(Syros, Greece) – The Municipality of Syros and the Cyclades Development and Progress Association of Cyclades Chamber, announce that they will be holding the first annual Rebetiko Festival from August 31, 2016 to September 4, 2016. The purpose of this first festival is to honor the famous rebetiko musician, Marcos Vamvakaris, who is also from Syros.
Vamvakaris was born in 1905 and passed away in 1972. His contributions to the rebetiko genre were numerous and he composed many pieces that are still well known in Greece today. He was also a singer and played the bouzouki. Many consider him to be one of the patriarchs of this musical genre. For Marcos, music was a legacy in his family. His grandfather played the zampouna and Marcos would often accompany him while they played at various festivals. Syros has long been considered to be an island that is at the heart of the rebetiko musical genre. Although Vamvakaris wasn’t one of the originators of the genre, he is one of the big reasons why it became known throughout the world.
The festival will host a variety of performers who are coming out to play in order to honor Vamvakaris. In addition to the concerts, there will also be other events, such documentary showings, lectures, and exhibits. Every concert, lecture, and event will be designed to either celebrate rebetiko or honor Marcos Vamvakaris. Giorgos Dalaras, a famous Greek singer, will also be performing at the festival.
Rebetiko is one of the popular styles of folk music that are performed in Greece. Although it has been popular in Greece for centuries, it experienced a revival in the 1960’s. Artists like Vamcakaris are responsible for bringing the traditional style of music to the mainstream. The bouzouki is at the core of the music, but other instruments, such as the guitar, mandolin, or baglamas, are also fairly popular.