The Urban Folk Songs Of Crete

with Kalia Lyraki, Miltos Boumis, George Aggelopoulos, Simon Mercouris

Friday 9th June 2023 @ Cafe Barcelona

The trio of George Angelopoulos (mandolin), Simon Mercouris (Cretan laouto) and Miltos Boumis (Cretan laouto) will joined by the singer and multi-instrumentalist Kalia Lyraki, to perform songs drawn specifically from the urban folk repertoire of Crete.


When referring to the musical tradition of Crete, most think of the Cretan lyra, the violin and the intense jumping dances. However, there is another side of Cretan folk music which consists of seated songs that emerged in the urban centres of the island over a century ago. These songs were performed primarily in coffee houses and taverns, and to a lesser extent at feasts. They are strongly influenced by the sounds of Asia Minor music due to the established trading interaction with Cretan ports, the population migration during the 1920s, and the historical existence of the Turkish population in Crete. Some people refer to this repertoire as the “Rebetiko of Crete” because of similarities in the root cause of their emergence, but also due to the direct influence of the first and popular musicians in Cretan recordings by the rebetiko key representatives.


* The term urban folk songs of Crete is used by the musicologist Manos Karteris in the book Music on Crete, jointly published by the Department of Musicology at the University of Vienna and Musical Editions Seistron Aerakis, Vienna 2017.


Kalia Lyraki, voice/nay

Miltos Boumis, voice/Cretan lute

George Angelopoulos, voice/mandolin/lauta

Simon Mercouris, voice/Cretan lute

Kalia Lyraki is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist specialising in the music of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. She studied Ethnomusicology BA at SOAS and Ethnochoreology MA at Roehampton University. Career highlights include performing at WOMAD, BBC Proms and for King Charles III. Her music can be heard in films (Never Let Go), documentaries (Sappho: Love and Life in Lesvos), and video-games (Assassin’s Creed, Total War, Runescape). Collaborations include projects with Ross Daly, Natasha Atlas, Syriana, Xáos, Zohar Fresco and Kit Downs. She is currently completing her debut album featuring women’s music from her homeland, Crete. 

Event Details

Doors open: 19:00

Music starts: 20:30

Music finishes: 22:30

The three guys:

Kalia Lyraki:

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