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TOP 100 BEST GREEK SITES

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Last Updated: 1/5/2014
Visitors since 1998: Counter Thingy...
Site Author/Photos: John Pappas
Everything © copyright 1998-2016

Recordings

The KALAKOS band (Koumbania Kalakos) is located in Stockton, CA, and includes Yiannis Pappayiorgas (John Pappas) and family members Paula and Stathis. They perform with two other family members as T'ADELPHIA, a Greek folk band you can hire to play for your events.

The musicians on these particular recordings are:

There are four recordings available in CD, cassette (cassette supplies are limited), and MP3 formats; click on the jumplinks below to view the contents and to sample some excerpts in .mp3 format:

Vol. 1 Greek Folk Dances

Greek Folk Dances 1

Vol. 2 Greek Folk Dances

Greek Folk Dances 2

Vol. 3 Greek Folk Dances

Greek Folk Dances 3

Vol. 4 Lost Recordings Greek Dances

The Lost Recordings

Ordering Information

You may order the recordings from me (all CDs and limited supply of cassettes only), from CDBaby.com (CDs and mp3 downloads), or from iTunes (mp3 downloads only). Our new Volume 4 - "Lost Recordings" - is also now available. Here are the direct links to my albums at both services:

Ordering CDs Through Me:

Ordering Cassettes Through Me:

Payment

You can pay online with Paypal, or send a check or money order to us (Paypal is the quickest method; we ship as soon as receive payment). To order, or for more information, email John at OArkas@aol.com or write him at:

John Pappas
P.O. Box 693711
Stockton, CA 95209-3711

The Recordings Themselves

To hear samples in .mp3 format, click on the little arrow icons next to the song titles.

Elliniki Hori 1 - Greek Dances 1 by John Pappas

This collection of authentic Greek folk dance music includes dances from mainland Greece including Peloponnisos, Roumeli, Epiros, Macedonia, and Thrace. The instrumentation consists of the klarino (Greek Albert system clarinet in C), violin, lavouto (Greek lute), kithara (guitar), defi (hand drum), and the santouri(Greek hammered dulcimer).

  1. SOU EIPA MANNA M - From Kynouria in Arcadia, Peloponnisos - This dance, Tsakonikos, is said to be of ancient origin. Its movements are reminiscent of the "Crane" dance or "Yeranos" done by Theseus in the legend of the labyrinth of the Minotaur. The song is in the ancient 5/4 meter. A girl sings to her mother, "I told you Manna, don't marry me to an old man..."

  2. HORTARAKIA - Syrtos from Arcadia, Peloponnisos - This song is a Pan-Hellenic Syrtos. The older, two part Syrtos Botaitikos from Botia (Palaiopyrgos) can also be done to this music. This older form of the dance that I learned from my great uncle, Thodoris Pappayiorgas, features men and women in two separate lines, the men behind the women. They merge into one line of mixed men and women and then back to the two lines, using the ancient chain hold that can be seen on ancient Greek vase paintings. The song tells of a young man meeting an old man and asking, "Where are the greens of the meadow, the water from the well?"

  3. ENAS LEVENDIS HOREVE - Tsamikos - This is a Tsamikos dance song in 3/4 or 6/4 meter. The Tsamikos is the manly dance which was done by the Greek Kleftes or freedom fighters; it is now one of the Pan-Hellenic dances popular all over Greece. The song is about a young "levendis" or brave, manly youth who was dancing on the marble threshing floor. A girl who admires him asks, "Where were you yesterday evening?" He answers,"...at my mother's, at my sister's, but tonight I'll be in your embrace."

  4. ELLINOPOULES EMORFES - Kalamatianos - This is the Pan-Hellenic dance in 7/8 meter. This song is about the qualities of the "beautiful Greek girls" of the different areas of Greece. It concludes, "From the foreign lands they come, they all want Ellinopoules."

  5. SYRTOS KOFTOS - Syrtos - This Syrtos melody is unusual because of the "cut" or "koftos" in the melody. The dancers stop with the koftos each time. This was very popular in many areas of mainland Greece, including Peloponnisos and Epiros.

  6. AND' AMAN PALIKARI - Tapeinos dance from Soufli, Thrace - This song tells the story of a twelve year old Greek boy taken by the Turks to be a janisary. The line dance is quiet and done softly, thus the name Tapeinos.

