Schwimmer, Berkeley "a finely crafted
It is truly amazing how Dore put together this trip. The production of
12 concerts in a foreign country itself is a remarkable feat, but the
entire whirlwind trip was a finely crafted miracle. The daytime tours,
( Athens, Thessaloniki and others), were rich in history, and
anecdotes, presented by gracious, articulate Greeks. Touring the
countryside, beaches, little stone villages and small cities, we saw
way more than could be imagined. The concerts were a stunning
representation of different Greek musical styles, from a raucous bar
room jam to a soulful singer on guitar in a mosque.
If you want to get to know the landscape and music of Greece on a fast
paced excursion, there is no better way to go.
place was on fire: I thought the roof would rise, the music was so
Reaching crescendos over and over Daulute Trio played on and
on. Quiet and
exquisite, then blowing blasts, delivering a thick molten
Lute, sheepskin bagpipes and daoulaki blew
you into happy land, taking you to
places you had never been before.
concert hall, a renovated industrial space at the end of a dark road,
perfect venue, opening out onto an ocean veranda. We walked
right up to the ocean,
its rhythm lapping along with the night. The air
was warm and still, stars punctured
the black sky. The large room was
filled with people, drinks, now up out of their
seats rising with
layers of exquisite music.
2. The road was carved into the
side of a steep mountain. The Mercedes Benz bus
rambled on the twisted
path with the turquoise sea churning below.
Photo to right looks
down on gorgeous Mylopatomos Beach in Pelion.
The driver went slow and
easy, I felt quite safe even thought these we're the most
coastal roads I could imagine. We got to a place where the bus could no
longer go, got out to walk down a rocky road in the
came upon an
ancient stone building, a stunning creation in its
simplicity and design. It had been
rehabilitated and was someones home.
Some enterprising folks had gone into the mountain village
of years ago and renovated it to create a living
village just as it was before.
Surrounded by pines, the foliage was
lush and full of red coleus leaves.
We came upon a larger building of
wood and stone, a restaurant where we were
treated to a fabulous Greek
3. Wine was served outside the church. Inside, when the
concert began, a large
screen showed video from the past, a visual
accompaniment to the songs.
A churning ocean, a ship on the sea, these
were motion pictures of the actual
passage of Greeks to the promised
The mournful laments of Dimitris Mystakidis took
you to another time, the beauty
of which was almost unbearable. With a
guitar accompanying, he played in a
magnificent manner sort of
mimicking a greek instrument, sang his heart out as
we listened and
The Yeni Camii mosque (entrance pictured to right) was full
of Greeks who had
see this balladeer singing of the past. The longing and respect were
tangible as he serenaded us, one song after the other, a
Nora Privatera, Oakland
My overall impression is that this was the
fantastic vacation we’ve
ever been on. So much music, so many
incredible sights, great people to meet
and get to know, and so much
about a country I knew little about before I left,
despite having listened and danced to Greek music for many
photo to right:
outdoor dinner in Chania with Hilary quenching her thirst at
the head of the table.
know everyone thought that Haig Yazdjian’s concert was the A++ of all
concerts, and it was wonderful, transformational, even. Haig did
seem to be in a
trance, and brought all of us along to visit another
realm of existence.
However, I also really loved the
Daulute Trio: The astonishing percussive
quality of the laouto, and the
amazing versatility of the musician on the wind
instruments, just blew
me away. The concert venue, in the old tanning factory
water in Crete, was kind of magical and mysterious too, adding to the
overall impression of an extraordinary evening.
For pure joy, I
would vote for the concert in Thessaloniki, in the cafe, with
Gouventas on violin. I loved watching him; he seemed to be
the time of his life.
A runner up for joy and a sense of
community for me was the concert of Epirus music
in the village of Ado
Pedina. They may not have been top musicians, but for
sense of community they excelled.
Then there was our private
concert with Ross Daly and Kelly Thoma and the talk
This event was in a class by itself. I’ve been hearing about
at least 20 years, and to hear him and especially listen to
him speak about his musical
journey and his philosophy of teaching was
a rare treat. Thank you especially for that; without your
personal connection to him we never would have had this experience.
I enjoyed most of the other concerts as well, but I don’t want this to
run on forever,
so I’ll just leave it at that.
hard to top Meteora for a spectacular setting. Astonishing to
think that those 14th Century monks built the monasteries on the tops
of such inaccessible mountains.
But for sheer charm, Portaria
wins my heart. The hotel Kritsa, with its giant 17th Century
tree, was utterly charming,
and the village itself and
the one next to
it, Makrinitsa, were so beautiful that I could not stop taking pictures
Then of course, how could I forget Milia. I was
deeply impressed with the owner’s commitment to operating organically,
and his philosophy. It’s so obvious that this is a labor of
and deep commitment for him.
And Chania, with its lovely little alleyways, shops and restaurants.
was also really impressed with Thessaloniki, for a very different
reason; it reminded me of Paris, with its beautiful buildings, and its
cafes and nightlife that seemed to never stop.
