Many of you may wonder, what Rebetiko is...

Rebetiko is the music of an urban sub culture called “Rebetes”. It emerged in Greece in the 1920s, but is a rich synthesis of music from all over Greece, Asia Minor, Ottoman modal art music, Byzantine chant, and cafe music. The music expresses the pain and suffering of the people at the time, through war, poverty and incarceration, as well as other deeply felt sentiments and aspects of everyday life. Although the bouzouki is the instrument which has been mostly associated with the music, the rich tapestry of influences in the music has been coloured by the many different instruments used; oud, kanun, violin, accordion, guitar. RebetikoCarnival celebrates this amalgamation of cultures, instruments, and people.

About the Rebetiko Carnival

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.

Music Events

  • Accomodation
    Live gigs across UK

    We will fill your nights with sounds from some of the greatest names in the Greek Rebetiko scene such as Vamvakaris, Tsitsanis, Hiotis, Loizos, Theodorakis, Hadjidakis, and Xarhakos, to name a few. This isn’t all about Greek music though, as we’ll bring you melodies from the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East as well. Come along to hear sounds that transport you to far and distant lands...

Education and Outreach

  • Best Food
    Working with children & people in need

    The Rebetiko Carnival is a festival with a difference! Music may be the main pillar of the festival but education in schools is also a priority. As part of the Carnival we'll be offering young musicians an opportunity to perform with professionals. Music will also be taken to those unable to go out and hear concerts. Our musicians are currently trying to raise funds to bring their music into hospitals, schools, special needs schools and prisons.

Exhibitions

  • Tour Guide
    Instruments & Sounds

    Christos Spourdalakis, one of Greece’s luthiers, will be exhibiting his collection of instruments before the start of concerts, and giving people the chance to try out the instruments and, of course, buy them should they wish.

Support the Rebetiko Carnival

  • Grand Experience
    Your Support is Important!

    Your donations will help us:
    - Provide work for young and upcoming musicians for one month every year.
    - Sustain the education work we want to do at schools, special needs schools, hospitals and prisons.
    - Cover the cost of bringing musicians over from Greece.
    - Promote and advertise the Rebetiko Carnival.

Festival Diary

For the serious fans of Rebetiko we are delighted to offer ticket bundles that will allow you to join more concerts at a better price. For further information on the available offers and to book click here.

Concerts in London

The musicians of the Rebetiko Carnival 2016 will present and perform a programme of Markos Vamvakaris greatest songs. Interspersed between the songs, short readings from his recently translated autobiography will inspire a deeper sense of connection and understanding of this talented musician’s work.

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The project brings together two of the most important instruments of the interwar Rebetiko music culture: the santur and the oud. The duet leans on the wide harmonic spectrum of the santur, and the oud's clear melodic print to interpret the rich affective modalities of Rebetiko songs.

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Kalia presents the urban and folk music of Crete along with her own songs. Her quartet comprises of Vassilis Chatzimakris on the Cretan lyra and mandolin, Nikos Ziarkas on Cretan laouto and electric guitar, and Theodoris Ziarkas on double bass.

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A tribute to the great Greek singer and songwriter Nikos Papazoglou, in the first part, and the new generation of Greek composers that followed his path in the second part (S. Malamas, T. Papakonstantinou, D. Zervoudakis, M. Lydakis, N. Portokaloglou).

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Love and New beginnings are central themes in Rebetiko music. Pakaw!, London's all female band, will be exploring some of the love stories and life journeys that have made this music timeless.

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Rebetiko is a branch of Greek urban music that was accused, censored, banned and hunted down with every means of state repression. However, Rebetiko not only managed to transcend its origins, beyond prison walls and the margins of society, but also to thrive and dominate.

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An exclusive concert where North London's Greek-fusion band Kourelou will debut their first album 'Patchwork'.

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This concert will focus on the all-time classics of 'Arhontorebetika', a musical cross between Rebetiko and the ‘light’ music that became very popular in the 1950s and 1960s.

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For this exclusive concert, Megla will perform a special set list, covering many of the early Rebetiko composers, including Tountas, Skarvelis, Semsis, Dellias, Vamvakaris and others.

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Two of Greece's highly acclaimed musicians, vocalist Gerasimos Andreatos and Bouzouki player Manolis Pappos, will be performing with the hugely popular UK based group Plastikes Karekles. Together with lead vocalist Marina Deligianni they will be presenting a collection from Vasilis Tsitsanis repertoire of much loved rebetiko classics.

