The Greek singer and multi-instrumenstalist Maria Simoglou was born in Thessaloniki,in the North of Greece. In the past, she cooperated with amongst others Ross Daly, Stelios Petrakis, Bijan Chemirani and Yorgis Xylouris, to name a few. In recent years she has concentrated on original interpretations of the fascinating rebetiko songs of Smyrna (present-day Izmir), the sparkling melting pot where the Jewish, Christian and Islamic cultures crossed each other and intermingled and influenced for centuries. Maria Simoglou introduces us to these (Oriental) blues. Rebetiko is the music movement that arose at the beginning of the 20th century in the dark brown pubs of the Greek and Anatolian port cities, at the same time poetic, sentimental and socially inspired. The so-called Smyrna-style is considered by some to be the more refined (oriental) branch of the rembetika, which of course also stands out because the bouzouki is missing ... but let this absolutely not spoil the musical pleasure. Starting from the tradition, contemporary arrangements retain their instrumental purity and melodic almost intoxicating evocative power.
Maria Simoglou: vocals & artistic direction
Stratis Psaradellis: lyra
Charris Lambrakis: ney
Stephanos Dorbarakis: kanun
Periklis Papapetropoulos: lafta
Manousos Klapakis: percussions
Thursday 15 March 2018, De Centrale Gent