Dalaras' news in English

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From Kathimerini English version 07.02.2008:

Journey into rebetikas world

Seven-night tribute at the Athens Concert Hall next week plans to cover all, from roots to current impact

By Iota Sykka - Kathimerini

Rebetika songs, which emerged as an outlawed form in the early 20th century, have traveled well in more recent times. Japanese artists, for instance, have used rebetika samples as snippets for their work. The old Greek song form has also proven popular as a whole, proof being the large number of non-Greek rebetika bands that exist abroad. But lets not look so far away. A night out around the clubs of Athens offers solid proof of rebetikas legacy. Material from this musical worlds vast songbook is commonly usurped by current popular performers, a fundamental reason being the styles ability to provide spark to any set-list threatened by flatness.

An upcoming seven-night tribute to the old song form at the Athens Concert Hall, or Megaron Mousikis, promises to be one of the best ever staged. It certainly should be the most organized, considering the involvement of figures such as lyricist Lefteris Papadopoulos, Panayiotis Kounadis, a civil engineer who has spent decades researching rare archives, and top-selling performer Giorgos Dalaras, who hails from a rebetika family.

The tribute will offer insight into the roots, pivotal artists and the styles diffusion during its early days, circa 1900, when a considerable number of Greeks migrated to the USA, taking with them their homelands traditional sounds, including rebetika. Another major transplantation for rebetika came later on, in 1922, with the influx of Asia Minor refugees.

Pioneering rebetika acts whose work will feature at the tribute include Panayiotis Tountas, Costas Karvelis, Spyros Peristeris, Vangelis Papazoglou, Markos Vamvakaris and Apostolos Hadzichristou. Light will also be shed on next-generation artists, among them Vassilis Tsitsanis, Yiannis Papaioannou, Manolis Hiotis, Apostolos Kaldaras, Giorgos Zabbetas and Giorgos Mitsakis. Latter-day songwriters who were influenced by rebetika, such as Manos Hadjidakis, Mikis Theodorakis, Stavros Xarchakos and Dionysis Savvopoulos, as well as more recent artists, including Socrates Malamas and Orpheas Peridis, are also on the tributes agenda. The music will be performed by a 13-member ensemble with the vocalists Babis Stokas, Sophia Papazoglou, Zacharias Karounis and Aspasia Stratigou. Commenting on the seemingly paradoxical combination of staging a rebetika tribute at one of the countrys most polished venues, Kounadis offered examples of an unknown past that transcended rebetikas seedy world: The late rebetika artist Giorgos Katsaros, born in 1888, had told Kounadis that King George I was a fan of early rebetika. Papadopoulos, the lyricist, noted that more books have been written about rebetika than Giorgos Seferis and Odysseas Elytis.

Athens Concert Hall (1 Kokkali & Vas. Sofias, tel 210.728.2333), February 11-12, 14-16, 18-19.

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Rebetika is alive and well

George Dalaras discusses the song forms lasting impact, and his own life, ahead of seven-night tribute

Rebetika songs are songs with dynamics, like the blues, said George Dalaras, who features in a tribute, presented as a musical spectacle to the old Greek song form, at the Athens Concert Hall. It begins this Thursday

By Iota Sykka - Kathimerini

«The A minor at G becomes a D,» says George Dalaras before restarting «To Ksekremasma Ki Apopse,» an old hit by 50s legend Manolis Hiotis, for the umpteenth time at the Athens Concert Hall's rehearsal room on the fifth floor. The notes of rebetika sound a little incongruous inside one of the country's most polished venues. There's no coffee or cigarettes to accompany the old bouzouki sound. Dalaras and his musicians are hard at work preparing for a seven-night tribute to rebetika, titled «San Tragoudi Magemeno,» (Like an Enchanted Song) which begins on Thursday at the Athens Concert Hall. The tribute, in the form of a musical spectacle, approaches rebetika - «a heritage that we inherited and which has lasted over 150 years,» in the words of rebetika researcher Panayiotis Kounadis, one of this production's organizers - from a sociopolitical and geographical perspective.

