Heard about the Rebetiko Carnival today through an online acquaintance (thank you Alexandros).
Rebetiko is music from the mainland of Greece, with early influences from Smyrna, that started in the 1920s. Over a 30 year period it absorbed influences from American swing, Latin and Indian music, creating a rich and varied repertoire of songs and dances. It evolved out of Rebetiko into more “popular” music, but the influence of rebetiko has always remained.
About the Rebetiko Carnival
We are a group of musicians passionate about Greek music, its history and the emotions that it can evoke. We are working hard to put together a Rebetiko music festival in order to share with you our passion and love of this music. This is the first year, of what we hope will become an annual celebration of Rebetiko music. So, while half the world is celebrating a football carnival in Brazil, throughout June, the rest of us will be in the throes of a musical carnival in the heart of London.
Sadly I missed the majority of the Carnival but there are some awesome things still to come.
If you are not into the music side too much I would strongly recommend the Greek shadow theatre performance on 25 June at SOAS (you can get your tickets here). Athos Danelis will be moving the much loved figure around, Kyriakos Gouventas is directing and a live orchestra will be playing. Note that the performance will be in Greek and they will be providing a synopsis in English.
On 18 June PAKAW! (Katerina, Muzmee, Paressa, Olympia and Duygu) will be discussing Sotiria Bellou (a legendary lady of rebetiko) and a concert will follow. (You can get your tickets here)
On 22 June I would highly recommend Roots of Rebetiko with Alexandros Koustas (violin/lyra), Giorgos Maglaras (Lauta/Lute), Kostas Glynos (Kanonaki), Stavroula Konstanti (Voice/Ney), Philippos Demetriou (Percussion). From what I understand this will be a bit of a medley of rebetiko music – perfect if you want to understand what it is all about. (You can get your tickets here)
Disclosure: I’m not affiliated with the festival but did hear about it from a friend who is involved in the shadow theatre performance.