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The Game of Love September 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Greek.
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helena_paparizou.jpg  Title: The Game of Love, Artist: Helena Paparizou, Genre: Pop, Label: Sony BMG

So beautiful is the popular Swedish-Greek singer, one popular Greek magazine actually posited “that the only other Greek woman sexier than Helena is Aphrodite herself”.

Born in Sweden but raised in a traditionally Greek household, Paparizou represents the best that both nations have to offer. A professional performer by the age of 17, Paparizou has amassed an impressive number of credits over the past six years. The Greek beauty won the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest with her single My Number One. Before embarking on a solo career, she was also a member of the highly successful duo Antique.

The thing about Paparizou is her amazing versatility. While most singers have trouble coming up with a hit in one language, Paparizou regularly transitions from Greek to English without missing a beat. As her first international album, this English language pop/dance hybrid is pretty good.

It contains English versions of many of her Greek songs, such as Mambo, Gigolo and Let Me Let Go. Although her Eurovision single My Number One isn’t included here, its influence can be heard on several tracks such as Heroes. Another track worth mentioning is the rock-driven power ballad Teardrops.

Helena Paparizou may have grown up in Sweden, but her heart clearly belongs to Greece. It’s quite evident judging by the sound of this sun-kissed Mediterranean goddess’ music album.


World Soundtrack Academy honours Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis September 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life, Music Life Greek.
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The Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the distribution of the World Soundtrack Awards on 20 October. Theodorakis has written the music for Zorba The Greek, Z and Serpico. The Flemish Radio Orchestra conducted by Dirk Brossé will play music from Zorba The Greek .

Mikis Theodorakis was born on the Greek island Chios on 29 July 1925. Still being a child he became acquainted with Greek folk music and after hearing Ludwig von Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony he decided to become a composer himself. He received a musical formation both in his own country and at the Conservatory in Paris, where he studied under Olivier Messiaen. His gift for music was immediately recognised and he was commissioned with film scores and ballet music. In 1959 his ballet Antigone was performed at Covent Garden in London. The death of a young striker and the poems about the incident he set to music, urged him to return to his homeland. Political incidents have never let him indifferent.

The German occupation of Greece, the Greek civil wars and the never-ending tensions between Turkey and Greece in the Cyprus dispute have marked Mikis Theodorakis deeply. He has always tried to reconcile, but has also taken stands as a result of which he ended in prison more than once and was even tortured. When the Colonels took power in 1967, he was first interned in his homeland and in 1970, under the pressure of an international solidarity movement, released and sent to exile in Paris.

He reached fame with his scores for Michael Cacoyannis’ Zorba the Greek (1964) and Costa-Gavras’ Z (1969). He also wrote the music for The Trojan Women, The Day the Fish Came Out and Iphegenia in Aulis, three films made by Cacoyannis. Also with Costa-Gavras he hit it off immediately, and the score for Z was followed by music for Etat de Siège. Among his sixty music scores should not be forgotten that for Sidney Lumet’s Serpico.

In the sixties and in the eighties Mikis Theodorakis was a Member of Parliament and a minister. He was even solicited to become Greek president, but he declined that offer because of his age. Although some of his political statements were controversial, he has got several peace prizes.

At the seventh edition of the World Soundtrack Awards the Flemish Radio orchestra conducted by Dirk Brossé will not only perform music of Mikis Theodorakis, but also of the Canadian composer Mychael Danna (Little Miss Sunshine, Capote, Monsoon Wedding, Ice Storm), of Harry Gregson-Williams (Man of Fire, Shrek, Chronicles of Narnia), of Evanthia Reboutsika (My Father & My Son), World Soundtrack Discovery 2006 and of Belgian jazz musician Jef Neve (Dagen Zonder Lief).

7th edition of the World Soundtrack Awards, at Music Centre De Bijloke Ghent at 8 p.m. on Saturday 20 October. Tickets €42/€32 via TeleTicketService www.teleticketservice.be – 070 345 345.

