Dimitris Mystakidis

Dimitris Mystakidis


Live performance at Anodos stage in Athens.
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Line up

  • Dimitris Mystakidis (guitar, vocals)
  • Dimitris Pappas (guitar, vocals)
  • Giorgos Tsalabounis (guitar, vocals)
  • Ifigenia Ioannou (vocals)


Dimitris Mystakidis is a famous Greek folk guitar virtuoso.

Dimitris, as a multi-talented and multi-tasking musician and college professor, is researching, teaching, writing, recording and of course performing Rembetiko songs for more than two decades all over Europe (Greece, UK, Portugal, Germany, France, Italy, Norway, Gibraltar, Israel, Netherlands, Spain etc).

In his latest personal work "Esperanto, the Rembetiko Guitar Project", Dimitris presents the most important rembetiko songs of the 20th century, arranged exclusively for guitar. Accompanied by other two guitarists, with alternating roles, sometimes playing intense modal melodies with complex structures, sometimes strong melodic lines influenced by manouche and blues and sometimes simple melodies, Dimitris’ deep bass voice and the melodic timbre of the female singer are reciting sorrows and misfortunes, joys and ruses, while talking about love, separation, human passions and weaknesses, composing the colorful canvas of Greek spirit and Greek Urban Music of the last century.

Rembetiko Guitar is present in Greek Urban Music since 19th century.

Although it was a vital instrument in all forms of folk orchestras, it had mostly an accompanying role during folk music evolution, since major solo instruments (violin, santouri, oud, bouzouki) were unable to play the rhythmic role decently.

In a very few cases, as old recordings reveal, guitar performs as the leading instrument. These recordings were made either in USA for the Greek community there, or in Greece in order to be exported to the US. It was through those first recordings that leading virtuoso players such as G. Katsaros (1895-1997) and A. Kostis (1905-1943) were established as troubadours, who were performing exclusively with rembetiko guitar, using a particular fingerstyle technique, without the use of pick and having specific tunes (open D or G). After the 1937 censorship, rembetiko guitar became the main solo instrument in more recordings and after Second World War Manolis Chiotis introduced a manouche-influenced style of performing.

Rembetiko guitar is a highly popular, easily accessible, with endless possibilities and polyphonic dynamics instrument. In the hands of folk musicians, its genuine beauty, that is not static nor limited, is shining and evolving while adapting to cultural and aesthetic movements of Greece.


Dimitris Mystakidis