Greek Folk Music at Carnegie Hall in My City, My Song Family Concerts on Jan. 19

Falu Shah is among the artists performing in My City, My Song, the interactive family concerts, at Carnegie Hall. Photo: (by Richard Termine)

NEW YORK – Carnegie Hall will feature Greek folk music as part of its interactive performances to introduce children to music from around the world in My City, My Song family concerts on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 12 PM and 3 PM.

Three vibrant New York City-based artists will perform in Zankel Hall as part of My City, My Song, an interactive family concert celebrating music from around the world. The performance features Greek folk from Magda Giannikou, Malian traditional music from Yacouba Sissoko, and Indian classical music from Falu Shah. Free pre-concert activities are offered one hour prior to each performance, preparing parents and children to sing and dance along with the artists.

Showcasing Greek Folk, Malian Traditional, and Indian Classical Music, the concerts are part of the Musical Explorers Curriculum through which New York City Public School Students in Grades K–2 learn about different cultures in the classroom.

Composer, arranger, producer, and vocalist Magda Giannikou was born in Athens, Greece. After studying classical piano for 15 years, she attended Berklee College of Music to hone her love for film scoring, jazz improvisation, arranging, and music production.

Magda Giannikou is among the artists performing in My City, My Song, the interactive family concerts, at Carnegie Hall. Photo: by Stefan Cohen

Giannikou is the founder and leader of the world music group Banda Magda and has toured the world, performing at such renowned venues as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and such acclaimed festivals as the Vancouver Jazz Festival. Giannikou has also collaborated on several projects with two-time Grammy Award-winning group Snarky Puppy. She is part of the Sundance Composers Lab and was commissioned to compose a work for and perform with the Kronos Quartet, celebrating the group’s 40th anniversary at Lincoln Center. Giannikou is also committed to music education with artist residencies at various institutions around the world.

As noted in the program online, Greece is a country of islands and, as such, has developed many different forms of folk music over hundreds of years. Across all these variations, music and dance are closely intertwined; many Greek folk songs accompany dancing and are performed when people come together in social situations and celebrations. This unit focuses on two of the most popular Greek dances—sirtos and kalamatianos—found in multiple regions of the country. Both are circle dances, with somewhat similar movements. What makes them different are their meters: Sirtos is in 4/4, and kalamatianos 7/8.

More information is available online: carnegiehall.org.