The song form's first century was occupied with a battle for acceptance and recognition. The dictator Ioannis Metaxas and leftist leader Nikos Zachariadis, venomous rivals, agreed to «hunt it down,» the late composer Manos Hadjidakis noted in a landmark speech back in 1949, which helped to inject wider recognition and respect into the previously neglected style, one that was associated with lives of crime. The speech triggered some degree of artistic recognition. Academics began to conduct research into the musical style, which began to be heard more frequently both at home and in unlikely places abroad, such as icy Finland. Amid rehearsals, Dalaras, who hails from a rebetika family, took a brief break for an interview with Kathimerini.


I remember you once feeling anger for your father, which seems to have subsided in recent years.

You said anger. That's exactly how I felt. Because I missed him a lot, admired him as a musician and because, as long as I was a child, I held him solely responsible for my mother being forced to take on the role of both father and mother in a very difficult period. My mother literally transcended her strengths. It's a miracle that she was able to raise my brother and I. This anger gradually subsided over the years. And it evaporated - this will seem strange to you - when my mother passed away. I felt like I was liberated. From that point on, I've tried to hold on to the good things. It still isn't easy, you know...

What are the first and final recollections you have of that period?

The first, one that's vague, took place in Haidari [Athenian suburb]. The conditions were atrocious. I remember there being just one well, something you could try to call a house, and Lucas [father] returning from the army with his bag - actually, I recall two bags. I don't remember how I felt. This is a visual recollection, because I was very young. The final recollection is very unpleasant. It's from the hospital in 1977 a little before he died. He died very young [at the age of 50] and I was still young. I now realize that I didn't expect to miss him so much. It was a big loss for my mother as well.

In what ways do want to be like him, and unlike him?

I want to be like him as a musician, singer and his open-heartedness, a quality he had so much of but deprived us and our mother of. Lucas was a great guy, you know. But I wouldn't want to be like him in his loose approach to life.

The rebetika song form continues to live, mainly in neighborhood joints, where people continue to sing with a glass of wine in hand. But aren't you turning it into a museum piece by presenting it at the Athens Concert Hall?

You're telling me this, someone who's been performing rebetika at small venues - in [inner Athenian district] Plaka to mostly young audiences - as well as concerts from 1975. I believe that rebetika will never turn into museum-like music. It's our equivalent of flamenco, which unfolds through playing and the inspiration it provides to younger musicians. I really like to play this style of music in quality conditions at good venues, especially the Athens Concert Hall. And that doesn't stop me from believing that it's a good thing to have youngsters form groups and play these songs - or talented musicians being inspired by rebetika.

Does rebetika require so much adornment?

There's no purer, more humble and, at the same time, magnificent type of music. And it's unfair for you to tell me that. Were we concerned about embellishing things at the tributes for Markos Vamvakaris, the 50 years of rebetika, or rebetika during the occupation? But in this effort to place rebetika within a social context and compile thematic entities of love, separation, emigration, social conflict, the [WW II] occupation, civil war [1945-49,] even geography - in other words the images created by rebetika in the [former] Greek [Asia Minor] cities of Smyrna and Constantinople - I wanted to collaborate with special people to try something new. Panayiotis Kounadis [a civil engineer who has spent decades researching rare archives] helped a lot with his knowledge and organizational skills. So did [lyricist] Lefteris Papadopoulos with the research he conducted, Giorgos Skabardonis with the texts, and, of course, Sotiris Hadzakis, who, having experienced projects linked with musical tradition and Greek literature, has surprised me with his vital approach as the production's director. I like this collective effort a lot, along with what we, the musicians, are doing, that is to play and discover new things. I want to admit to you that every time I work with this style of song, I discover unknown aspects - in the musical paths, interpretations, lyrics - especially when performing. These are songs with dynamics, like the blues.

