Rebetika, Athens to California

Here’s a great old tune–Πέντε Χρόνια Δικασμένος (5 Years Imprisoned) by Vangelis Papazoglou (it’s also known as Genti Koule, after the infamous prison, or Η Φωνη του Αργιλε). This was recorded at the workshop of Dimitris Rapakousios and features Pavlos, the baglamas player for the Disciples of Markos. I had the opportunity to see them play just last week. I was not disappointed. They have mastered the delivery of early-style rebetika. Songs are introduced with wonderful taximia; interjections–the tsakismata–were present throughout the show; and the violinist, Darcy Noonan, was simply divine, for a violin adds so much to any rebetika performance. Indeed, the group played some of my favorite tunes: Ενας Μαγκας στο Βοτανικο, Δεν με παυει πια το στομα σου, Ο Γρουσουζης, και Πρεπει να Χτιζω ενα Τζαμι. What was lacking? Well, Greeks dancing zeibekika and an audience conversant with the music. But, hey, it’s California, not Athens.

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2 Responses to Rebetika, Athens to California

  1. Anita Kolaczkowska says:

    Absolutely wonderful! How/when could I get to hear them live? I live in the Bay Area. Would appreciate any info as to their future performances/concerts here.

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