hear koukouaia's in the Greek night
Ano Kato: the history
May 1987, Ano Kato was founded under the name I tris Ano Kato.
The kompanía’s first members were Andonis Moraïtis, Jurrie Eilers and
Michiel Koperdraat. Ever since Andonis left, there has not been a native Greek
musician in the band anymore. The first recordings I Tris Ano Kato made are now
available on the 15th aniversary-cd "I Tris Ano Kato - Protes
performing for a year as an instrumental duo, Tim Meeuws (singer/baglamas-player)
joined and so the trio was formed. During those years, Ano Kato played among
others as support act for Michalis Yenitsaris, went to Greece a couple of times
to perform and do radio- and television shows (f.e. Antenna).
Also, they recorded the documentary Rebètika, the blues from Greece
for Dutch television. They also released a cd with rebètika and early laïká
under the title Ano Kato – Chtes ta
káname. Ano Kato wrote the musical score
for the Dutch language course New Greek. This course was broadcasted
several times by Teleac on television and radio.
the years after Tim Meeuws left, the group consisted mainly of a collective of
musicians under the supervision of Michiel Koperdraat. They performed in
different strengths under the name Ano Kato – I kompania tis vradias.
The addition of percussion, clarinet, violin and accordion made it possible to
expand the play-list. The band
started playing music from the islands as well – excellent music to dance to
all night! This was a time filled with inspiration and movement.
In The Netherlands, interest in Greek music was clearly uprising. Greek music
workshops and courses in Greek dancing were big business. Lots
of friends of the members of Ano Kato visited the shows to dance to their hearts’
content. Also on stage the people had a great time, because of the many
spontaneous improvisations and jamsessions.
last years now, Ano Kato consists of five musicians. The contribution of
Theo van Halen (clarinet) paved the way for Ano Kato to play music from the
Epirus. Ano Kato rehearsed a couple of Epirotic songs together with musicians
from China. Like Chinese music, Epirotic music is largely pentatonic. Together,
they staged a double-concert. As this was a very successful performance, Ano
Kato started playing more and more music from the Epirus, also called ‘the
blues from the Greek mountains’.
that time a cd was released with mostly Epirotic songs, but some music from the
islands as well: Ano Kato
– Levendes apo ta xena (Fellows from abroad).
may be clear by now that Ano Kato plays most of the best known and influential
music styles from Greece: old as well as modern laïká, rebètika, nisiótika
and epirótika – all very danceable music, and all in all a repertory of over
seven hours! In this, the group is rather unique because most groups restrict
themselves to just one kind of Greek musical style.
since 1987, lots of pictures have been taken. From those, you can get a good
taste of the atmosphere surrounding the group during all those years. We have
tried to give as broad an overview as possible – sticking to the photographs
from our own files.
You'll find them in the photo galerie.
With Greek musicians