Is it a form of music that's ending as a style, or does it continue to exist in a transformed fashion in songs by younger songwriters?

It lies deep in the consciousness and inspirational field of good musicians. This is a type of song with ethos that inspires. We may as well make up our minds. You cannot recognize the deep influence of rebetika on the post-50s generation - from Manos Hadjidakis, to Mikis Theodorakis, Stavros Xarchakos, Dionysis Savvopoulos, Manos Loizos, Stavros Kouyioumtzis, Christos Nikolopoulos, and later on, Nikos Xydakis, Nikos Papazoglou, and Stamatis Kraounakis. Today, we have a big rebetika family, with children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces - Socrates Malamas, Vangelis Korarakis, Pantelis Thalassinos, Orpheas Peridis, Nikos Portokaloglou, the Katshimichas brothers, Manolis Famellos.

Athens Concert Hall (1 Kokkali & Vas. Sofias, tel 210.728.2333), February 11-12, 14-16, 18-19.

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In the English version they have cut interesting pieces - maybe considered them as of strictly domestic interest?

Anyway, since rembetiko is an art - or style - that is very much based on the social problems of not only past, but also current times, I find the omitted paragraphs of much more interst than some of those retained in the interview.

I did not understand all - because of the missing context hinting on some TV programs and other daily events. I assume migration (emigration, immigration) plays a big part in the context.

Could someone local comment?

«Φοβάμαι ότι ακόμη δεν πιάσαμε πάτο»

Η στάση του ρεμπέτη ως ενός ανυπότακτου ανθρώπου που ζει τη ζωή του σαν πενιά έχει ακόμη θέση στη σημερινή κοινωνία ή έχει υποταχθεί κάτω από τόνους τηλεοπτικών DVD, σαν αυτά των τελευταίων ημερών;

Οσο κι να αποστρεφόμαστε την θλιβερή πραγματικότητα, όσο και να κλείνουμε τις τηλεορασεις μας και να προσπαθούμε να εκφράσουμε μέσα από τη δουλειά μας την απαξίωσή μας, είναι δυστυχώς γεγονός πως η πλειοψηφία κι όχι μόνον ο κόσμος, αλλά και η εξουσία, η δικαστική εξουσία ακόμη και ο Τύπος κρέμονται όλοι από ένα DVD. Σε μια εποχή οικονομικής δυσπραγίας και ανοιχτών θεμάτων όπως είναι της παιδείας, το ασφαλιστικό το μεταναστευτικό. Το δίλημμα είναι μεγάλο. Μπορούμε να συνεχίσουμε να τα αγνοούμε όλα αυτά προστατεύοντας τους εαυτούς μας από την ξεφτίλα. Από την άλλη, μήπως αυτό θεωρείται ανοχή και η κατηφόρα συνεχίζεται; Τι να σας πω. Θα ήθελα να μην το χω ζήσει αυτό. Και δυστυχώς φοβάμαι ότι ακόμη δεν πιάσαμε πάτο.

Πώς αμύνεται κανείς;

Η δημοκρατία στην ουσία είναι συναρπαστική υπόθεση αλλά για να ξεκινήσει η διαδικασία της αυτο- ίασης χρειάζεται και τη δική μας βοήθεια. Καλή είναι η μεγαλόστομη φράση της «να επανιδρύσουμε το κράτος», αλλά φοβάμαι ότι εδώ και πολλά χρόνια τον τόπο μας δεν κυβερνούν οι πλειοψηφίες. Και η πολυθρυλούμενη «λαϊκή εντολή» χωρίς την απλή αναλογική είναι τελικά περισσότερα ακόμα χαμένα χρόνια.

- In the contemporary society is the position of a rembete as one of a dissenter living his life in poverty still appreciated or has it been subdued by moods of the television DVDs such as those appearing lately?