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Using influences from a wide range of musical genres, from manouche and blues to modern “entechno” and popular-folk music, Dimitris Mystakidis revisits and rearranges well-known Rebetika songs, and performs them by adding his personal character.

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The Rebetiko Roots and Folk Traditions Project returns for an evening of music from Asia Minor and the Aegean Sea. This evening focuses on love, travellers and those far from home.

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A concert presenting a selection of songs from famous composers from Asia Minor such as Skarvelis, Peristeris, and Toundas.

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An evening with famous pupeeter Athos Danellis and our most loved Greek folklore shadow puppet Karagiozis.

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Cigdem and the ensemble will perform songs reflecting the diversity of early 20th century Istanbul.

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A tribute to Giorgos Zambetas, a music composer, singer and one of the greatest bouzouki artists of all time in Greece.

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Closing Rebetiko Carnival 2016 with a selection of the most favourite songs that were performed during the festival.

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Concerts outside London

The musicians of the Rebetiko Carnival 2016 will present and perform a programme of Markos Vamvakaris greatest songs. Interspersed between the songs, short readings from his recently translated autobiography will inspire a deeper sense of connection and understanding of this talented musician’s work.

Go to Event Detail Page

Plastikes Karekles together with lead vocalist Marina Deligianni will be presenting a collection from Vasilis Tsitsanis repertoire of much loved Rebetiko classics.

Go to Event Detail Page

Two of Greece's highly acclaimed musicians, vocalist Gerasimos Andreatos and Bouzouki player Manolis Pappos, will be performing with the hugely popular UK based group Plastikes Karekles. Together with lead vocalist Marina Deligianni they will be presenting a collection from Vasilis Tsitsanis repertoire of much loved rebetiko classics.

Go to Event Detail Page

A selection of Rebetiko Carnival musicians together with lead vocalist Marina Deligianni will be presenting a collection from Vasilis Tsitsanis repertoire of much loved Rebetiko classics.

Go to Event Detail Page

The birth of Rebetiko Carnival

Our Vision

Introduce Rebetiko music and its history to people, schools, special needs schools, hospitals and prisons. Establish a channel for young and upcoming musicians to promote their music and build a long-term relationship with the audience.

Our Mission

Create a festival that provides concerts, education projects and exhibitions with artists of the highest international calibre at a cost that is affordable for all. A festival that brings those musicians to the greatest, most prestigious concert venues around the country as well as smaller more intimate world music venues and equally importantly to venues such as hospitals, special needs schools or people with any sort of disability that can not get to the concerts themselves.

Watch Our Promo Video

Who we are

Kyriakos GouventasKyriakos Gouvendas is a renowned violinist worldwide, not only in the Greek tradition, but as an improviser in many styles. He has over 100 recordings with the greatest musicians from Greece and abroad and is loved for his imaginative mind boggling improvisations.

Kyriakos Gouventas - Festival President

PavlosPavlos Carvalho is a well-established cellist with a wide-ranging repertoire from baroque through to twentieth century music. As a bouzouki player he has performed with many bands in London and abroad and is a founding member of the festival and the Rebet Asker music series. A large part of Pavlos’ musical life is dedicated to education and outreach working with Live Music Now, Animate, Pied Piper among others.

Pavlos Carvalho - Artistic Director

MariaMaria Tsirodimitri is the resident guitarist of the festival, performing in many of the events. She is also a graphic designer and is responsible for the art work of the posters and all graphic design for the festival.

Maria Tsirodimitri - Festival Promo Material Designer

IacovosMarina Deligianni is a singer passioned about what she does. Music for her is a way to experience, and celebrate life through sharing, learning and teaching.

Marina Deligianni - Event Coordinator

IacovosIacovos Kirlappos is a musician interested in the history and repertoire of early Rebetiko, mostly focusing on the inter-war period (1922-1940). He is particularly interested in the role of the guitar as both a lead and rhythm instrument in the Rebetiko and Laiko repertoire throughout the years.

Iacovos Kirlapos - Event Coordinator

IacovosManolis Taouxis is one of the resident bouzouki players for the festival performing in many of the events. Aside from his role as a musician and he is responsible for organising the exhibitions of instruments for the festival.

Manolis Taouxis - Festival Exhibitions Organiser

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