other victims rebuild their lives and homes.
Eight Gospel Music Association Dove Awards:
1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986: Instrumentalist of the Year,
1993, 1996: Instrumental Album of the Year
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