- As much as we are trying to turn our backs at the sad reality by turning our TVs off and by preferring to express our disdain through our own work, - it is unfortunately a fact that the majority and not only of the public but of the authorities: the judicial powers, and even the Press, all rely on a single DVD. In the times of economical difficulties when many problems remain open such as the problem of education, of insurance, of migration, - this is a big dilemma. Is it possible to proceed while ignoring all this in order to protect ourselves from being involved? On the other hand, maybe this is considered tolerance, and therefore the decline will be continuing? What can I say? I wish I did not have to live through this. But unfortunately, I am afraid that we havent still hit the bottom.

- What position should one take?

- Democracy is in fact an inspiring idea, but in order to start developing the process of healing, a help from us is required. It is a high-minded talk about reconstruction of the state, but I am afraid that our place has not been governed by the majority for many years now. And that so much promoted peoples mandate without a simple proportional representation will end up with more wasted years.

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Hi to all Dalaras Fans,

the albums "Erima Choria" and "Axion Esti / Romiosini" as international editions have been released recently by the Tropical Music label in Germany.

all the best


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:) new CDs are in the stores:


CD with the soundtrack of the serie EXAFANISI from ALPHA TV

more info at:


Me to na podi st΄ astra ke ta dio stin kolasi

a 2 CD re-release with some extras (f.e. 4 live versions from the Mad Secret concert)

more info at:

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Its raining CDs:





and the same, but with DVD






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Tonight at ERT World at 22.00h (Greek time!) in stin Ygeia mas a special dedication to Manos Eleftheriou who got 70 the 12th of March this year.

His songs will be sung by Manolis Mitsias, Giorgos Dalaras, Sonia Theodoridou, Giannis Koutras, Dionisis Tsaknis, Babis Stokas, Miltos Pasxalidis, Giorgos Meradzas, Eleonora Zouganeli, Natasa Bofiliou and Aspasia Stratigou.

Together with Manos Eleftheriou will be friends like Anna Dalaras, Michalis Koumbios Giorgos Andreou k.a.

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Next weeks programme

Monday 14.04.

as Dora tells us, the third book-CD from the series important Greek writers/poets will be in the stores. Its called Panda kati menei and we get 13 new songs with lyrics by Manos Eleftherious.

Tuesday 15.04.


The Office of High Commission of UN for the Refugees in Greece, in collaboration with the Municipality of Lavrion and the Greek Red Cross invites to an event for Refugee under the presence of Mr. Avramopoulos Minister for Health and Social Solidarity and the Ambassador of Good Will Giorgos Dalaras.

Wednesday 16.04.

The new double CD Tragoudia me ousies got already gold. Zacharias told us that the presentation and the handing over will be at 13.00h at Bacaro Athens, Sofokleous Str.1

Thats not all for Wednesday, as in the evening 19.00 21.00h theres an interview at Melodia, these news were found out by Gogo.

To listen click here:

Friday 18.04.

10.00h -12.00h Dalaras gives an interview at Radio Deftero

Saturday 19.04. the Mad secret concert will be shown at Mad TV at 22.00h

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the third book-CD from the series important Greek writers/poets will be in the stores. Its called Panda kati menei and we get 13 new songs with lyrics by Manos Eleftherious.


Giorgos Dalaras is participating with singing




hes also doing the second voice at # 2 Ι PANOPLIA POU FORAS which is sung by Stayros Siolas

and last but not least, he wrote the music for the song # 8 TA TRAGOUDIA POU 'HO GRAPSI which is sung by Christos Thiveios!!

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He, great a translation :music:

Thank u Anna... for the translation topic.

Maybe i can ask a question here...

Because i am learning greek but phew its so difficult that i more learn on my bouzouki ...

Is there anyone that knows if the Mad secret concert is been broadcasted soon ? or maybe comes to a dvd.. ?

I hope so only recorded his interview and 2 songs of the mad concert.

