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The Rembetika Hipsters Weblog

Free Posters
Just mainly to see whether anyone reads this thing, there's a few leftover posters lying around from our 10th anniversary concert at the Engineered Air Theatre in December and we'd be happy to mail you one free of charge! The poster design can be viewed in the News section. Just drop us an email and one will be coming your way.

Hipsters in Halifax and Moncton
Wow, what a fun road trip. Big thank yous to JazzEast in Halifax (Adam Fine and Sarah Watling in particular) and the Capitol Theatre in Moncton (beautiful venue, beautiful sound) for treating us so well. For pictures and a more detailed description of the trip's events check out Brigitte Dajczer's blog, linked above!

A GREEK DANCE PARTY with the Rembetika Hipsters
Calgary Folkdance Fridays Presents A GREEK DANCE WORKSHOP with Yvonne Hunt (Friday, October 27 to Sunday, October 29, 2006) AND A GREEK DANCE PARTY with the Rembetika Hipsters (Saturday evening, October 28, 2006) Yvonne Hunt: has been teaching Greek dances at all levels to American students since 1973 and has conducted extensive field research in Greece since 1975. She has organized and taught summer dance seminars in Greece since 1981 and has taught all over Europe. In the United States, Yvonne danced with and directed the performing group Paniyiri. She also has directed quite a few children's or young adult's groups, including Akrites, Angelakia, Asterakia, Levendia, Pravo, and Souliotes. Yvonne lived in Greece for 14 years, six of which she worked with The Society for the Dissemination of National Music as assistant to the director. She also taught at The Hellenic American Union and The Athens Center and danced briefly with the Lyceum Club of Greek Women in Athens. Yvonne has written articles for various publications, liner notes for several CDs, and published a book entitled “Traditional Dance in Greek Culture”. She has directed numerous performing groups and has appeared on many Greek television productions of traditional music and dance. Rembetika Hipsters: are a nationally-acclaimed Greek music group based in Calgary. Since 1996, their repertoire has included authentic Greek Rembetika songs, original Canadian compositions in Greek, Balkan and Middle-Eastern styles, contemporary belly-dance instrumentals and jazz-influenced bouzouki pop. Fresh from a trip to Greece in June of this year, we are delighted to have them play for our Saturday Night Greek dance party! Greek Dance Workshop (no previous experience required, beginners welcome) Friday, October 27, 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm Rosemont Community Hall, 2807 10 St. NW Saturday, October 28, 9:00 am – noon and 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm Olympia Dancesport, 517 - 16th Avenue, NE Sunday, October 29, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Olympia Dancesport, 517 - 16th Avenue, NE Greek Dance Party Saturday, October 28, 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm Olympia Dancesport, 517 - 16th Ave. NE Everyone is welcome, whether you have registered for the workshop or not. Cost: $70 for workshop and party - registration form on our website (Google Calgary Folkdance Fridays) $15 at-the-door for party only

Mark Rubin Joins the Hipsters
Austin, Tx.'s Mark Rubin(the Bad Livers, Rubinchik's Yiddishe Orkester, the Ridgetop Syncopators and many more bands) was in Calgary to play at the Festival and stuck around the area afterwards to vacation with his wife. Mark is a great musician, superb feel and nuance, who can sit in comfortably with a vast array of musical styles. He came down to Pegasus last Wednesday to check out the Hipsters and borrowed Ben's oud, which he immediately retuned to his liking and joined us for our second set. Everyone's game picked up as a consequence. Great night.

Audio Postcards of our Greece tour on CBC Radio
Alberta CBC Radio listeners will be able to hear a special "audio postcard" of the Rembetika Hipsters' recent Greece excursion. The short radio documentary will be aired on Radio 1's "The Key of A" Saturday, August 5 at 5 PM, and on Radio 2's "Our Music" Sunday, August 6 at noon. Our thanks to CBC's Frank Rackow for piecing it together from the recordings we made while travelling in Greece. Stay tuned to this website for video footage and photos from the trip.

