WHAT IS LA BOÎTE?

WHAT IS LA BOÎTE?

LA BOÎTE has arrived!

MUSIC POETRY BOOKS

Our bookshop in Dulwich Hill is changing to an event space with a bookshop open during events. The word boîte (meaning ‘box’ in French) is a cosy place to gather and listen to music and poetry. It developed in the 60’s in the Greek urban centres after urbanisation meant that young people had no other place to express themselves. It was a place where those who gathered sang Anti-war and love songs of the NEO KYMA movement. The Neo Kyma was named after the French La Nouvelle Vaguecinema movement. It lasted around 10 years in Greece and was attractive to the Greek ‘Hippie” culture until political events in Greece, such as the Junta 1967-1974 changed these Boîte events to include more politicised songs. In the late 70’s this movement moved to Australia, many migrants who were musicians travelled here from Athens and Thessaloniki and began to play this style of music in many tavernas. The music of Kostas Hatzis, Arletta, Manos Loizos, Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Hatzidakis and many more became more popular. In 1977 Peter Carantinos together with a small committee, Athena Touriki, Takis Constandopedos and shortly after Eleni Elefterias set up The BOÎTE, a movement that held small, intimate but also larger concerts at various venues such as the Australian Music Centre at The Rocks, our universities, manly USYD and UNSW. The performances also travelled to Melbourne in 1979 and included notLa Nouvelle Vague cinema movement. It lasted around 10 years in Greece and was attractive to the Greek ‘Hippie” culture until political events in Greece, such as the Junta 1967-1974 changed these Boîte events to include more politicised songs. In the late 70’s this movement moved to Australia, many migrants who were musicians travelled here from Athens and Thessaloniki and began to play this style of music in many tavernas. The music of Kostas Hatzis, Arletta, Manos Loizos, Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Hatzidakis and many more became more popular. In 1977 Peter Carantinos together with a small committee, Athena Touriki, Takis Constandopedos and shortly after Eleni Elefterias set up The BOÎTE, a movement that held small, intimate but also larger concerts at various venues such as the Australian Music Centre at The Rocks, our universities, manly USYD and UNSW. The performances also travelled to Melbourne in 1979 and included notThe Play Space stage at some point. Everyone was welcome, Dioni Vertsayias, Marina Thiveos, Joanne Mayson, The Cretan Music Workshop, Sandy Constandopedos, Felicia Harris, Hellen Arestides, so many musicians and performers, too many to list here. They were wonderful days when everyone worked together to create good music. Eleni, of course worked on research and presentation of Photos, power points and organisation as well as taking part in performances. Made up of Greek, Italian, South American, Turkish and many other groups.

Many performances were funded by the Australia Council for the ArtsThe logo which appears on this page was created by artist and Art teacher Takis Constandopedos.

Inevitably, when this movement ended sometime in the early 80’s it had already spread Boîte fever to Sydney and Melbourne, which set up its very own Boîte as well as offshoots by other performers such as the La Mamas and the Tsakpina in Melbourne. The South Americans set up La Pena in Newtown.

Later in the 90’s The Play Space was set up by Eleni Elefterias and Vivienne Gemenis who organised many performances and concerts all around Sydney but whose base was the Castellorisian Club. When The Play Space first started in the Cazzie Club, as it was called, The club’s upstairs hall and function rooms had not been used in years. We transformed this space and brought in up to 300 people at a time. Yes it got a bit big for a Boîte but the thirst for Greek music, other than the taverna music, was evident. We were joined by George Doukas and later by Peter Kalandranis and Yiannis Bardas and put on a number of major concerts including The REMBETIKA theatre music event based on a play from Crete which was adapted by Dimitri Economou, Harry Fandakis and Eleni Elefterias. Some others who took part by performing in the theatre and travelled to Canberra to perform were Stavros and Vicki Kritikos. Many well-known performers today passed through The Play Space stage at some point. Everyone was welcome, Dioni Vertsayias, Marina Thiveos, Joanne Mayson, The Cretan Music Workshop, Sandy Constandopedos, Felicia Harris, Hellen Arestides, so many musicians and performers, too many to list here. They were wonderful days when everyone worked together to create good music. Eleni, of course worked on research and presentation of Photos, power points and organisation as well as taking part in performances.

Years later around 2010, eleni reignited The Play Space at a Café bookshop in Hurlstone Park, a block up from the current premises. Many people performed there and attended book launches and music nights including Manolis Rasoulis, only a month before his death.

Since 2012, The performances have continued in the bookshop under the name Vault Performance space within the Greek Bilingual Bookshop. It was a place where new talents could also perform without fear ore embarrassment. A place to “break in” new talent.

Now in 2017, together with Sotiris Prokopiou who arrived from Cyprus only a year ago but has made a great impact on our music scene already. Sotiris is a singer, guitarist, bouzouki and baglama player and teacher. He has a great sensitivity to Greek poetry put to music and understands the Neo Kyma and Boîte movement more so than most musician today. His style matched up with the style of eleni Elefterias and together they have been recording, performing and producing various music events. They have crated the group Identity in the Sand ΤΑΥΤΟΤΗΤΑΣΤΗΝΑΜΜΟ(An idea Eleni came up with when she named her concert Identity in the Sand in 2012 as part of the Greek Festival of Sydney). Eleni’ songs are written in this Boîte style and now there is a venue for this type of music. Boîte music is peripheral, it is poetry put to music, it is not always as popular as the taverna songs or Rembetika.

What we plan is to present Greek and other cultural music and poetry for those who want something different. We aim to present a different poetry cycle that has been put to music each week. Last performance we presented Apostolos Kaldaras / Phagoras album Asia Minor and this coming week we present ΒυζαντινοςΕσπερινοςByx=zantine Vespers by Apostolos Kaldaras and Lefteris Papadopoulos as well as a short program of poems put to music such as Saphho’s poetry with Hadjidakis music and more with Elisabeth Coroneo on violin, Marina Thiveos, vocalist and Chistina Bachiele on percussion. Our featured artist is guitarist JIM PENNELL, a well known world musician and guitarist who will eb oerforming at the enmore Theatre on August 29th with Paco Penia and the Gregorian Brothers.

Jim Pennell presents, “Guitar Kaleidoscope” Jazz, Latin, Classical and World music performed by a master guitar soloist. Pieces from the Great American Songbook (Gershwin, Ellington ) Jazz Era (Monk, Silver) Brazil ( Jobim, Bonfa) Plus material from Venzuala, Paraguy and Classical/Spanish tradition. With a background originally in classical guitar, then trad jazz, “classic” swingin’ jazz,Brazilian and South American guitar styles, gypsy jazz, big band to vocal accompanist, Jim brings deep musical experience to his performances. Jim has performed with many of Sydney and Australia’s jazz greats over 35 years including Bob Barnard, James Morrison, Don Burrows, George Golla, Dale Barlow,and many more. He has performed in Europe, USA, Sth America and Sth East Asia also representing Australia at 2 world Expos, Shanghai 2010 and Nagoya 2005. Jim has extensive touring experience as a long time member of Monsieur Camembert, (Triple Aria Award winning ensemble).Recordings with The Sydney All Stars Big band, featured soloist with The Sydney Symphony Orchestra (Distant Worlds Final Fantasy) and soloist with Baz Luhrmann’s ,“Strictly Ballroom” are recent highlights.