Special to The Hays Daily News

Dino Kartsonakis, known professionally simply as "Dino," was born and raised in New York City. The grandson of first generation Greek immigrants, Dino credits his very existence to the strong faith of his mother and grandmother.

The Grammy and Dove award-winning musician will perform in Phillipsburg in November.

"When my mother was pregnant with me," Kartsonakis said, "the doctors told her I was going to be stillborn, but my mother and grandmother wouldn't accept that. They did a lot of praying and dedicated my life to the Lord even before I was born, and God did a miraculous healing in my mother. My mother always knew that because of that instance, the Lord was going to use me but she didn't know how."

Kartsonakis sat down at the family's old broken-down piano and began picking out the melody to "At the Cross," a classic hymn he heard in church. He was only 3 years old. As his mother tiptoed up behind this little prodigy, it became clear to her that music was her son's God-given gift.

Kartsonakis recieved a Grammy Award for his involvement on the soundtrack of the movie "The Apostle," starring Robert Duvall. He also has received eight Gospel Music Association Dove Awards.

Kartsonakis will perform two concerts in Phillipsburg at 7 p.m. Nov. 12 and 2 p.m. Nov. 13 at First Assembly of God Church, 210 W. State. Due to limited seating, tickets will be sold in advance only. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in Phillipsburg at An Angel's Paradise, from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by calling (785) 543-8904.