Celebrating Vamvakaris

with the Rebetiko Carnival Musicians

Saturday 24th June 2023 @ The Hellenic Centre

Born on the island of Syros in 1905, from the humblest of roots, Markos Vamvakaris became revered as the Patriarch of Rebetiko music. His unique simple way of playing the bouzouki and his deep, earthy, “metallic” voice became the iconic sound of Rebetiko music.

“We all, we are but branches of a tree. Markos is that tree”.

-Mikis Theodorakis 

The musicians of the Rebetiko Carnival will present a programme of his greatest songs as well as lesser known gems.

A talk about Vamvakaris’ life and his music will take place prior to the concert by Noonie Minogue

‘Markos Vamvakaris and the spirit of disobedience’ 

Noonie Minogue is a London based writer, artist and Classics tutor. In 1981 she spent a winter in Naxos teaching English and piano. This began a lifelong engagement with the history, and literature of modern Greece. Since translating the Autobiography of Markos Vamvakaris into English in 2015 she’s continued to research rebetiko and to translate Greek Folk-songs, and poems that have been set to music –  from the Erotocritos to Yiannis Ritsos’ Epitaphios.


Michael Iskas, violin
Spiros Bolovinis, voice/baglama
Andria Antoniou, voice
Maria Tsirodimitri, voice/guitar
Mihailis Spyridakis, voice/bouzouki
Dimitris Koustas, voice/accordion
George Tsolakis, voice/guitar
George Angelopoulos, bouzouki

Pavlos Carvalho, double bass

The Rebetiko Carnival musicians are a group brought together by the Rebetiko Carnival festival, representing some of the UK’s most loved Greek bands. For this evening’s performance, they are formed from musicians of Plastikes Karekles, Amalgama and the Icons of Greek Music project, as well as special guest, Dimitris Koustas on accordion, visiting from Athens. Between them they have performed at festivals in Greece, France, Italy, Scotland, Wales and Qatar. In the UK they have performed at the Purcell Room, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, St David’s Hall as part of the Proms, as well as more intimate venues such as the Green Note, Vortex and the Forge, London. They have also performed at Kings Place, London, both as part of the Rebetiko Carnival festival and Equator: Women of the World festival, as well as at the Sidmouth Folk festival.

Event Details
Doors open: 18:00
Pre concert talk: 18:30 
Music starts: 19:30
Music finishes: 22:00

Please note, the price at the door is £18 (General Admission), £13 (Students and under 18s). Only card payments are accepted.

More Upcoming Events

Rebetiko Lounge Jam Sessions

Catch up with old friends, meet new ones and talk and play
all things rebetiko and wherever else the mood takes us.

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More Upcoming events
to be announced soon

Coming Soon

More Upcoming events
to be announced soon

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