Festival season officially kicked off last month and one of the key ingredients besides the delicious food is the music. Here are some of the California-based Greek bands to keep an eye – or an ear – out for. Opa!
Based in Sacramento, CA, the Hohlax Trio was originally established in Greece. Comprised of trained professional musicians experienced in musical education and performance, the trio enjoyed seven tours throughout California before making it their permanent home. Conceived by husband and wife team Orestis Koletsos (bouzouki, vocals) and Jaime Smith (violin, vocals), the duo has also released several CDs and their performances range from concerts to performance-talks, festivals, competitions, and more. Follow them at www.facebook.com/hohlax/
Formed in 1994 by George Mylordos, Kostas Papamichael, and the late George Mihailidis, Kymata enjoyed popularity very quickly, establishing a great reputation in the greater Bay Area and Northern California. The group has grown to a seven piece dynamic band, with male and female vocalists, and musicians doubling on several instruments. Kymata repertoire includes the most recent Greek hits, old pops, Rembetika, Kantades and Plakiotika, Dimotika, and other representative styles of the Greek musical culture. The virtuosity of each of the musicians and vocalists allows this band to be quite flexible in its repertoire. Visit kymataband.com
Established in 2001, Mediterranean Soul features Contemporary Greek music along with traditional favorites and world-style music including smooth jazz, Brazilian jazz, and American standards. Bouzouki artist Christos Sarantakis’ experience as a headlining act on major cruise lines worldwide as well as a decade in Las Vegas continues to excite audiences throughout the country with his showmanship and musicianship. Sharing the stage is Frosene with her warm vocals and enthusiastic spirit. Follow Med Soul at www.facebook.com/medsoul/ or at medsoul.com
Based in San Jose, CA, Mythos has been entertaining audiences throughout the west coast since 1998. Featuring vocalist Sylvia Kalivitis, their expansive repertoire of Rebetika (Greek blues), Laiko (popular music), Dimotika (traditional folk) as well as island music has dazzled audiences throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California as well as Portland, Oregon; Vancouver, Canada; and Anchorage, Alaska, to name a few. Mythos Fun Fact: The band performed as the opening act for Greece’s acclaimed performer and recording artist, Glykeria at her Bay Area performance. Follow them at www.facebook.com/BandMythos/
Recording artist and bandleader Takis “Kokotas” Stathoulis is one of the most sought-after entertainers on the Greek music scene. Based in Los Angeles, CA, his fun-loving and charismatic personality keeps audiences returning for more. A staple at the Los Angeles Greek Fest and celebrity events, the band has kept the glendis and festivals dancing throughout the country. Fun Fact: Takis has worked with such notables as Dick Clark, Jan and Dean, Telly Savalas, Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks, amongst others. In addition to featured vocalists, a mainstay with Kokotas’ band is bouzouki virtuoso Alekos Galas, whose musical roots can be linked all the way back to bouzouki master, Greece’s Manolis Chiotis. Visit takiskokotas.com
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