Paxos Festival 2022
A concert, presentation & book-signing of
Journey into the Rebetiko for Young and Old
Tuesday 28 June 2022
at 8:30 pm
Old School Yard, Loggos, Paxos
Gail Holst-Warhaft & Zoe Dionyssiou
Evangelia Tsiara & Apostolos Valsamas
A Journey into the Rebetiko for Young and Old, published by Fagotto Books with illustrations by Thanos Kosmides, is the story of a Peiraeus “baglamadaki” (music tavern) of the early 20th century owned by Barba-Giannis, a carpenter and amateur musician. The background to the story is provided by the wars and struggles of modern Greece which gave rise to the great tradition of Rebetiko songs one hundred years ago.
The complete absence of the story of the Rebetiko in current Greek education means that younger Greek generations remain almost completely ignorant of this important facet of modern Greek culture, while older generations still find it suspect. This has prompted the two authors we will be meeting - Gail Holst-Warhaft and Zoe Dionyssiou – to address the problem by creating a wonderful new book addressed to “young and old” that traces the roots of Rebetiko music and songs in the countryside and its gradual absorption into Greek urban music. Reflecting the experience of the Asia Minor refugees, stories of exile, struggle and poverty of the 1920s, Rebetiko laid the foundation of modern Greek song and is still immensely respected and admired by musicians abroad, even while often ignored in Greece today.