Greek Roots Series: Tribute to Skarvelis

Sunday 8th October 2023 @ Green Note


Kostas Skarvelis (1880-1922), born and raised in the vibrant streets of Constantinople, displayed an innate talent for music from a young age. Despite facing adversities and lacking formal education, he blossomed into a virtuoso guitarist by the age of 17. In pursuit of his passion for music, he embarked on a journey that led him from the bustling streets of Constantinople to the enchanting shores of Alexandria, Egypt, and ultimately to Athens, Greece. Skarvelis’ odyssey was fueled by a desire to escape conscription into the Turkish Army and to follow his artistic calling. In Greece, he found himself amidst a community of fellow musicians, many of whom were refugees from Asia Minor. It was here that Skarvelis’s career as a professional musician began, first as a guitarist and later as a prolific composer. His contributions to Greek music extended beyond composing; he also served as an artistic director and a masterful guitarist, leaving an indelible mark on the recording industry and influencing the evolution of Greek music.

Tragically, Skarvelis shared the fate of many during the Great Famine of 1942, succumbing to starvation in Athens. His life may have ended prematurely, but his musical legacy lives on. Before his death he managed to compose hundreds of songs, with over 200 surviving recordings.

His compositions found voice through renowned artists such as Giorgos Kavouras, Rita Abatzi, Stellakis Perpiniadis, and Markos Vamvakaris, among others. Skarvelis’s signature melodies are a testament to the Constantinopolitan urban musical tradition, a rich tapestry of sounds and emotions.

In this special event, we invite you to embark on a journey through the captivating soundscape of Kostas Skarvelis.


Musicians of Cambridge Rebetiko Trio

Thomas Karagiannis : Voice, accordion
John Eleftheriadis : Voice, guitar
George Mourgias-Alexandris : Voice, bouzouki

The Cambridge Rebetiko Trio, comprised of George Mourgias-Alexandris on bouzouki and vocals, Thomas Karagiannis on accordion and vocals, and John Eleftheriadis on guitar and vocals. Fueled by a shared passion for the Greek rebetiko of 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, the trio emerged from various musical events in Cambridge during 2021-2023. With a commitment to preserving and reviving this rich musical heritage, the Cambridge Rebetiko Trio works tirelessly the masterpieces of various composers of Greek rebetiko music.

The musicians of Plastikes Karekles are also the founding members of the Rebetiko Carnival, a charity and festival with Rebetiko music at its heart and dedicated to performance, outreach and education. They take music to schools, hospitals, prisons and care homes throughout the UK

An afternoon of Greek Rebetiko for all the family!

Event Details

Doors open: 13:45

Music starts: 14:15

Music finishes: 16:30

More Upcoming Events

January 28th | Voices of Greece: Theodorakis

Greek rhythms from the composer that brought us Zorba the Greek. Performed by 6 piece band, Plastikes Karekles

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