16. Is Zorba More Greek Than Greek Music?: How Greek Music is Perceived and Reproduced beyond Greece’s Borders



1. “Zorba’s Dance”

From: Zorba the Greek, Mikis Theodorakis, 1964.


Zorba soundtrack (original). Zorba’s dance: EMI MINOS 14C 0 70221245 (Greece)
(Also 20thCentury Fox Records S4167, 1966).




The two bouzouki-players are the famous combination of Kostas Papadopoulos and Lakis Karnezis.


2. Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, “Zorba’s Dance”, 1964

From: The Very Best of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass (POL 899) .



First recorded by the famous trumpeter, Herb Alpert in 1965. A number of reissues and you-tube videos were made subsequently.


3. Γιώργος Μπάτης, “Ο φυλακιες του ΄Ορωπου”, 1934

3. Yorgos Batis, “O filakies tou Oropou” (Oropos Jail), 1934

From: Sex, Drugs, and Rebetiko. No CD of the group exists but they can be listened to performing the old rebetiko song here



An interesting combination of tradition and innovation, with breathy, meandering voiceof the group’s leader, Nikos Trivulidis, and a variety of instruments, including cello and clarinet played by French musicians.


4. Vinicio Capossela, “Rebetiko mou” (My Rebetiko), 2012

From: Rebetiko Gymnastas. Capossela.


Lyrics: an English translation of the lyrics is included in the Coda of this volume.



On this album, Capossela, who uses varied ensembles to perform his music, employs a combination of Italian and Greek musicians: Dino Hatziyiordanou and Vassilis Massalas, baglama and voice, Manolis Pappas, bouzouki and voice, Glauco Zuppirolo, double bass, Sokratis Yiannaris, percussion, Alessandri Stefana and Marc Ribot, electric guitars, Ricardo Pereira, Portuguese guitar, Mauro Pagani, violin, Laiti Dali, voice, with himself on piano and voice.


5. Νίκος Ρουμπάνης?, “Μισιρλού”, 1927?

5. Nicholas Roubanis?, “Misirlou”, 1927?

This Columbia disc seems to be issue of the original 1927 recording Ted (also Tetos) Demitriades, who was the first to record the song, at least in Greek.


The attribution of the composition to Roubanis, is dubious. The tune seems to have been known throughout the Middle East and is probably not Greek.




The title of the song, “Misirlou” is a hellenization of Misirli, Turkish for “Egyptian girl.” The Greek version is about a forbidden love between a Christian and an Egyptian girl. The tune may be Egyptian in origin and has different lyrics in Arabic versions.


6. Dick Dale and the Del-tones, “Misirlou”, 1963




Considered one of the first (if not the first) surf bands, the group was fronted by guitarist/vocalist DickDale. Formed in the late ’50s, the group was extremely popular in California
The tune was recorded by many groups including the Beach Boys and used as part of the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 film Pulp Fiction (MCA Records ‎– 881130432).


7. “EinayimSheli” (also transliterated as Einaim Sheli) “These eyes of mine.”

From: Einayim Sheli, Yehuda Poliker, 1988.





8. Yehuda Poliker, “Koldavarmazlir li” (Everything Reminds Me), 2011

Title song of the album KoldavarMazlir Li.





Yehuda Poliker was already famous as the lead singer of the Israeli rock band Benzeen, when he began making independent recordings and including Greek songs he knew from his father, Jacko, a Jewish-Greek survivor of Auschwitz. The success of his versions of rebetika songs and his own compositions in rebetika songs in the 1980’s led to collaboration with Greek artists like Haris Alexiou, who sings the title song in a Greek version on this disc.


9. “Matia Mou” (My Eyes), Also called “San pas staxena” (When you go abroad), Traditional, Asia Minor, En Chordais, Kyriakos Kalaitzidis director, Drosos Koutsokostas vocals, 2008

From: Music of Asia Minor and Constantinople (Prix France Musique des musiques du monde, 2008).




Other albums by the group feature a wide variety of international artists and instruments. See Around the World Part 1, The Musical Voyages of Marco Polo.
The core group, based in Thessaloniki, consists of Kyriakos Kalaitzidis – oud, Artistic Director, Kyriakos Petras – violin, DrososKoutsokostas – voice, AlkisZopoglou – kanun, Petros Papageorgiou– percussion.