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Aktina’s Greek Music Journey 2018 with Babis Tsertos a Huge Success
On Friday, November 2, 2018, the New York-based non-profit cultural organizations, AKTINA Productions and CYPRECO of America, hosted once again Greek renowned singer Babis Tsertos at the Kaye Playhouse theater in Manhattan in a magnificent performance which revived the timeless songs of Vasilis Tsitsanis and Mikis Theodorakis, two of the most important and legendary composers of Greece. Produced by Elena Maroulleti from AKTINA’s acclaimed concert series, “GREEK MUSIC JOURNEY 2018” the concert was given to benefit the public service media, AKTINA FM and AKTINA TV.
The exceptional repertoire combined beautifully the everlasting rembetika (Greek blues) of Vasilis Tsitsanis with the laika (popular folk) songs of Mikis Theodorakis, as well as exceptional bouzouki solos and instrumentals including Theodorakis’ world renowned “Zorba.” Throughout the performance Babis Tsertos who engaged the audience from beginning to end also referred to the history of the songs and their impact over time as “exceptional examples of the representative folk music of Greece.”
The program opened with the audience singing and clapping along to the classics, “Synnefiasmeni Kyriaki” (Cloudy Sunday) by Vasilis Tsitsanis and “To Feggari Kani Volta” (The Moon is Taking a Stroll), which is an ode to Vasilis Tsitsanis and is commonly known as “Pexe Tsitsani mou” (My Tsitsani play) by Mikis Theodorakis. As the evening progressed the intriguing 2 ½ hour performance highlighted a combination of some 40 of the most well-known songs and instrumentals of Tsitsanis and Theodorakis. Songs about love, immigration, hardship, poverty and justice written by leading and award winning Greek lyricists and poets such as Odysseas Elytis, George Seferis, Manos Eleftheriou, among others.
Referring to this new successful performance Ms. Maroulleti stressed that, “true to our commitment of bringing to our fan base and to all New Yorkers exceptional musical performances, we were thrilled once again to see so many Greek music lovers from the general audience and from all walks of life join us. Everyone had an amazing time, while Babis Tsertos and his band members truly captivated all and this was evident throughout the performance.”
The concert constituted “the grand finale” of AKTINA’s 25th anniversary celebrations”. Ms. Maroulleti referred to the October 26, 2018 honor bestowed upon AKTINA FM by the NYC Council and the City of New York by co-naming the Street that was founded in Astoria, “AKTINA FM Way.” She expressed her heartfelt thanks and appreciation to NYC Council Member Costa Constantinides for initiating the legislation and to the entire City of New York for “this great honor” stressing that “AKTINA FM is the first Greek American Radio in the U.S., to have a Street named after it.”
Ms. Maroulleti also invited all to GREEK MUSIC JOURNEY 2019 also taking place at the Kaye Playhouse on Friday, May 17, 2019. This new concert will feature from Greece, the Bouzouki Legend, Thanasis Polykandriotis whose presence in Greek music and discography spans over 50 years both as a bouzouki soloist and composer with incredible contributions and collaborations with great Greek stars and international orchestras, while he was the featured artist who performed at the Opening Ceremony of the XXVII Olympic Games “Athens 2004. He will be accompanied by his band and the charismatic singers, Aris Kampanos who captivated the audience during AKTINA’s “Greek Music Journey 2018-The Magic of Bouzouki” given this past April, and Aphrodite Chatzimina.