Eleftheria Arvanitaki (Ελευθερία Αρβανιτάκη)


16 october 1957

Arvanitaki was born in Piraeus and started her career in singing in 1980, by joining the group Opisthodromiki Kompania (Οπισθοδρομική Κομπανία, "Retrograde Company") and in 1981 she had her first guest appearances by being featured the Vangelis album"Ta Barakia" where she sings ‘Χάνομαι Γιατί Ρεμβάζω ‘ (Why I'm lost Remvazo) and the Stamatis Spanoudakis album ‘Tanirama’ (with the song ‘Ζωή Κλεμμένη’) . She broke away from the group and did not record for two years before staring her solo career. Her first album was a collaboration between Lina Nikolakopoulou (with whom she would work regularly) and composer Nikos Antipas. She broke to a larger audience with the 1986 ‘Kontrabanto’ but did not make the big break untill 1991 when she started touring. In 1994 she had three albums in the Greek Top-10 at the same time with ‘Μένω εκτός’, ‘Η νύχτα κατεβαίνει’ and the soundtrack to the TV series  ‘Αναστασία’. Her 1998 live album ‘Ektos Programmatos’ became double platinum and gained her attention from outside Greece.

1999 would become the year Arvanitaki became an international name with a number of successful appearances abroad . Highlights are the entries in the festival Womad of Peter Gabriel in England but also in other events at the festival Womad Canaria and Lisbon at festival SFINKS of Belgium, the festival Salamanca in Spain , international jazz and ethnic festival in Montreux in Switzerland the very successful concerts in the World Music Institute in New York and the Berklee Performance Center in Boston and the millenium End Festival in Barcelona. With the compilation album ‘Eleftheria Arvanitaki-The Best of 1989-1998’ Verve records cashed in on the success. In 2002 she performed in Alexandria, Egypt on the occasion of the inauguration of the New Library.

Due to the many international shows and projects Arvanitaki appeared less and less in her homeland. And if she did it was for a big audience. In 2003 she set this straight with two intimate shows at the Little Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus performing songs from her Greek hit albums. In August 2004, she participated in the closing ceremony of the Athens Olympics.

In 2006 she took part in the Christmas concert "Frostroses" in Reykjavik, Iceland as a part of a group of singers named "European Divas". The other "divas" were Sissel Kyrkjebø (Norway), Eivør Pálsdóttir (Faroe Islands), Petula Clark (UK), Ragga Gisla (Iceland) and Patricia Bardon (Ireland). In 2008 she releases the album ‘Kai Ta Matia Kai I Kardia’(And the eyes and the heart) recorded in Madrid , in collaboration with the Spanish composer Javier Limon.

On the web:

What do we think:

DB: Her large international fanbase is not for nothing. Arvanitaki’s voice is as pure as her material is without any risk. This is a light version of Greek traditional music mixed with international traditional styles and pop. Polished but absolutely flawless. Perfection untill the smallest detail. Rest assured that is not a bad thing. You’ll get a pleasant aural experience from Arvanitaki. It is safe enough to play when your (grand)mother is around and you can wow your international friends with some great quality music. Very craftfull, very professional singer and musician.


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Dulce Pontes (Portugal)

Recomended abums:

- Eleftheria Arvanitaki - 1984

- Kontrabanto - 1986

- Tanirama - 1989

♪♪♪ - Meno Ektos - 1991

- I Nihta Katevainei - 1993

♪♪♪ - Ta Kormia Kai Ta Maheria - 1994

♪♪♪♪ - Tragoudia Gia Tous Mines - 1996

♪♪♪ - Ekpombi - 2001

- Ola Sto Fos - 2004

- Grigora I Ora Perase - 2006

- Kai Ta Matia Kai I Kardia - 2008

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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