  7. YIATROS - Pogonisios, Sta Dyo, from Epiros - This song is from Epiros and is particularly popular in Pogoni. The dance, (Pogonisios, Sta Dyo, or simply Yiatros), is a two measure form of the Syrtos. The song is about a girl who tells her mother, "I'm sick; send for the doctor (yiatros), the young, handsome one..."

  8. BERATIS - Epiros - Beratis is a beautiful, slow, heavy, men's dance from Epiros in 8/4 meter. It is named for the old Greek city of Berati, now part of southern Albania.

  9. KLEFTES - Epiros - This dance, like the Beratis, is similar in feeling to the Tsamikos. The meter is also a variant of the Tsamikos. The song tells of the gathering of the young Kleftes (freedom fighters) and their captain dancing the Kleftes dance.

  10. LEVENDIKOS - Macedonia - This dance from Macedonia is named for the Greek quality of "levendia." The dance is for those who have this quality, like the brave, handsome young man in the song "Enas Levendis Horeve." The meter is a very interesting 7/8 and 5/8 combination.

  11. TO ENDEKA - Andikrystos, from Macedonia - This melody is very popular in Macedonia. The dance is the Andikrystos (Karsilamas) which means "face to face" and is a couple dance in 9/8 meter.

Elliniki Hori 2 - Greek Dances 2 by John Pappas

This collection of traditional Greek folk music includes songs and dances from central and southern mainland Greece, Crete, and the seaport taverns. It has examples of the most popular dances done by the Greeks with the typical bouzouki band consisting of one or two bouzoukis, a baglamas, a guitar, defi, and sometimes the violin and klarino. This instrumentation is typically used in the tavernas and nightclubs of the cities.

  1. PSAROPOULA - KAPETAN ANDREAS ZEPPOS - NINA NAI - Syrtos medley - This is a medley of three very popular Syrtos dance tunes. All three are popular in the "taverna" style repertoire. Psaropoula (about a fishing boat and its sailors going out for coral and pearls), and Zeppos (about the fishing boat captain who is the best), are both very popular with Greek islanders. In Nina Nai, which is in a similar style, the man tells his girl, "We only live once; we must enjoy life a little..."

  2. ENA SAVVATO VRADY - Kalamatianos - This Kalamatianos dance tune (in 7/8 meter) is more in the village style. It features the klarino (Greek Albert system clarinet in C). It is about a young man who tells his girl friend Maria, "Po po po, Maria, I love you." "One Saturday evening I decided to marry you. I'll bring musicians so we can dance..."

  3. NOSTIMI MELAHRINI MOU - Syrtos - "My Beautiful Dark Girl" This Syrtos is a taverna style dance song. The introductory improvisation on the bouzouki sets the mode for this evocative, yet exciting, love song. "I want to have you with me always..."

  4. SAMIOTISSA - GERAKINA - SE EIDA NA KLADEVEIS - Kalamatianos medley - Three popular Kalamatianos (7/8 meter) dance tunes are put together in this medley. Samiotissa is about a man wooing a beautiful "Woman of Samos." Gerakina is the story of a girl who accidently falls in the well while going for water. The young man says, "Gerakina, I'll pull you out, and I'll make you my wife..." The third song is another love song: "I saw you when you were pruning the rose, and I held the ladder so you could go higher..."

  5. PAPALABRAINA - Tsamikos - A popular village song, this Tsamikos dance tune features the typical village folk orchestra with the klarino, the violin, two lavouta (lutes), and the defi (hand drum). It is about the people of the village gathering in the priest's yard. "Is the priest ill? Has Papalabraina (his wife) died?"

  6. TA MAVRA ROUHA - Syrtos Haniotikos - The popular Syrtos Haniotikos dance is danced to this song from the island of Crete. "The black clothes (of mourning) are as heavy as iron..."

  7. HASAPIKOS TOU BAGLAMA - Argos Hasapikos (Slow Hasapikos) - This bright Argos Hasapikos (Slow Hasapikos) is our own creation in the traditional style. It features the sounds of the tiny bouzouki, the baglamas, with its insistent plinking throughout played by 13 year old Stathis.

  8. TO KALITERO PAIDI - Argos Hasapikos - Another Argos Hasapikos, this minor-keyed song says, "No matter what they say or do, they can't change my mind to make me leave you..."

  9. MI MOU LES YIATI XEHNAO - Medium tempo Hasapikos - This is a medium tempo Hasapikos. A man's girlfriend has left him for another. He says, "I'm not sorry for you; I'll make my heart a rock, like a mountain."