Brigitte arrives home from Greece
Hey Mangas! Just wanted to thank you all for the wonderful time in Greece. I truly felt lucky to be surrounded by such great friends and equally such great musicians. I'm happy to have had the chance to spend special time with all of you ;) Never would I have imagined that we would be listening, eating and playing our hearts out to a very open and receptive Greek audience. I think certain people in Canada (ie. Mythos restaurant in Montreal) have a thing or two to learn about sharing their culture and being proud to see Xenoi willing to explore and celebrate their culture. Enjoy the rest of your trip Love, Brigitte

Re: About a Greek night (3 of 3)
Ben, ..I believe that rebetiko does not belong in property of anyone. Nobody has the right to prohibit or allow the use of the word rebetiko. Anyway the titles and dinstinctions were not given by the musicians. However we call that music,"rebetiko" or "laiko", or "smyrneiko" or anything else we love it, we play it with passion. So it is very impressive that a group in Canada plays rebetiko. Keep going and don't be afraid of anything. Panagiotis Kotsovilis

Re: About a Greek night (2 of 3)
Dear Panagiotis, Thank you so much for the information and for sending the photos to me! What an amazing night that was..now that I am home in Calgary, I can hardly believe it. Our trip to Greece seems to me like it was full of serendipitous events, the last night being the pinnacle for me. I feel like I was blessed with Gnosis. (Gnosis: Intuitive apprehension of spiritual truths, direct knowledge of God through awareness of the divine spark within.) I mentioned I have a Greek music Kompania in Canada, the Rembetika Hipsters. In the past I have felt badly because we are sometimes criticised by Diaspora Greeks, who feel that we do not deserve the name Rembetika. Now I can understand how they feel, as Christos Konstantinou explained to me that I don't truly know rembetika..I haven't grown up playing and feeling it all my life (and the same for the rest of our band also). But I take a great feeling of joy from what Konstantinou said to me: "You have the right attitude..this is very unusual". So I feel that we've earned the name "Rembetika Hipsters" and perhaps, as for example blues guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan (also my hero), we can take the spirit of the older masters forward into a new style for the 21st Century, in Canada and maybe around the world. Yiasas, Ben Johnson

About a Greek night (1 of 3)
Dear Ben I'm Panagiotis! Forgive me for my english. I think that your last night in Greece was the best and you were very lucky to meet these two bouzouki-players. Firstly a few words about Manolis Dimitrianakis. Manolis was born in Crete. When he was student in Law school of Athens he started to play bouzouki and to approach rebetiko. Then he met MARKOS VAMVAKARIS and becames his first student and biographer. Rebetiko lived in Greece till 1954-55. In 1967-70 when Manolis was impressed by Markos, nobody was in favour of this kind of music. The discs were lost and Marcos was poor and alone. In about 1966-1970 some students, musicians, painters, poets started to rediscover the magic of rebetiko, to find the old discs, to meet the persons who were alive and played first the rebetiko in '30, '40, '50 like Markos, George Batis, Stelios Keromitis, Stratos Payioumtzis, Dimitris Gogkos "Bayianderas". Manolis founded the first group in 1971 that played again rebetiko "unplugged", discovered rare songs and resulted in a rebirth of rebetiko. After Dimitrianakis and his group "rebetiki kompania", followed much more singers, bouzouki-players who started to play rebetiko and rebetiko becames very popular. Groups were born, Babis Goles, George Ksintaris from Skopelos and others began their careers and play till nowadays rebetiko."Rebetiki Kompania" edited 4 CDs and Manolis was his basic bouzouki-player ("bouzouktsis" in greek) . Manolis Dimitrianakis, Babis Goles, George Ksintaris, Agathonas Jakovidis (baglama-player), Dimitris Kontoyiannis (guitar-player) are nowadays the more authentic artists who play and sing rebetiko. Last year I felt very lucky as I was in group of Dimitrianakis( I played bouzouki and sang). Christos Konstantinou was born in Cyprus. Is a very popular musician, a great "bouzouktsis". He plays not only rebetiko. He has worked as a musician in group of Vassilis Tsitsanis, Giannis Papaioannou ( old rebetiko-artists) Mikis Theodorakis,George Dalaras, Stauros Ksarchakos, Giannis Marcopoulos, Iordanis Tsomidis, Loukas Daralas etc.

