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AKTINA's Greek Music Journey 2018 Babis Tsertos From Tsitsanis to Theodorakis

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BABIS TSERTOS AND HIS BAND REVIVED THE TIMELESS SONGS
OF VASILIS TSITSANIS AND MIKIS THEODORAKIS
IN A REMARKABLE CONCERT FROM THE SERIES GREEK MUSIC JOURNEY
Watch videos from this performance

 

Greek renowned singer Babis Tsertos revived the timeless songs of the legendary composers of Greece, Vasilis Tsitsanis and Mikis Theodorakis during a remarkable performance on Friday, November 2, 2018 at New York’s landmark theater The Kaye Playhouse. Produced by Elena Maroulleti and co-presented by AKTINA Productions, Inc., and CYPRECO Of America, Inc., the concert was part of AKTINA’s acclaimed concert series “GREEK MUSIC JOURNEY 2018” and was given to benefit the public service media, AKTINA FM and AKTINA TV. The concert which also coincided with AKTINA’s 25th anniversary was the last major event for 2018 celebrating this auspicious occasion.

 

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GMJ 2018 Tsertos Band Recent EventsThe very well selected repertoire blended 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” (Play Tsitsani) 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.

 

The Babis Tsertos band was comprised by the distinguished soloists, Kostas Zaridakis a bouzouki maestro who has worked as lead bouzouki player in recordings and in live performances for the legends, Manos Hadjidakis (Never on Sunday) and Mikis Theodorakis among many others, Kyriakos Gkouventas on the violin and baglama, one of the high ranking folk musicians of Greece with also immense contributions to Greek discography as violinist, Yiannis Tsertos, a leading pianist and musician from the new generation, Kostas Tsekouras, a prominent guitarist, while the highlight was the new and upcoming singer and musician on the kanoon Sophia Mermigka who truly captivated the audience with her distinct voice and exceptional interpretation of the songs.

 

GMJ 2018 Tsertos Welcoming Recent EventsIn his welcoming remarks, Babis Tsertos also congratulated AKTINA on its 25th anniversary and spoke very highly of the organization’s successful achievements in preserving and promoting the rich musical inheritance of Greece in America.  He also praised and thanked the concert’s Executive Producer, Elena Maroulleti  for her strong commitment and leadership over the years in the presentation of  “very well organized and very well produced worthy concerts as well as for the production of AKTINA FM and AKTINA TV, two very commendable radio and television programs which also contribute in highlighting outside of Greece the true characteristics of the quality music of our country!”  Later in the program, Mr. Tsertos also dedicated to Ms. Maroulleti, one of her most favorite songs, “Echeis Matia to Feggari” In his welcoming remarks, Babis Tsertos also congratulated AKTINA on its 25th anniversary and spoke very highly of the organization’s successful achievements in preserving and promoting the rich musical inheritance of Greece in America.  He also praised and thanked the concert’s Executive Producer, Elena Maroulleti  for her strong commitment and leadership over the years in the presentation of  “very well organized and very well produced worthy concerts as well as for the production of AKTINA FM and AKTINA TV, two very commendable radio and television programs which also contribute in highlighting outside of Greece the true characteristics of the quality music of our country!”  Later in the program, Mr. Tsertos also dedicated to Ms. Maroulleti, one of her most favorite songs, “Echeis Matia to Feggari” (You have the moon for eyes) composed by Mikis Theodorakis based on lyrics by the renowned late poet Manos Eleftheriou.

 

GMJ 2018 Elena Maroulleti Recent EventsThe concert was also greeted by Ms. Maroulleti who thanked all in attendance, the participating artists, AKTINA’s and CYPRECO’s volunteer staff and the sponsoring organizations and companies whose partial financial assistance supported this production. The concert constituted “the grand finale of AKTINA’s 25th anniversary celebrations” as announced by Ms. Maroulleti, who then proudly 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.” In concluding, 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 including Nana Mouskouri, Marinella, Tolis Voskopoulos, Stratos Dionyssiou and many others.

 

GMJ 2018 Tsertos Closing Recent EventsThe concert ended with the much celebrated song , “Tis Dikeosinis Ilie” (Sun of Justice) from the world renowned work “Axion Esti” composed by Mikis Theodorakis based on the poetry of Odysseas Elytis, winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Literature.

 

Greek Music Journey 2018 with Babis Tsertos was made possible in part by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Investors Bank, AMMOS Estiatorio in Manhattan and Bayside Diner in Queens, while the media sponsor was the Greek Satellite Channel in the U.S., Antenna (ANT1).

 

 

 

 

GMJ 2018 Tsertos Group Photo Recent Events

 

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