Tactical Bouzouki plays Rebetika (Greek urban blues) and Smyrneika (music emerging from a confluence of musically sophisticated refugees from Asia Minor and marginalized classes in Greek cities in the early 20th century) and classic English, Irish, and American tunes. The Greek music features eastern modal scales and odd metered rhythms, as well as lyrical content reflecting period struggles which have a universal resonance. We use authentic instruments out of the Rebetiko tradition: the baghlama, tzoura, and bouzouki, as well as the guitar and accordion. We like to make it more interesting for ourselves and the audience by incorporating traditional Greek instruments no matter what country the music is from. The classic American and European pieces that we play are fun and familiar for people of wide ranging ages and cultural backgrounds.
Sandy (Matoula)Theodorou has showcased traditional Greek regional music and urban rebetika as a core member of the Boston-based bands REVMA and REBETOPAREA, playing for concerts, dances, and festivals throughout New England and the east coast. She has taught Greek singing for the East European Folk Center and is chairperson of the Traditional Greek Music Department of the Boston Lykeion Ellinidon. She was born in the birthplace of Rebetika, Piraeus, Greece and was raised in Peabody and Salem. Her website is www.matoulamusic.com.
Mark has lived in Salem pretty much his whole life. He has also played guitar for most of his life, even performing at Salem Theater in the early 1980’s. Mark decided, around 2015, to focus on solo acoustic guitar and began studying various picking styles and complex pieces of music with multiple parts played simultaneously. Some of these pieces closely relate to ragtime. Songs by Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Steve Howe, and Bert Jansch were interesting and challenging. After a couple of years of those studies Mark met Sandy in Salem and was introduced to the world of Greek and Middle Eastern music. Now they have shared their musical background with each other and the sum of the two parts is exactly perfect.