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The Jewish Women of Rebetika, Glen Echo, MD, 19 November 2011

Saturday, November 19th 8pm


Glen Echo Town Hall
6106 Harvard Avenue
Glen Echo, Maryland

Songs and Life Stories of Legendary Greek Singers Roza Eskenazi, Amalia Baka, Stella Haskil, and Victoria Hazan


Carol Freeman - Vocals
Beth Bahia Cohen - Violin
Haig Manoukian - Oud

Sponsored by the Folklore Society of Greater Washington

Tickets: Free for FSGW members, all others $25
www.fsgw.org, 301-717-4641
Reservations strongly recommended

NOTE: There will be a participatory workshop the following afternoon, on Sunday, November 20th. More details will be posted when available.


Within the provocative world of the early twentieth century urban Greek Café Amans, where flamboyant characters sang about desperate love, life and death, and the seedy side of life, there were a surprising number of celebrated Greek Jewish female vocalists. Included among them were Roza Eskenazi, one of the most renowned Greek singers of all time, and Stella Haskil, who sang together with legendary performers such as Vasilis Tsitsanis. On this side of the Atlantic, Jewish women, notably Amalia Baka and Victoria Hazan, found center stage in the immigrant Greek nightclubs and community celebrations of major urban centers, as well as within the American ethnic recording industry.

All four women were held in high esteem for their extraordinary singing of a beautiful and complex repertoire, both during their lifetimes and again in recent years. Their music, making use of Eastern scales and asymmetrical rhythms, lush with intricate embellishment, and profound in its emotional content and depth, found its way into the hears of several generations of devoted listeners.

Although widely embraced for their musical contributions to urban Greek cafe music and Rebetika, their histories as Jewish women are not widely known. Using live performance and excepts from personal and family interviews, acclaimed vocalist Carol Freeman, together with virtuoso instrumentalists Haig Manoukian (oud) and Beth Bahia Cohen (violin), pay tribute to these Greek Jewish singers with a fascinating look into the songs and lives of these extraordinary women.

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