Pegasus Wednesdays updates
We continue to perform every Wednesday at 7 PM at Pegasus restaurant, 1101-14 St SW in Calgary, with the following exceptions coming up. We won't be there May 24th. But we will be there May 25th, Thursday, for a party, to which the public is invited. May 31st will be the last appearance before we head to Greece. There's a whole class of belly dancers coming down, so it promises to be a great night. We'll be away the month of June, but return July the 5.

Pegasus Wednesdays updates
We continue to perform every Wednesday at 7 PM at Pegasus restaurant, 1101-14 St SW in Calgary, with the following exceptions coming up. We won't be there May 24th. But we will be there May 25th, Thursday, for a party, to which the public is invited. May 31st will be the last appearance before we head to Greece. There's a whole class of belly dancers coming down, so it promises to be a great night. We'll be away the month of June, but return July the 5.

Canada Day in Downtown Black Diamond
July 1 - Canada Day - we'll be celebrating the dominion from sea to sea in beautiful downtown Black Diamond, AB at their 3rd annual Fringe Festival. We're headlining the evening mainstage. Click the link for a map to get there. There'll be a beer garden, buskers, Shakespeare in the Park, one-act plays, other great musical acts; it all starts around 1 PM.

Oli Oi Xipsteres Stin Ellada
June 8 the Rembetika Hipsters return to Greece - Athens, Syros (birthplace of Vamvakaris) and other locales for some research and relaxation. Whoo hoo! While there, they hope to meet with Lincoln's clarinet hero Petroloukas Xalkias, amongst other adventures.

Ship Jam
It's been a while since we hosted the Saturday afternoon Ship jam, but we'll be there Saturday, May 27, 2- 6 PM. Not sure who the special guest will be, but we'll be sure to bring in some of our own. The Ship and Anchor Pub, 534 17th Ave SW Calgary.

Four Years at Pegasus
This Wednesday, February 8, marks the fourth anniversary of our residency at Pegasus. It'll be the large ensemble that night, with possibly 8 or 9 Hipsterati playing round the table. 1101-14th ST SW, first set 7:15 second set 9:15ish. reservations 229-1231

Hurricane Katrina Relief Benefit
The Rembetika Hipsters are headlining a benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina Relief this Friday, December 30 at the Unitarian Church, 16th Ave. and 1 ST NW, at 7 PM. Also on the bill are Klezmerovitz and the Sadlier-Brown Band, and there'll be lots of Cajun food. Tickets are $15. Hope some of you can attend.

Happy New Year
Guess it's about time we updated this blog. All is well in the Hipsters' world. We had a great year in 2005, with the highlights being the Salmon Arm festival in August, Alberta Scene in Ottawa in May, and the CBC concert with Edmond Agopian in April. Ben and his lovely bride Maya are still in India, where Ben has been receiving instruction on the tabla, but they're back in Canada in 10 days. In his stead, we've been enjoying the talents of Malcolm Lim on percussion. Several of the past Wednesday evening sessions with Malcolm at Pegasus have been musically outstanding . We've got many people to thank for their work with the band this year, especially Kerry Clarke, the Alberta.Cow folks, Linda Tanaka, Chris White, Catherine McClelland at CBC, Edmond Agopian, Danny Patton, Malcolm Lim, Takis Papparis, Illya Pagonis, the Wednesday night regulars, Mark and Laura in Vancouver and our long-suffering spouses. 2006 is full of promise, with an impending trip to Greece and recording for the next album.



www.rembetes.com
The jouneys of a modern-day mangas are chronicled at this site. Also some useful mp3s and links "otan kapneze o loulas".

films and books
Zaf Georgilas is a Greek-Canadian writer who has just finished the first draft of a novel entitled "Inside the Labyrinth." In the novel, the Rembetika Hipsters play at the last party the protagonist attends at a nightclub called "The Labyrinth" in Vancouver. The rest of the novel is set in London and Greece........John Driftmier is a filmmaker who has just completed a short entitled "Eugene's Chair" under the auspices of EM Media in Calgary. The soundtrack features music by Nick Diochnos and the Hipsters version of Nixtose Horis Feggari.

