Among the many friends who will be taking part in the birthday tribute to our beloved Miki, are artists he has worked with over his many years of music... Turkish composer Zulfu Livaneli, Greek composers Loukianos Kilaidonis, Lavrentis Mahairitsas, and Dionysis Savvopoulos; singers Maria Farandouri, Petros Pandis, Glykeria, Petros Gaitanos, Nena Venetsanou, Dimitris Bassis, Antonis Kalogiannis, Vassilis Lekkas and Alexandros Hadjis; actors Bessy Malfa, Yiannis Bezos, Katerina Papoutsaki, Santouri player Areti Ketime and songwriter Manolis Rassoulis....
It seems like yesterday that Miki turned 70 and the magnificent concert held in his honour at the Athens Kallimarmaro Stadium. That stadium was filled to it's 80,000 capacity 15 years ago, in 1995, and the performers who paid tribute to Miki then were so many that the concert lasted several hours even though each singer sang one song...but where do you start with Miki's vast repertoire?
Tonight's birthday tribute will be much more intimate, only about 3500 people fit into the Lykavettos Theatre, but the atmosphere will be fantastic, one of celebration and rejoicing, for Greece's Mikis Theodorakis, The Man, the Genius, the Legend as Greek Australian producer, Eleni Evangel calls him in her documentary (More about Eleni and her work in another post...)
What can we say about Miki? There is so much to say about him that we don't know where to start...so, tonight we will simply wish him Χρόνια Πολλά και Καλά, and thank him for the wonderful gift of music that he has shared with us all so generously. Magnificent music that has so enriched our lives, wherever we may be in the world!
We have watched him in action conducting concerts at Athens' Herodeion, or fronting for causes dear to his heart, such as Palestine or speaking for the people of Kurdistan and Ocalan and we have listened to him speak many times.
His presence is magnetizing and awe-inspiring. In fact, just shaking the hand of one of Greece's living legends is an honour indeed!
Here are a few of his most well-known pieces...enjoy!
To Gelasto Paidi
Ta Lianotragouda (Yiannis Ritsos)
Axion Estin (Odysseas Elytis)
The Ballad of Mauthausen (Iakovos Kambanellis)
Z - the film by Costas Gavras
and we will close this tribute with his most well-known and loved masterpiece - one that travelled the Greek soul to all corners of the world... Zorba the Greek!
As Anthony Quinn, the one and only Zorba, said in paying tribute to our wonderful Miki when the two legends met at a concert in Munich, almost 40 years after Zorba the Greek...
Photo Source: www.anthonyquinn.org
'The music of Zorba is the music of Life, and to live life fully, you must always Love, and I love YOU...'
May God keep you well and strong so that you can continue to share your God-given gift with us and the world for many years to come!