…Even our heart suffers and pains
is fully occupied and “drifted” by love
and with bouzouki and guitars
sings softly and sweet like a bird…

“Blooming path your music…” Musical tribute to the Greek musician from Constantinople Grigoris Asikis

Anthi and Alekos Tsakiris, grandchildren of Grigoris Asikis, together with the bouzouki master and music teacher Spiros Goumas and the music group “Parapetamenoi”, known for its continuous and consistent involvement with our urban folk song, co-organize a Music Tribute to the great musician Grigoris Asikis, which also includes a presentation of his life and work with presentation of photographic and digital material.
Grigoris Asikis was born in Constantinople in 1890. He started learning oud near an Armenian musician at the age of 15. In 1915 he married Irini Sotiriadou from Constantinople and together they had 7 children.
That period he was a manufacturer of bronze beds of high construction quality and value.
The family left the Constantinople and came to Greece shortly before the Asia Minor catastrophe. At the beginning, they stayed in Piraeus. After 1922 the family moved to Virona area of Athens. Asikis, in addition to his excellent vocal skills in performing Oriental, Smyrnaean, folk and urban songs, played also oud, banjo, violin and lyre.
According to the information of Mrs. Anthi Tsakiri, he recorded about 92 songs covering all music types.
For a long time, he lived as professional musician in Greece. All the well-known performers sang his songs with themes that covered almost all the socio-political issues of that time.
During the Metaxas dictatorship, due to censorship, he changed the style of his songs and turned them to rebetiko.
Asikis, prophetic, direct and timeless, embroidered with his notes and lyrics, in an indirect but clear way, almost all the current issues. From the tricks of love, the unemployment and the people’s foolishness, the behavior of the Greeks towards the refugees from Asia Minor, immigration, etc. He passed away on November 7, 1966 at the age of 76, leaving us all with an invaluable musical legacy.

Collection-presentation of material and participation in songs: Anthi and Alekos Tsakiris
Music director: Spiros Goumas
Musicians: Spiros Goumas: bouzouki, banjo, vocals, Sofia Kontaratou: vocals, percussion, Dimitris Goumas: guitar, George Makris: guitar, vocals, Mirto-Katerina Fatourou: accordion, Photini Karababa: baglama
The tribute was presented on March 2, 2019 at the Underflow Record Store & Art Gallery and on April 12, 2019 at 9 pm at the “Dieleusis” Athens Cultural Center.
It will be repeated during the winter of 2020!


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Proceedings of the rebetiko seminar-meetings in Skyros

Proceedings of the rebetiko seminar-meetings in Skyros are posted on the website of the seminar. Among others you can find a historical and sociological approach of the development of rebetiko song, the names of the musical scales (dromoi) in rebetika, historical references to the life and work of great composers, singers and skilled players of rebetiko (Thanasis Manetas, Costas Bezos (A. Kostis), Marika Papagika, Panagiotis Tountas, George Mitsakis, Giannis Papaioannou, Costas Kaplanis), even for not famous but not less important musicians of the interwar period (Kostas Faltaits, Grigoris Asikis, Dimitris Atraidis, Giakoumis Montanaris, Costas Tzovenos, Stavros Pantelidis) but also personal information for the not famous Urban musicians.
Historical data for Mortes, Koutsavakia and Magkes. You can also find Fado and rebetiko social relationships, an interesting approach titled “women in rebetiko” by the rebetiko researcher Gail Holst-Warhaft, an approach to the dances of 9, information about the flowering of rebetiko in Piraeus, the imprints of rebetiko in the neighborhoods of Piraeus, the growth of rebetiko in Thessaloniki and of course the rebetiko in Finland as well as personal revelations how the rebetiko touches our soul.