SeaVancouver lows and highs
The SeaVancouver festival in July was a poorly conceived debacle. Dozens of performers (including us) were left high and dry when the festival went bankrupt before the weekend was over and all our cheques bounced. But on the other hand, we had a grand time regardless. We made some wonderful new friends, most importantly Laura Blumenthal and Mark Hamilton. Here's an excerpt from Mark's blog - "Friday night, I was one of about nine people in the audience when the Rembetika Hipsters played as part of the SeaVancouver festival here. The turnout (could have been the weather, or more likely the disorganization of the event) was dismal, but that didn’t stop the band from turning in a great set. Or inviting the audience to join them for dinner at a local Greek restaurant, where I had the chance to chat with Nikos, Allen, Lincoln and Ben and found out they were as nice people as they are great musicians. The evening continued with the Hipsters, and a few of us hangers-on, sitting around a table, sipping ouzo and playing and singing. If you get a chance, go see them (they are Calgary-based, but appear with some regularity across Canada). Even if you’re not a regular listener to Greek- and Balkan-influenced music, you’ll have a lot of fun." The restaurant Mark mentioned is Pasparos Taverna at 132 West 3rd in North Van. Go see proprietor Grigoris Roumanis and tell him the Hipsters sent you. Also great to see Barry Livingston, Eliana Cuevas, Gary Cristall and Nancy Lanthier. The link is to some pictures Mark took at the festival. As you might notice, we've already used one of them on our website!

Congratulations Ben and Maya
Rembetika Hipsters percussionist Ben Johnson got married to the lovely Maya Skalinska at Nakoda Lodge in Morley on June 20. It was a gorgeous day all around. Check out the photo link for the evidence.

Hipsters featured in Penguin Eggs
The new summer issue of Penguin Eggs, Canada's magazine of Folk, Roots and World Music, is available on newstands and through their website. It features a story on the band and a great review of Dinner in Polidroso. Also there is a feature on Brigitte's Montreal band Les Gitans De Sarajevo.

Salmon Arm Roots and Bluesfest Schedule
Click the link for the full schedule for the Salmon Arm Festival, where we play August 13/14. We're doing a free show downtown at 10 am on Saturday morning. Our concert is at 5 pm Saturday on Stage 1. Workshops: Saturday 1 pm Stage 3 as part of the World Blues Project. Sunday 12:50 pm Danny, Nick, Lincoln and Allen with Simon, Fabian of Horace X, 3 of Shooglenifty and 3 of Warsaw Village Band in Radio Free Europe 12:50 Malcolm and Edmond on Stage 3 No Strings Attached with 2 from Horace X, George Koller, 1 from the Shoogs and 3 from Warsaw Village 3:30 Stage 3 the whole band with Warsaw Village

Hipsters on CBC Radio
Back in April, the CBC recorded the Rembetika Hipsters in concert at the Jack Singer with special guest Edmond Agopian, violinist, conductor and professor of music at the U of C. That concert will be broadcast this Sunday, June 26 on "Our Music" with host Catherine McClelland- at 12:06 on CBC Radio 2 102.1 FM in Calgary; 90.9 FM in Edmonton; 91.7 FM in lethbridge and 99.9 FM in Red Deer. We hope you can tune in.

