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Rebetika: The Greek Blues

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   British music journalist Peter Paphides writes about the music of rebetika, “the Greek blues” in the Times (UK). Rembetika as a genre has often been compared to the American blues, due to its underground roots and its themes of exile, loss of family, substance abuse, unrequited love, imprisonment and death. Paphides makes special mention to legendary rebetika musician Markos Vamvakaris, “the Robert Johnson of rebetika, with a back story just as mythical as Johnson’s crossroads encounter with the Devil” and to famous composer Manos Hadjidakis. Hadjidakis assimilated rebetika melodies and lyrics into his own music, setting about to create a music “that Greece could call its own, using rebetika, traditional rural folk songs and Byzantine influences.  Times Online: Rebetika – I guess that’s why they call it the Greek bluesWorld Media on Greece – Culture and Education ; Secretariat General of Information:

Like an Enchanted Song

(KATHIMERINI) A seven-night tribute to rebetika songs titled “Σαν Τραγούδι Μαγεμένο”, (Like an Enchanted Song) began yesterday at the Athens Concert Hall. The tribute, in the form of a musical spectacle, attempts to approach rebetika (urban blues) – “a heritage that we inherited and which has lasted over 150 years” – from a sociopolitical and geographical perspective. Popular singer George Dalaras will lead the event, which will last until February 19. Kathimerini daily: Rebetica is alive and well