  10. KALIOPITSA - Medium-to-fast tempo Hasapikos - Another medium-to-fast tempo Hasapikos dance, this melody was written by Yiannis for his daughter, Kaliopi, when she was a baby. At sixteen, she played the violin with him on this recording. The faster part at the end is a very old folk melody.

  11. YIA KYTTA KOSME - Karsilamas (Aidiniko or Andikrystos) - This is a Karsilamas (Aidiniko or Andikrystos), a couple dance in 9/8 meter which is popular in the seaport tavernas. The singer says,"Look! I've never seen such a girl!"

  12. TO VOUNO - Heavy zeibekikos (slow 9/8 meter) - "The Mountain" is a very heavy zeibekikos (slow 9/8 meter) dance song. The dance is usually done by a man, alone on the dance floor. "I'll climb the highest mountain, and I'll sing; in the wilderness, with the playing of my bouzouki, my sorrow will be heard..."

Elliniki Hori 3 - Greek Dances 3 by John Pappas

This collection of traditional Greek folk music includes songs and dances from Epiros, Thrace, and Thessaly in mainland Greece, from the islands of Rhodes, Skyros, and Ikaria in the Aegean Sea, and from the island of Lefkada in the Ionian Sea. The typical folk orchestra of the mainland includes the klarino (Greek Albert system clarinet), the violi (violin), the lavouto (Greek lute), the defi (Greek hand drum like the tambourine), and sometimes the sandouri (a Greek hammered dulcimer). The typical island folk orchestra usually includes the violi and the lavouto, and sometimes the sandouri. In Thrace and some of the Aegean islands they often include the toumbeleki, a hand drum.

  1. SOUSTA RODOU - Sousta from Rhodes - The Sousta is a springy dance popular in the Dodecanese islands. The instrumentation includes the violi, sandouri, and lavouto. The dance often starts with less energy and then builds to a fast, exciting pitch.

  2. LEFKADITIKOS - from Lefkada - This dance is from the island of Lefkada, which is on the western side of Greece. It is a double dance in that two different dance steps are done to two different melodies and meters. The first part is a slow 4/4 meter, while the second part is a fast 7/8 meter.

  3. OTAN VAZEIS TO PAPAZI - Syrtos from Skyros - "When You Wear the Papazi" This Syrtos dance is from the island of Skyros. The singer is telling a woman how beautiful she is when she puts on her cap with the golden tassel. He says, "The sky trembles and will fall with the stars together."

  4. IKARIOTIKOS - Ikaria - The 'Kariotikos is the most popular dance on the island of Ikaria. The song is about going back to Ikaria and dancing and celebrating. In particular, the singer sings about his koubari, Stefanis and Maria, and celebrating in the town of Xylosyrti.

  5. VASILEPSE AVGERINOS - Thracian dance - This Thracian dance is similar to the Pan Hellenic Syrtos or Kalamatianos, but it is in 9/8 or 9/16 meter. It is sometimes called Syngathistos.

  6. DO STA LIANOHORTAROUDA - Zonaradikos from Thrace - The song is about the Zonaradikos dance. "What a large circle the dance makes; it moves like a chain." Zonaradikos refers to the handhold in which the dancer holds the sashes or belts (zonaria) of the dancers on either side of him.

  7. O MENOUSIS - Epiros - This song from Epiros is about Menousis, who in a drunken fit of anger kills his wife and then regrets it. In the morning, sober, he grieves: "Rise my duckling, my goose, my partridge, and join the dance so I can admire you."

  8. PENDE PALIKARIA - Sta Tria - This is a Sta Tria, a popular dance in mainland Greece. "There were five young men and six girls. An old man there was to divide them up, and the old man got the beautiful one. Health and joy to you, Yero!"

  9. FYSOUNI - Epiros - This is a fast tempo dance in 9/16 meter from Epiros. The name of the dance, fysouni, refers to a bellows.

  10. O KOSTANDAS - Zagorisios from Epiros - The Zagorisios is a men's dance in 5/4 meter from the Zagori villages in Epiros. The song is about Kostandas, who has been looking for a beautiful girl. "May you find a tall, beautiful-browed girl, Kosta."