Hipsters at the U of C Chamber Music Festival
Hers the lineup for Monday's show with Edmond Agopian - - -----Monday, June 13, 2005 7:10 pre-concert lecture: Commemorating 50 years from the death of George Enescu 8:00 Concert Romanian and Greek folk music with Edmond Agopian and the Rembetika Hipsters Albinoni–Oboe Concerto Jongen–Aria et Polonaise Ibert–Entracte Enescu–String Octet

Party Against Pesticides
Party Against Pesticides - Second Annual Saturday, June 11, 2005: 12:00pm - 4:00pm Performances, Presentations, Food, Drink, Kids jumper, and Soccer. At New Edinborough Park (5A Street and 3 Avenue NW) in Sunnyside. Featuring: * Craig Korth and Julie Kerr * Rembetika Hipsters * Le Beau Temp ZydecoBand * Paul Millar * Kiss the Queen * Bix Burkhardt * David Swann, MLA 60 Canadian municipalities have banned cosmetic pesticides and Calgary isn’t one of them. The City of Calgary has reduced pesticide use on public space significantly in recent years. The City is working with Sunnyside residents to make New Edinborough Park, the first of only two in Calgary, a showcase for sustainability. Calgarians, on the other hand, use six times the volume of pesticides as the city, mainly due to “all-in-one” products. Come out and learn how to get your lawn off drugs as well as how to make your neighbourhood park pesticide-free. The event will also feature the unveiling of the City’s first Pesticide-Free sign. The Party Against Pesticides campaign is funded from Calgary Dollars donations from FFWD and Sunnyside Market.

SeaVancouver Festival July 8
The Rembetika Hipsters will be playing the new SeaVancouver festival on July 8th, the Maritime Point stage at Kitsalano Beach at 5:30 PM. Our guest violinist for this show will be Edmond Agopian. The Hipsters + tall ships = one verycool afternoon. Use the link to see what's all happening. See you there.

Ottawa Alberta Scene Post-Mortem
Alberta Scene was an amazing, beautifully organized event. Our show at the Library and Archives Auditorium was great fun and we were overwhelmed and humbled by the many favourable comments we received from the audience after the show. Many thanks to Chris White of the Ottawa Folk Fest, John Rutherford and Greg Curtis with Alberta Scene, the volunteer staff, George Sapounidis, Pat Moore and Chopper McKinnon from CKCU, Peter Pouris from CHIN radio Ottawa, dancing Rhoda, and the members of the Hellenic community of Ottawa who attended the show. We hope to return very soon. We saw outstanding shows by Alberta-based artists like Lorrie Matheson, Kris Demeanour, Sheri-D Wilson, Tim Williams and the Electrofires (featuring Lincoln Frey on sax!), DragonFli Empire, Los Morenos and more.

June 26 - Hipsters on CBC
The April 21 concert at the Jack Singer, featuring us paired with Edmond Agopian, is set to be aired on June 26 at noon on CBC Radio 2's Our Music hosted by Catherine McClelland. 102.1 FM Calgary 90.9 FM Edmonton 91.7 FM Lethbridge In related news, it looks like Edmond will be joining us this summer at festivals in Vancouver and Salmon Arm!

George Sapounidis
One of the most enjoyable moments for us in Ottawa was hanging out with Greek musician George Sapounidis, who until 1997 led a rebetika group called Ouzo Power. He now pursues an interest in Chinese folk music, and we got to hear a preview of his new CD, which mixes Greek and Chinese musical themes. It's excellent - the songs have understated, sparkling arrangements and the unusual fusion works spectacularly. Check out the documentary on George's musical journey that airs May 28 at 7 PM on CTV. CD:  'George from Athens to Beijing'  Produced by George Sapounidis and Jeremy Moyer, this CD consists of 16 Greek and Chinese songs and 5 dialogue exerpts from the CTV/BBC television documentary 'Chairman George'. All the songs and the dialogue voicebites are performed in Mandarin, Greek or spoken in English by Greek-Canadian musician and sinophile George Sapounidis playing guitar or Greek bouzouki. Some of the songs were recorded in Beijing and Guangzhou with Chinese backup musicians and singers. One song was recorded live on the Great Wall. Most of the songs were recorded in Ottawa with Canadian and Greek guest artists and consist of folksongs, original popsongs and Greek rembetika using a wide variety of world instruments. The recording is unique because it juxtaposes Greek and Chinese repertoire and fuses Chinese lyrics and instruments in Greek songs and Greek instruments in Chinese songs with unexpected instrumentation. The music on the CD runs the gamut stylistically from Chinese ballads and driving Greek bouzouki harmonies to rock and roll fo llowed by minimalist improvisation accompanied by real tears. The selected voicebites from the documentary tie the songs together and create a storyline and context for the listener. Release: June 15, 2005 Purchase:  Email  george_sapounidis@hotmail.com   Documentary film:  'Chairman George'   In Canada George is a methodologist.  In China George is Elvis ... He is a Greek-Canadian who lives with his mother in Ottawa. He has a PhD in mathematics and he has worked at Statistics Canada for over 20 years.  But every few months George takes an extended leave from StatsCan.  He straps on his guitar, grabs his bouzouki and heads to China where he reinvents himself as an international troubadour and musical star. Chairman George is a feature length documentary profiling Mr George Sapounidis, an average bureaucrat from Ottawa who refuses to live anything but an extraordinary life. The film follows him throughout China and on his quest to play a Greek/Chinese folksong at the Closing Ceremonies of the Athens Olympic Games. The documentary will premiere on CTV, BBC and TV2 Denmark in 2005. www.chairmangeorge.com  (after May 22) or www.being-george.com   National CTV broadcast in Canada: Saturday, May 28, 2005  7-8pm

