Rebetika: Music: Food: Art: Nature: ANZAC
Con Kalamaras is nothing short of obsessed with all things Rebetika.
Exposed to this music from a young age, Con has immersed himself in this music, and has become an active musician in Melbourne playing in various Rebetika ensembles, and programming specialist Rebetika nights all over Melbourne and interstate, as well creative direction of the inaugural Rebetiko Festival at Melbourne's Caravan Club.
Con is a Melbourne based Greek-Australian who was first introduced to Rebetika at the age of 10 and has had an infinity with it ever since. An established musician in other contemporary ensembles, he’s been fortunate to play at many large festivals including Port Fairy Folk Festival (presented by the Music Deli), Multicultural Arts Victoria Emerge sessions, Darwin Festival, Sydney Festival to name a few.
With the Melbourne Rebetiko Ensemble , Con has curated and performed in many high profile Rebetika concerts at Melbourne's Caravan Club in Oakleigh, and Kew Court House in Kew, presenting the works of renowned Rebetika artists Vasillis Tsitsanis, Soteris Bellou, Yiannis Papaiannou, Giorgos Mitsakis, Marika Ninou, to name a few, with the aim of expanding the Greek and Australian audiences and celebrating the purist form of the genre.
Con was extremely fortunate to be invited to play with notable Greek Rebetiko musician Agathonas Iakovidis on his last Australian Tour and has presented Rebetiko specials on RRR 102.7 FM and also PBS FM 106.7. In 2014 he released his debut Rebetiko album, featuring works from the 1930's and 1940's. The album was launched to a capacity crowd at Melbourne's Open Studio, and, after selling out its first pressing of 500 copies and garnering interest from the wider community, has since been invited to play at Folk Rhythm and Life Festival, Liquid Architectures Performance spaces and provided music for film scores.
Together with Passport Travel this tour will enable Con Kalamaras to share his passion and knowledge with an intimate tour group to where it all began.
Behind the Scenes
Back in Melbourne: Brent McCunn, from Passport Travel has been an amateur musician since his student days. Weaned on classic 70’s and 60’ rock and blues he has moved his acoustic pleasure to encompass all genres, EXCEPT electronic!!! Most recently he played in a Blues Band which dabbled with light jazz and soul. The genre that has become his favourite is world music and thus the path led to Rebetika. Although, his time exploring Greece started in the late 70’s and a time spent jamming with a legend of Turkish Folk Rock in London shows that his ears were attuned at an early stage.
Dancing on Skiathos
On Crete: Costas, our specialist guide for the island of Crete. Born and breed on Crete he is an expert on the mountain trails, ANZAC and Paddy Leigh Fermor history in addition to the other extensive history Crete offers forth.. Costas is the former curator of the Historical Museum of Crete. He also has the largest collection of memorabilia related to the WW2 period and this is on loan (and displayed) to the Historical Museum. In addition, he is acting as our liaison person for the local music scene.
We have noted copies of our personally designed tours appearing elsewhere, yes copying is the highest accolade - but....