Grigoris Maninakis, a major vocalist of traditional and contemporary Greek music, is joined by his Mikrokosmos Ensemble in an engaging concert of rebetika, which is often called “the Greek blues.” The foundation of popular Greek music, rebetika expresses the hardship and joys of everyday life and deals with such subjects as unrequited love, economic hardship, and repatriation. At times rebetika was censored and its musicians ostracized; at other times, it was lauded as the greatest expression of Greek music and culture. Maninakis, who has toured the US and Europe, was a founding member of the Greek Popular Chorus, which was established in New York by the legendary composer Mikis Theodorakis in 1974.
The Mikrokosmos Ensemble features Kostas Psarros (bouzouki, vocals), Mavrothi Kontanis (oud, violin, baglama, vocals); Megan Gould (violin, baglama), Costas Baltazanis (guitar), Angelos Papadatos (upright bass), and Steve Vavagiakis (percussion). Their extensive repertoire includes popular music of Smyrna-rooted composers Apostolos Hatzichristos and Kostas Skarvelis (early 1920s), who came to Greece after the 1922 repatriation; Markos Vamvakaris (1930s), often called the Grandfather of Rebetika; and Vasilis Tsitsanis (1940s), who elevated “rebetiko” into a prominent position in the mainstream of Greek society. Also featured are old and rarely heard songs.
Please note: this performance will be in person only and will not be live streamed. Those attending this performance must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, with “fully vaccinated” defined as being 2 weeks past receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose vaccination series, or 2 weeks or more after receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine authorized by the FDA or WHO.
This performance is a co-production between Robert Browning Associates and Roulette.