The Hipsters in Ottawa, on the Radio
Tune in to Weekend Warmup on Ottawa's CKCU (93.1 FM) this Friday at 4:30 for some live performance and interview with Nick, Ben and Allen in anticipation of our show at the Library and Archives Auditorium on Sunday afternoon. Weekend Warmup is hosted by Pat Moore. And thanks to all the Ottawa folks who have been contacting us to say they'll be at the show.

Combo to Go a huge success
Many thanks to Catherine McLelland of CBC Calgary's Our Music for her work coordinating and presenting our concert with Edmond Agopian on April 28, to the excellent sound crew at the Jack Singer and with the CBC, to the enthusiastic packed house, and to Edmond for introducing us to the Romanian rhythms of horas and doinas and for playing so brilliantly on our songs. Catherine expects the concert will be first broadcast on her Sunday afternoon radio show sometime in June, so we'll keep you posted. And this undoubtedly will lead to future collaborations between us and Edmond.

The Passing of Bithikotsis
As our friend Katerina Pizanias says, he was a true mangas. Grigoris Bithikotsis died on April 7 at the age of 82. We are preparing our version of "Sto Perigiali (Arnisi)" in his honour.

Ottawa - Alberta Scene Event details
Click the link to order tickets for the May 8 show in Ottawa. They're only $10 each.

Combo to Go with Edmund Agopian
Last Wednesday at Pegasus we began rehearsals with Edmund Agopian for the CBC Radio 2 "Combo to Go" show with Edmund Agopian, which happens in the Jack Singer lobby at noon on April 21. Also hanging out and contributing to the rembetika orchestra on Wed was Malcolm Lim (http://www.banffcentre.ca/programs/program.aspx?id=62&facId=96&p=member) on percussion. It was pretty cool, folks.

Chris Blackmore's rebetiko pages
UK-based rembetika fan Chris Blackmore has an excellent and highly informative site devoted to our favourite music- click the link - including some very flattering pages dedicated to our two CDS. Check it out!

Cafe Sarajevo gig and others
Upcoming Gigs! Perhaps our webmaster will just cut and paste this info into our gigs page someday soon. Thursday, February 24: Montreal: Folk Alliance conference - Hyatt Hotel (Ste. Catherine et Jeanne-mance) Albertadotcow showcase, room 1108, 9:30 PM. Friday, February 25: Montreal: Cafe Sarajevo, 2080 Clark St Montreal, QC H2X 2R7 Phone: (514) 284-5629 - one of our favourite places to play - check out the link above. Saturday night, Feb. 26: Folk Alliance conference, Montreal: Hyatt hotel, Performance alley showcase, 1:30-2:00 AM April 21, Calgary: Jack Singer lobby, Centre for the performing Arts: CBC Combo to go taping with noted violinist Edmund Agopian. May 8, Ottawa, Ont: Library and Archives auditorium, National Arts Centre, 2 PM. Support act is Maria Millar (www.mariamillar.com). Our first Ottawa area show in almost three years! August 13-14: Salmon Arm Roots and Blues festival, Salmon Arm, BC. August 15-21: BC tour, details to follow. And, of course, every Wednesday at Pegasus!

