Celebrate Vamvakaris: Talk and Concert

Saturday 24 Jun 2023

“We are all but branches of a tree. Markos is that tree.”  

— Composer Mikis Theodorakis  (1925 – 2021)

Born on the island of Syros in 1905, from the humblest of roots, Markos Vamvakaris became revered as the ‘patriarch of Rebetiko music.’ His unique simple way of playing the bouzouki and his deep, earthy, ‘metallic’ voice became the iconic sound of Rebetiko music.   

The musicians of the Rebetiko Carnival perform an evening of his works, both his greatest hits and lesser-known gems. 


A talk about Vamvakaris’ life and his music will take place prior to the concert, by Noonie Minogue: ‘Markos Vamvakaris and the spirit of disobedience.’


Noonie Minogue is a London based writer, artist and Classics tutor. In 1981 she spent a winter in Naxos teaching English and piano. This began a lifelong engagement with the history, and literature of modern Greece. Since translating the Autobiography of Markos Vamvakaris into English in 2015 she’s continued to research rebetiko and translate Greek Folk-songs and poems that have been set to music –  from the Erotocritos to Yiannis Ritsos’ Epitaphios.


Spiros Bolovinis voice/baglama

Andria Antoniou voice

Maria Tsirodimitri voice/guitar

Sarah Carvalho-Dubost guitar

Mihailis Spyridakis voice/bouzouki

Dimitris Koustas voice/accordion

George Tsolakis voice/guitar

George Angelopoulos bouzouki

Pavlos Carvalho double bass


The Rebetiko Carnival musicians are a group brought together by the Rebetiko Carnival festival, representing some of the UK’s most loved Greek bands. For this evening’s performance, they are formed from musicians of Plastikes Karekles, Amalgama and the Icons of Greek Music project, as well as special guest, Dimitris Koustas on accordion, visiting from Athens. Between them they have performed at festivals in Greece, France, Italy, Scotland, Wales and Qatar. In the UK they have performed at Purcell Room, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, St David’s Hall as part of the Proms, as well as more intimate venues such as the Green Note, Vortex and the Forge, London. They have also performed at Kings Place, London, both as part of the Rebetiko Carnival festival and Equator: Women of the World festival, as well as at the Sidmouth Folk festival.

Event Details

Doors open: 18:00

Pre concert talk: 18:30

Music starts: 19:30

Music finishes: 22:00

Please note, the price at the door is £18 (General Admission), £13 (Students and under 18s). Only card payments are accepted.


The Hellenic Centre


This event is now sold out.