It was a real pleasure to be given the opportunity to organise a one-day workshop on rebetiko music during our last visit at Tikitu's place in Golden Bay! The idea was in fact Tikitu's mother's, since she and several other musical friends of hers were quite interested to learn a bit more about this kind of music.

We are not professionals, however we thought we could surely put a program together, choose two modes, a few songs we like and show them to anyone interested. So we decided to go for it! If nothing else it would be a good learning experience for us too! Tikitu put together a description of the workshop's contents and we used music scores from the wonderful book of Evgenios Voulgaris and Vassilis Vantarakis (a copy of which we left in New Zealand just in case people wanted to learn more after the workshop).

And the big day arrived, and... people came! About 7-8 people attended and we managed to go through both modes and all four songs. Success! (More details on how it went and what we learned from it are given byTikitu here.) It was so interesting (and quite touching) to see people from New Zealand to be so interested in rebetiko! Thank you all so much for being there!

Here is a video from the workshop where we are practicing a Vamvakaris song. It is close to the end of the day so a couple of people are not there any more. However you can get an idea.

The next one is from a more difficult song (for us too...) of Tountas, which we left for the end of the workshop so we did not get much time to practice. It is an interesting on-going project though! (And I definitely would need to take singing lessons from someone too. I'd love to be able to sing this one properly! Also, excuse the untuned baglamas just next to the camera. We forgot to tune it and the girl playing it was just experimenting with it :-)

We also gave a house-concert (how's that for a new year's eve? Thank you Jessica for offering your lovely musical space to us!). Tikitu and I played a set of Rebetiko songs with bouzouki and guitar, and a set of Greek and Balkan songs with accordion and mandolin.

At the end of the concert we proudly presented together with some of the workshop students the four songs of the workshop! Here's one:

Here is also a selection of photos from the workshop and the concert.

Ok, musician friends! We prepared the ground for more workshops of Greek music in New Zealand! Are you ready? :-)