Hipsters in Montreal
The Alberta.Cow showcase at Folk Alliance 2005 will take place in rooms 1108 in the host hotel - Hyatt Regency Montréal.  (Ste. Catherine and jeanne-Mance)  We will also have a venue on the Folk Alliance "Performance Alley" on Saturday February 26th, in Grand Salon A, in the Hyatt Regency And visit our Exhibit Hall booth, #722!                          We'll also be at Cafe Sarajevo on Clark on Friday night, Feb. 25

Combo to Go with Edmund Agopian
The Hipsters will be teaming with noted Calgary violin virtuoso Edmund Agopian for a lunchtime concert in the Lobby of the Jack Singer concert hall April 21. It will be recorded for the CBC radio 2 show Our Music hosted by Catherine McClelland as part of their Combo to Go series.

Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival
We'll be appearing at the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival this August 13th and 14th. Finally, a show for our fans in the BC interior. More info soon.

CJSW 20th anniversary
CJSW-FM, the University of Calgary radio station where Nick and Allen first met a quarter century ago, is celebrating its 20th anniversary on the FM dial this week. As part of the festivities, former DJs are returning to recreate their on-air mistakes one more time, incuding Nick with Cafe Pissoire (Sunday, Jan 16 at 5 PM MST) and Allen with Boot Heel Drag (Tuesday, Jan 18 at 7:30 PM MST). Tune in, and heckle them just like old times at (403)220-3991.

The 2004 Porcupine Awards
Hey, The Dinner in Polidroso CD won a Porcupine Award for "Musique Du Monde". Click the link for more info.

http://www.albertadotcow.com/
Alberta.Cow is a private showcase of Alberta musicians at the 2005 International Folk Alliance Conference in Montreal, organized by a hard-working volunteer collective of promoters and producers from Alberta folk and roots festivals, clubs and media. In February 2001 Alberta.Cow presented a very popular showcase at the International Folk Alliance Conference in Vancouver. Over a dozen acts were highlighted, and many of these individuals and groups went on to play various festivals and venues across North America as a result of the showcase. The next Canadian city to host the Folk Alliance Conference is Montreal, February 24-27, 2005. Alberta.Cow will again be presenting a showcase of some of Alberta's finest folk and roots artists. From traditional folk to country, Celtic to blues, world beat to alt.oldtimey, and even some acts that defy categories, Albertadotcow will send some of Alberta's top musical talent to Folk Alliance in Montreal. Showcases will take place in rooms 1002-1004 Thursday February 24 through Saturday February 26, in the host hotel, the Hyatt Regency. Alberta.Cow artists will also be featured on the Folk Alliance Performance Alley, Saturday February 26, in the Hyatt Regency's. Grand Salon A. Over a three day period, we are proud to present:  AA Soundsystem, Karla Anderson, Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir, Bill Bourne with Eivor Palsdottir, Kris Demeanor, Maria Dunn, John Wort Hannam, Dave McCann, The McDades, Rembetika Hipsters, Wendy McNeil, No Guff, Mike Stack and Tim Williams. To raise money to help send our Alberta.Cow showcase artists to the 17th Annual Folk Alliance in Montreal, we'll be holding "Alberta.Cow Barnburner" fundraisers in both Calgary and Edmonton.Our 2001 Calgary "Rootsraiser" dance party sold-out, so stay tuned for more information, as tickets will likely go fast! Saturday January 29, 2005 - Calgary - Victoria Park Community Hall - 1302 6 street SE Doors 7 pm, music and dancing 8 pm. Tickets: Megatunes, Campus Ticket Centre, $15 advance, $20 door   WITH (in no particular order) Maria Dunn Mike Stack Dave McCAnn No Guff John Wort Hannam Rembetika Hipsters Bill Bourne

The Arts Jam
6th Annual Amnesty International ArtsJam for Human Rights Saturday, January 8th at the Pumphouse Theatres -- Doors open at 6.30 pm  with rush seating; show starts at 7.30 pm. Admission is by donation.  The Rembetika Hipsters are headlining the eclectic line-up, which also features the Buccaneers, Megan Emmett, Dingi Dingi Sudanese Children's Dance Group, Tibetan Dancers, Richard Harrison, Sharron Proulx-Turner and words from Sudanese refugee Natalina Yoll.   For more information call 239-4245.

