Saturday, May 21, 2011

Gypsy Swing

Gypsy Swing got mixed with folk and rembetica back in the 40s and 50s in the hands of major Greek composer and bouzouki virtuoso Manolis Hiotis.
Hiotis, born 1920, was a professional player in the age of 16. He has written his first song in 1938, switched from guitar to bouzouki and from then on became one of the major composers of rembetica.
Famous in US too where it is said that Jimi Hendrix was amazed by his virtuosity and he even played at the White House.

Manolis Hiotis and Mary Linda - You are the cause (Esy eisai i aitia). This song was released in 1949 but this version is from 1959.

A few decades later Greece is following the worldwide swing revival trend and after 2006 has all the elements in place so that we can talk about a “scene”: a good number of bands, dancing clubs, festivals, happenings and an audience. Discography is weak at the moment and the material is mostly covers of swing standards but also of rock, folk or even disco(!) classics.

The Swing Shoes
We have already presented the band in another post of this blog. Their first album "Ladies and Gents Here's the Swing Shoes" is released.

Here's Karagouna, a Greek traditional song in swing mood.

They first appeared in 2007 and have just released their first album named “a-rhythmology”.

Their influences are obviously Django Reinhardt and Stephan Grappelli.

Their album is only available through post so you can order it here:

Here's Diminuita covering Sweet Georgia Brown

A gypsy jazz band from the island of Syros. No discography yet but lots of live appearances.
More info:

Lerotika - Some of these days

Swingtime Quintet
Formed in 2007 in Thessaloniki. Mainly influenced by Reinhardt music idiom. No discography yet.

Another classic standard: Minor Swing

There are other swing bands too like Gadjo Dilo, Swing-Azoo, John Loukatos Quintet, Adonis Priftis Quartet, Los Tre Swing, Swingin' Joke and the list gets bigger every year. So we'll be back with some more swing when we have first or new albums released.


  1. Δεν ξέρω αν έχει αναφερθεί ήδη σε άλλο σημείο, αλλά μια εξαιρετική swing band, είναι οι Speakeasies Swing Band, με μια θαυμάσια τραγουδίστρια, την Κατερίνα Σισίνη, και ξεχωριστούς σολίστες. Εχουν και δικό τους
    single (Bright lights late nights). Αξίζουν !!!!

    1. Και το δεύτερο single τους είναι όμορφο (Black Swamp Village). Αναμένω το δίσκο και θα επανέλθω στο Swing καθώς υπάρχουν αρκετά αξιόλογα συγκροτήματα που αξίζει να αναφερθούν.


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