The Onassis Cultural Center NY proudly presents Rebetika: The Blues of Greece, a unique exploration of the Greek musical tradition of rebetika (often referred to as the “Songs of the Greek Underground”) in two parts.
THE ORIGINS (Tuesday, November 10 at 7PM) – The history of song and music with Greek, Arab, Turkish, and Jewish origins dating back to the 1850s comes alive with traditional instrumentation in the hands of extraordinary musicians led by Kyriakos Kalaitzides (oud). Also performing will be Tony Barhoum (qanun), Mavrothi Kontanis (oud, guitar), George Lernis (toumperleki, defi) and Phaedon Sinis (politiki lyra).
THE EVOLUTION (Thursday, November 12 at 7PM) – Lena Kitsopoulou explores life through song as she performs in her own words: “the music that plays in my head while I play out my life.” Together with musicians Kostas Gerakis (guitar), Ilias Krommydas (accordion) and Georgios Petroudis (bouzouki), Kitsopoulou will share the authentic music that is performed at both Greek weddings and “panygiria” (or fairs) that are traditionally held in small towns or villages.
“The urban popular songs and dances called rebetika (or rembetika) have become as representative of Greece as flamenco is of Spain or the tango is of Argentina”, writes Gail Holst-Warhaft, Adjunct Professor at the Cornell Institute, whose interest includes modern Greek literature and music. “These musical traditions emerged at roughly the same period from the poorest section of society, and they were once looked down on as low-class, shady music. For Americans, there is another obvious parallel: the Blues, especially the urban blues of the 1920s to the 1940s.”
Rebetika: The Blues of Greece presents the melodies and rhythms of this popular tradition which continues to inform and inspire our collective appreciation for world music.
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Συντονιστής: Stelios Lambropoulos
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