The Rosa Eskenazi Homepage
We cover a number of Rosa Eskenazi's songs - Horepse Mou Tsifteteli, Giati Thes Na M'afisis, Dimitroula Mou among them - and here's a great site about the great Rembetissa.

Folk Alliance
We will be performing at Folk Alliance in Montreal, February 24-27 as part of a showcase of Alberta artists. Others making the trip from Calgary include Kris Demeanor, Mike Stack, Tim Williams and the Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir. Last night was night one of the Christmas parties at a packed to the rafters Pegasus. Brigitte, in from Montreal, wasn't up for playing too much violin because of her RSI, so instead she debuted her vocal talents borne out of months of hardcore operatic training. Yow! Also impressing the partygoers was Ben on the santur. Chantal Vitalis guested on guitar on My Serpentine Road. Tonight is part two, with guests Ron Casat, Bob Keelaghan and John Hyde.

Pegasus 11/24/04
It was great to see Ali Mehraban, who played santur on the "Dinner" album, down at Pegasus tonight. He's back in town from Tehran for a short spell. Next Wednesday, December 1, Pegasus is booked for a private party, so there's a rare week off for the band. In other news, we've been confirmed for the Alberta Scene festival in Ottawa April 28 - May 5. Further details as we get them.- Allen

Is this thing on?
Beautiful job on the website, Ben. Just confirmed Bob Keelaghan from the Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir as one of the guests for the Christmas party.

Diaspora of Rembetiko
A press release from German label Network Medien GmbH about an upcoming project we're part of. Allen The Diaspora of Rembetiko  2CD cat.-no. 27.418      After years of research, a dream has at last come true: the world's first major anthology of Rembetiko - the “Greek Blues”. Presenting 31 ensembles from 13 countries, the album showcases the leading representatives of Rembetiko in its many forms throughout the world and traces its development over the years. Rembetiko emerged in the early 1920s in the port cities of Piraeus and Thessaloniki where hundreds of thousands of Greek refugees arrived from Asia Minor. They brought with them their own lifestyle and their oriental music. In the taverns, or tekedes, they smoked hash, made music, and dressed in a distinctive way. It was a subculture that went against the grain. Banned under various dictatorships and later ideologically rejected, Rembetiko still survived in various forms, eventually becoming an integral part of Greek identity. From Greece, Rembetiko spread among the immigrant communities of North America, Australia and Western Europe. This musical journey through the world of Rembetiko presents the best groups, including Apodimi Compania from Australia, Prosechos, Salto Orientale and Zotos Kompania from Germany, Kudsi Ergüner and Melihat Gülses from Turkey, Diamanda Galas and the Projekt Café Aman Amerika from the USA, Taximi from Sweden, Palio-Paréa from Holland, The Rembetika Hipsters from Canada and such icons of recent Greek musical history as Mikis Theodorakis, Dionyssis Savopoulos, Nikos Xydakis, Niki Tramba and Ross Daly at the Café Aman and Stavros Xarchakos with music from the legendary film „Rembetiko“.  Double CD, 33 tracks, 9 of which are released for the first time on this anthology or taken from no longer available productions. Almost two and a half hours playing time. Lavishly illustrated booklet with informative introductory text and translations of the song lyrics.  Network Medien GmbH  Merianplatz 10  60316 Frankfurt  Tel: ++ 49 (0)69 / 499 00 40  Fax: 499 00 97  email: info@networkmedien.de   www.networkmedien.de

Home of the Rembetika Hipsters
Hi, Welcome to the Rembetika Hipsters' 'blog. We post links to music sites and mp3s - particularly rembetika music, yet also news and general world music.