Greek Festival in Raleigh September 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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There’s a little bit of Greece in Raleigh today. The 2007 Greek Festival began on Friday featuring native food, live music, dancing and a marketplace.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Habitat for Humanity. The festival is in Expo Center at the State Fairgrounds.

For more information on the festival go to www.holytrinityraleigh.org

Tucson Greek Festival in Arizona September 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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It’s Greek Festival time again at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 1145 E. Fort. Lowell Road, Tucson. That means good eats, great music and lots of fun.

This year’s festival, which runs Thursday through next Sunday, will feature live music all four days, folk dancing and a Greek disc jockey.

Among the menu items: dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), spanakopita (spinach pie) and pastitsio (a Greek lasagna). And to satisfy your sweet tooth, there are koulourakia (semisweet cookies), kourambiedes (butter cookies with powdered sugar) and ouzo (anise-flavored liqueur) cake. Yum . . .

Sample saganaki (flaming cheese), gyros, souvlaki, baklava and other Greek fare at the annual event hosted by a Greek Orthodox church. Imported clothing and pottery will be for sale, tours of the church will be offered and there will be traditional dancers and live music .

A shuttle service will provide transportation from the Salpointe Catholic High School’s stadium, a block south of East Glenn Street on North Mountain Avenue. Festival times are 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, 4 to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. next Sunday. Cost: $3, children under 12 free. Info: (520) 888-0505, www.stdemetriostucson.org 

Dancers kick it up at Greek festival September 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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Folk-dancing shows will be held once an hour at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church’s 41st annual Greek Food Festival in Modesto this weekend.

The festival runs from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at 313 Tokay Ave.

The church has won several awards for its dance program from the Greek Orthodox Folk Dance and Choral Festival and has seven dance groups with more than 100 dancers of various age levels. Admission to the Modesto festival is $7.50-$15; for info call 522-7694.

Greece’s elections > Victory for Greek PM and ND party September 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Politics.
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159 MPs for Greece’s New Democracy, 104 for PASOK > official data

Greece’s ruling party New Democracy has gained 44.58% at the Parliamentary elections, shows data posted on the website of the Interior Ministry.

Oppositional PASOK party has 38.86%. Third comes the Communist Party with 6.78% and fourth is the Coalition of Left and Progressive Forces with 4.08%. LAOS enters parliament with 3.21%. Thus New Democracy will have 159 MPs, PASOK 104, the Communist Party 18.

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Greek conservatives on track for re-election > exit polls September 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Politics.
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Greece’s ruling conservatives appear headed for a narrow election victory that may complicate economic reform efforts after a campaign overshadowed by deadly forest fires and scandals.

Early official results, which had yet to reflect voting in large urban areas, showed the conservative New Democracy winning about 45 per cent of the ballots.

Exit polls earlier showed the ruling party winning a thin parliamentary majority that may make it hard for it to tackle the difficult reforms aimed at bringing the euro zone’s second poorest member in line with its partners.

Conservative Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and socialist leader George Papandreou, both heirs to prominent political dynasties, seemed to lose support to smaller parties.

An exit poll by the Kapa Research polling company, conducted for Reuters and To Vima newspaper, showed the ruling New Democracy party winning 41.9 per cent of the vote and 152 seats in the 300-seat parliament.

In its 2004 landslide victory, which ended 11 years of socialist rule, New Democracy won 45.36 per cent of the vote and 165 seats in the house. With about 10 per cent of ballots counted the Socialist PASOK party was in second place with 38.64 percent of the vote.

The exit poll, which has a 1 percent margin of error, showed it winning 38.4 percent and 103 seats in parliament. PASOK won 40.55 percent of the vote and 117 seats in 2004.

Although official results were still far from conclusive, New Democracy supporters were clogging Athens, honking horns and waving party flags.