I also hope he brings a live concert on dvd of his last tour...

I visited one when he was in the Netherlands and it was great :music:

Well if u know any thing about Mad on tv please let me know ..

Best regards Rob Nomikos

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A little late update for the upcoming concerts

27.06.2008 Dalaras concert in Ostrava, Czechia

the Greek community of Czechia is celebrating there 60th birthday

and, no surprise, but worth to mention, Dalaras does the concert for free!

All who missed, or "had" to miss the performance in Megaro Athens get another chance!

San tragoudi magemeno will be repeated next year

24, 25, 27, 28, 29 March 2009

From Ethnos we got the first infos about this year Prespes Festival. A tribute to Maria Kallas (with the participation of wellknown Greek artists f.e. Dalaras), a hommage to Tsitsanis and one evening for Stelios Kazantzidis, a concert by Goran Bregovic and a lot more, but for more details we have to wait

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The 20th of June Giorgos Dalaras, together with Melina Aslanidou and his musicians will do a concert in Pelendri, a village in Troodos mountains, Cyprus. A musical evening that aim has the collection of income for rebuilding the burned regions from the last year's big fire.

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a little update:

next concert:

16th of November 2008 Megaro Mousikis Athens

in the frame of World Day of Diabetes (14.11.) Giorgos Dalaras will repeat the wonderful concert he did the 15.11.2004 at Rex theatre Athens,

if you dont remember have a look:

the first part Dalaras will sing poems of Mrs. Helen Arweler, music by Nikos Platanos

the second part we will get poems and beloved songs of modern Greek composer by Dalaras.

Ticket selling starts 27.10.2008

More info at

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd of June 2007 we had unforgettable concerts at Megaro Mousikis, the dedication to Lefteris Papadopoulos.

The live double CD Tha pio apose to feggari is now available:

There is a new double CD of Glykeria with Theodorakis songs, on which Dalaras does a duet with Glykeria (#14 Eho mia agapi)

and last but not least, an article about Giorgos Dalaras, which I found in the internet:

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The 1st, 2nd and 3rd of June 2007 we had unforgettable concerts at Megaro Mousikis, the dedication to Lefteris Papadopoulos.

The live double CD Tha pio apose to feggari is now available:

time flies by, but if I am not mistaken I was there in June 2006 :razz:

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The CD with the music and the songs of the TV serie is in the stores!!!

1 ΜATOMENA HOMATA - Giorgos Ntalaras


3 SAN TO KERI TIS PANAYIAS - Giorgos Ntalaras (04.58)

4 KRIFO S' AGAPO - Orhistra & Horodia

5 AH MORE SMIRNAKI - Eleni Tsaligopoylou

6 TO FEGGARI TIS AGAPIS - Orhistra & Horodia



9 THARTHOUN I AGGELI - Eleni Tsaligopoylou

10 NIHTERINO - Orhistriko

11 NA 'MOUNA TO YIASEMAKI - Eleni Tsaligopoylou

12 KRIFO S' AGAPO (Parallagi) - Orhistra & Horodia

13 IZMIRLI YARIM - Fide Koksal

14 I ORES TOU FOVOU - Orhistra & Horodia

15 NA 'MOUNA TO YIASEMAKI - Marisa Triadafilidou

16 I PSIHES TON ANTHROPON - Orhistra & Horodia

17 AH MORE SMIRNAKI - Marisa Triadafilidou


19 THARTHOUN I AGGELI - Marisa Triadafilidou

20 RITHMIKOS AMANES - Orhistriko

21 SAN TO KERI TIS PANAYIAS - Giorgos Ntalaras (03.00)

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For those who can not travel to Greece: Dalaras, with Maria Farantouri, will give three special concerts in hommage to Yannis Ritsos and Mikis Theodorakis:

Berlin on 26/06, Amsterdam on 28/06, and Brussels on 30/06.

More info in the topic for each concert.

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