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Music

The 6th International Rebetiko Festival ‘Syra of Markos Vamvakaris’ Aug. 29-Sept. 2

SYROS – The Rebetiko Festival ‘Syra of Markos Vamvakaris’ welcomes those who love the rebetiko music genre from Greece and abroad, to its sixth edition August 29-September 2.

This is a special year for Syra Rebetiko Festival as it coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Asia Minor Catastrophe and the 50th anniversary of the death of Markos Vamvakaris.

The consequences of the Asia Minor Catastrophe had a decisive impact not only on major national issues, but also on the evolution of urban folk music, which was influenced, reinforced, and enriched with artists and with musical forms that came from the coast of Asia Minor, as the only baggage of the uprooted, in most cases. Among these people that were considered to be foreigners both in Turkey and in Greece, stood out intellectuals, businessmen, but also insurmountable musical geniuses that are mentioned with awe and respect until today and as such will be mentioned in perpetuity.

Gradually, most of the representatives of the Asia Minor School were adapted and integrated into a new movement created by the so-called “Piraeus” School, having Markos Vamvakaris from Syros as rector, whose playing, forms and style were the cornerstone of this great music genre, our folk music.

In this year’s program, which takes place over five days, the participating artists Maria Katinari and Giorgos Zorbas and the local group Ilianthos will focus on the era of the first decades of the 20th century when the Asia Minor style dominated. This axis includes, among other things, a concert with the santouria of “Anagnostirion” Agiassou Lesvou, one of the oldest cultural institutions in Greece with a rich history and an important archive. In addition, the music workshop with Petros Kouloumis as lecturer will focus on the subject of the technique and the stylistic approach of the Asia Minor School.

Rebeti from Athens, as well as the local bands Estoudiadina of Cyclades, Sabah, Who and En Chordais and Organois are scheduled to perform and will reference -but not exclusively- the work of the great folk bard Markos Vamvakaris, presenting influences, interactions with other genres and collaborations with others composers.

During the Festival there will be an exhibition of folk musical instruments, where some of the most important Greek luthiers will exhibit their creations. All these creators have preserved on one hand the know-how and tradition of hand-made construction to this day, and on the other hand they have introduced innovations in the use of materials, in the development techniques and tools: Nikos Galanos, Adonis Gulielmos, Andreas Dellios, Giannis Kadoglou, Tassos Katsifis, Savvas Miltiadou, Nikos Paisios, Giorgos Polytaridis, Panagiotis Stamkos, Grigoris Stefanidis, Dimitris Schinas, Makis Tsiolis, Giannis Tsoulogiannis, and Nikos Fronimopoulos.

As a general update it is mentioned that Rebetiko has been registered in the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2015, in the representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO in 2017, while the Festival ‘Syra of Markos Vamvakaris’ has been indexed in the European Festivals directory festivalFinder.eu and has received the EFFE Label from the European Festivals Association, Europe’s quality stamp for remarkable arts festivals.

The Festival is held under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture & Sports and the General Secretariat of the Aegean & Island Policy. It is co-organized by the Municipality of Syros-Ermoupolis and the Cycladic Development Company (KETAN), the non-profit organization of the Chamber of Cyclades.

Admission to the Festival is free. Online reservations via Eventbrite are required: https://bit.ly/3QgAeFp.

More information is available on Facebook: www.facebook.com/syrosrebetikofestival.

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