  11. KARAGOUNA - Thessaly - Karagouna is a popular dance from Thessaly. The inhabitants are called Karagounides. There are many popular songs for the dance, and many are about a Karagouna girl. "When you marry, what wonderful things you'll see. You'll kiss, you'll embrace, and then you will become bored!"

The Lost Recordings - Archival recordings by John Pappas and His Bands

This collection of vintage archive recordings tracks the history of John's music through the 1960s and 1970s. Most were originally released as 45 rpm singles, with one song on each side. These are digitalized from used, very worn, actual records, so the hisses, pops, and scratches are all there. Original recording techniques were primitive, so the sound quality is not as high as today's modern studio recordings. Many songs were recorded for the purpose of teaching folk dance, so this collection includes dance tunes from several areas of Greece. Song 1 was recorded live by John and his brother Jim as teenagers, in the basement of their San Francisco home.

  1. Ena Mikro Vlahopoulo - Syrtos – John Pappas, klarino; James Pappas, lavouto. 1967

  2. Na ‘San Ta Neiata Dyo Fores -Tsamikos– John’s band, Meraklides; John Pappas, klarino; John Reckas, violi, James Pappas, lavouto; Nick Garris, guitar; Paula Pappas, defi. 1969

  3. Pos To Trivoun To Piperi – Syrtos Sta Tria – John’s band, T’Adelphia; John Pappas, klarino, vocal; Jim Pappas, lavouto; George Doukas, guitar; Paula Pappas, defi. 1973

  4. Yiorgis O Marathianos – Diplos Horos; Kalamatianos / Tsamikos - John’s band, T’Adelphia; John Pappas, klarino, vocal; Jim Pappas, lavouto; Paula Pappas, defi. 1972

  5. Hiotikos - Syrtos – John’s band, T’Adelphia; John Pappas, klarino; Jim Pappas, lavouto; Paula Pappas, defi. 1972

  6. Ikariotikos – Ikaria - John’s band, T’Adelphia; Stathis Pappas, violi; John Pappas, lavouto; Jim Pappas, lavouto; Paula Pappas, defi. 1972 [note: Original recording did not have violi. Stathi was not born yet!]

  7. Len Irthi Ma’i’s - Soufli, Thraki - John’s band, T’Adelphia; John Pappas, klarino; Jim Pappas, lavouto; Paula Pappas, defi. 1972

  8. Tripotis (Podaraki) - John’s band, T’Adelphia; John Pappas, klarino, vocal; Jim Pappas, lavouto; George Doukas, guitar; Paula Pappas, defi. 1973

  9. Miteritsa - Pontiakos – John Pappas, Pontiaki lyra, vocal; Paula Pappas, defi, vocal; Perry Phillips, vocal; Group of dancers dancing during recording. 1973

  10. Horos Tou Sakena/San M’Axiosei O Theos – Argos Hasapikos – John’s band, T’Adelphia; John Pappas, bouzouki, vocal; Jim Pappas, guitar; George Doukas, guitar; Paula Pappas, defi. 1973

  11. Yiannakis – Argos Hasapikos – Created by John Pappas and played for the movie “Alex and the Gypsy.” John’s band, T’Adelphia; John Pappas, bouzouki, vocal; Jim Pappas, guitar; George Doukas, guitar; Paula Pappas, defi. 1975

  12. Kaliopitsa - Hasaposervikos- Created by John Pappas and played for the movie “Alex and the Gypsy.” John’s band, T’Adelphia; John Pappas, bouzouki, vocal; Jim Pappas, guitar; George Doukas, guitar; Paula Pappas, defi. 1975

  13. O Ilios – Tsamikos – Played in the movie “Alex and the Gypsy.” John’s band, T’Adelphia; John Pappas, klarino; Jim Pappas, lavouto; George Doukas, guitar; Paula Pappas, defi. 1975

  14. Apopse Den Koimithika – Tsamikos – Played in the movie, “Alex and the Gypsy.” This recording features the famous singer and good friend, Athanasios Evgenikos. John’s band, T’Adelphia; John Pappas, klarino; Jim Pappas, lavouto; George Doukas, guitar; Paula Pappas, defi. 1975

  15. Pano Se Psili Rahoula - Syrtos - Played in the movie, “Alex and the Gypsy.” This recording features the famous singer and good friend, Athanasios Evgenikos. John’s band, T’Adelphia; John Pappas, klarino; Jim Pappas, lavouto; George Doukas, guitar; Paula Pappas, defi. 1975

This page was last updated on 2/27/2011.

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