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Concert Tribute to the Great Rembetika (Greek Blues) with Legendary Singer Babis Tsertos and Orchestra

By on October 27, 2016

The Great Rembetika songs which comprise the most representative aspects of Greek music will be revived in a most authentic manner on Friday, November 4, 2016, 8:30pm at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College on East 68th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues in Manhattan. This long awaited performance produced by Elena Maroulleti and co-presented by the non-profit cultural organizations, AKTINA Productions and CYPRECO Of America, is part of AKTINA’s acclaimed concert series GREEK MUSIC JOURNEY (EST. 1997). The concert will feature the renowned singer from Greece Babis Tsertos and his band consisting of the much celebrated folk musicians, Kyriakos Gkouventas, violin, Ifigeneia Ioannou, kanonaki/vocals, Dimitris Reppas, bouzouki/baglama/vocals, Yiannis Tsertos, piano/accordion and Kostas Tsekouras, guitar.


Babis Tsertos, a leading recording singer with an impressive career spanning for 40 years, is among the primary artists in Greece who has distinguished himself for serving rembetika music genre in the most authentic manner. Apart from his distinct and unique voice which is perfectly suitable for this type of music, Tsertos has also extensively studied and researched the rembetika. He officially launched his career in 1980 and soon after he collaborated with renowned rembetika singers of the early generation including the legends, Soteria Bellou, Takis Binis, Anna Chrysafi, Keti Grey, Kostas Kaplanis, Koulis Skarpelis among others.  In later years he also collaborated with other distinguished rembetika legends of the generation that followed such as, Babis Goles, Stelios Vamvakaris, including the renowned traditional folk musician Chronis Aidonidis among others. He has released 12 personal albums (among them two collectible series) and has participated as a guest artist in more than 35 other albums. He has also released four exclusive collectible series of albums, entitled “Rembetiki Tetras” (Rembetiko Quartet) in collaboration with the popular singers, Glykeria, Agathonas Iacovidis and Babis Goles.

The rembetika is the urban Greek folk song which originated towards the end of the 19th century and gained its present familiar form during the third decade of the 20th century. This type of music evolved mainly in the port cities of Greece and thereafter was widespread and accepted, especially during the classic period of the rembetika between 1942-1952. The rembetika have inspired great Greek composers such as Mikis Theodorakis (Zorba the Greek), Manos hadjidakis (Never on Sunday) among others, while Stavros Xarhakos is much credited for further reviving the rembetika in 1983 after he wrote the original music for the award winning movie “Rembetiko” which was based on the life of the rembetika singer Marika Ninou.

Greek Music Journey (GMJ) concert series was introduced in 1997 with a purpose of promoting different aspects of the representative music of Greece for the benefit of lovers of Greek music and of all New Yorkers. Each new concert from the series is dedicated to a specific theme and features unique singers and musicians directly from Greece who serve the specific music theme. Referring to this new concert from the series GREEK MUSIC JOURNEY, Elena Maroulleti, President of AKTINA and CYPRECO and the concert’s Executive Producer stressed that, “lovers of Greek music will be treated to yet another memorable performance that will revive in the most authentic manner the Great Rembetika of Greece!  This long awaited concert with Babis Tsertos who is making his debut performance in New York is not to be missed and we invite everyone to come and enjoy an unforgettable performance filled with the finest rembetika of Greece!”

In recognition of Mr. Tsertos’ outstanding contributions to Greek music and for supporting the non-profit mission of AKTINA and CYPRECO, the organizations will be honoring him during his upcoming performance in New York with “AKTINA’s Distinguished Artist Award”, presented exclusively to selected and notable artists. Mr. Tsertos will be the fourth recipient of this prestigious award. Past recipients were Lavrentis Machairitsas (GMJ 2013), Yannis Kotsiras (GMJ 2015) and Eleni Tsaligopoulou (GMJ April 2016).  In addition, Council Member Costa Constantinides, will honor Mr. Tsertos with a Citation on behalf of the City of New York.

Tickets are exclusively sold by the organizers and may be charged by telephone by calling AKTINA at 718-545-1151. For cash purchases you may also visit TITAN Foods at 25-56 31st Street, Astoria, NY., and for more information and to watch videos of Babis Tsertos please visit aktinafm.com.

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