Eleftheria Arvanitaki – A Unique Folk/Ethnic Singer of International Recognition

Eleftheria ArvanitakiEleftheria Arvanitaki is one of the best folk singers in Greece, a fact proved by her ever-rising popularity, as well as her 30-year and ongoing illustrious career, both here and abroad. Her work incorporates elements of traditional, folk and pop Greek music, while the unique crystal-like clarity of her voice makes her a hugely popular figure in the Greek music scene.

Born and raised in Piraeus, on October 16, 1957, Arvanitaki first rose to fame as part of the rebetico and folk music band, “Opisthodromiki Kompania” (“Retrograde Company”), in the late 70s and early 80s. She broke away from the band and started a successful solo career in 1984, with her first album, “Eleftheria Arvanitaki”.

For more than 30 years, Arvanitaki has collaborated with the most prominent song writers and composers of the domestic music scene, while her songs range from haunting ballads to intriguing pieces to upbeat folk oldies.

Arvanitaki’s international career practically began in 1997, when she appeared on the Folk Roots magazine cover. The following year, she performed in three successive events of WOMAD festival – the greatest ethnic world festival, inspired by Peter Gabriel – in Redding, England, Lisbon, Portugal and Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.

In August 2004, she participated, along with other celebrated artists, in the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games, held in Athens, Greece.

In 2006 she took part in the Christmas concert “Frostroses” in Reykjavik, Iceland as a part of a group of singers named “European Divas”. The other “divas” were Sissel Kyrkjebø (Norway), Eivør Pálsdóttir (Faroe Islands), Petula Clark (UK), Ragga Gisla (Iceland) and Patricia Bardon (Ireland).

Ms. Arvanitaki trades some of the rawness of traditional styles for the refinement and variety of pop. She’s a soprano who merges sweetness with fervor, clarity and delicacy with a sense of sorrow and melancholy resolve. To an American listener, she could sound at times like Judy Collins infused with the modes and meters of Greek music. The New York Times, following Arvanitaki's 2014 concert at Carnegie Hall, in New York

Eleftheria Arvanitaki – A Unique Folk/Ethnic Singer of International Recognition
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