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Syros: Free Concerts and Events at 6th Rebetiko Music Festival

The 6th Rebetiko Festival 2022 dedicated to Greece’s rebetiko music genre, also known as the “Greek blues”, kicks off on August 29 on the Cyclades island of Syros with dozens of free concerts and events.

This year’s five-day event is dedicated to the father of the rebetiko, Markos Vamvakaris, who was born on the island, and also commemorates the 100-year anniversary since the Asia Minor Catastrophe, which influenced the evolution of the genre significantly.

Under the title “Syra of Markos Vamvakaris”, rebetiko musicians from the world over will feature in concerts from August 29 to September 2 at various locations on the island, including the Tarsanas Shipyards, the Kornilaki building, the Villa Tsiropina, and the Ermoupolis Cultural Center.

Among others, the musicians, concerts and workshops will cover the development of genre through time and its influences. The 6th Rebetiko Festival on Syros this year will also feature handmade musical instruments used in the rebetiko as well as the craftspeople who have preserved traditional instrument-making techniques.

The rebetiko music genre was included in Greece’s National Directory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2015 and on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list in 2017.

In its announcement, UNESCO said: “The rebetiko songs contain invaluable references to the customs, practices and traditions of a particular way of life, but above all the practice is a living musical tradition with a strong symbolic, ideological and artistic character.”

Syros’ 6th Rebetiko Festival 2022 is made possible with the support of the culture ministry, the General Secretariat of the Aegean and Island Policy and is jointly organized by the Syros – Ermoupolis municipality and the Cyclades Chamber.

Admission to all festival events is free but must be booked online here. Further information can be found on the event’s Facebook page.

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