The music of Greece and the southern Mediterranean region began arriving in Florida in the 19th century along with Greek sponge divers. Traditional Greek rebetika music experienced a revival in the 1960s, and is still played in some Greek communities. Florida’s largest Greek communities are located on the Gulf coast, especially around Tarpon Springs. Instrumentation for this genre typically consists of lute, tambourines, lyres, clarinets, violins, and traditional Greek bagpipes. The tsambouna, gaida, and Dankiyo are common varieties of Greek bagpipes. Nikitas Tsimouris, George Pilatos, Kostas Maris, and Spiros Skordilis are Floridian performers of Greek music in our collection.
Cover art photo by Eric Dusenbery, courtesy State Archives of Florida.