I wish we had spent more time in Ioannina, which is quite a lovely
of our tour guides were articulate, intelligent, and very well
informed, but Tassos in Thessaloniki was the best.
Rebetiko tour I felt like I had just attended a graduate course in
Rebetiko, and he was equally interesting and informed about
Thessaloniki’s troubled history. He was so prepared, too, with
laptop, pictures, videos, etc. Mind you the others were all very good
too, but Tassos really was outstanding.
did an amazing job putting this tour together, and we are very happy
that we decided
to do it. It was worth every penny, and I’m so
glad our money was used to subsidize all these wonderful musicians, who
can’t make a decent living in their own country. I also
value getting to know so many Greeks, and hearing their perspective on
their country; so much better than just being an ordinary tourist just
taking in the sights.
Here in the US, we often hear that Greece
is a failed state, and there is some truth to that. But
was so beautiful, and clean, and its people so gracious, that I thought
the US compares very poorly with it. Think of BART compared
the Athens Metro. Or the quality of food and the cleanliness
the restaurants and rest stops.
We in the US should not be so arrogant. We could learn a
thing or two from other cultures.Pete Simack, Fairfield
Greece tour, 2017, was my first trip with Dore and Tangents listeners.
I can only say that the trip far exceeded my expectations with respect
to the organization, schedule of tours, artist and music lineup, and
ease of traveling with the group size. The group of us got along very
well overall and we freely mixed throughout the length of the trip. The
group was incredibly intelligent and knowledgeable and we shared a
sharply honed sense of humor almost from the start. Beyond the
obvious common interest in music we gradually discovered other
interests that we shared and it was fun getting to know everyone.
seemingly took care of most every detail and his previous experiences
with other music tours and his research in Greece proved to be a true
blessing for us first timers. All arrangements within the trip dates
were seen to by Dore personally, hotels were very convenient and
comfortable with local neighborhood charm readily available. Flights
and bus transportation were all prearranged and relatively hassle free.
various area/city tours had been pre-selected by group vote and all of
our guides were highly personable and knowledgeable. Tours were also
optional so if you didn’t want to go out on a tour on a particular day
you had the freedom to do so. Free time was also well scheduled so that
you could get personal things accomplished or simply lounge and rest a
Meals were simply
wonderful! Hotel breakfast buffets covered things for the mornings and
there was at least one group meal (lunch or dinner) each day that was
covered within the trip costs. Dore avoided the tourist trap spots and
strived to arrange meals at authentic restaurants where locals ate. The
choices were excellent and we ate our fill of exceptional Greek food.
It is hard to pick a personal favorite but I loved our restaurant owner
Heidi in Metsovo and her food was scrumptious.
Pete and Heidi
music...we experienced world class musicianship and artistry virtually
every night, covering a wide swath of Greek rooted music. Since I lean
more toward jazz based music, my favorites were Alekos Vretos, Balarom
Trio, and the highlight show of Haig Yazdjian. But every show was
deeply spiritual, beautiful, and inspiring in its own style. I even
allowed myself to dance with the locals one night in Thessaloniki...it
is a night to remember always. And almost every show we attended ended
with an opportunity to speak with the artists and extend our
appreciation to them.
the people of Greece were simply lovely hosts. They were very open to
our group questions and made every effort to see that we were
comfortable. Their gracious hospitality and friendly manner made it
easy to relax and fully enjoy the experience.
Carolyn Wright, San Francisco
gamble to be a guinea pig on Dore's first Greek tour paid off in
spades. Likewise, it was a gamble for me to join such a fast paced,
group trip, not my preferred mode of travel. But again the gamble so
I’d never been to Greece so I regarded this as an
introductory tour, Greece 101. And what an itinerary Dore put together
for us! It included a variety of cities, towns, villages, all around
the country, with beautiful and sometimes very dramatic landscapes. We
had some very good walking tours with erudite and fun guides in Athens
and Thessaloniki. These were one of the (many) highlights of the trip
because they provide history and culture, and gave us background and
context and some appreciation for what we were seeing. Several places
would definitely be worth a return trip, I’d go back to explore more of
Thessaloniki alone! We had the opportunity to go hiking in the
beautiful mountains of the Pelion peninsula and to swim at some
beautiful beaches in Crete and Pelion. A super introduction to the
The trip turned
out to be fabulous in quiet a few ways but of course the focus was
music and we experienced incredible Greek music, a lot of it. The
variety was such an eye-opener, and the extraordinarily high quality of
the musicians was a marvelous treat. My favorites were (in order of
appearance) the Roma band Banda Jovanica at a cool little restaurant in
Athens (we made a return visit for dinner later in the trip, it was SO
good and the owners were so fun). The Kyriakos Gouventas trio at a
club/taverna in Thessaloniki where we drank and danced until the wee
hours; the trio was having a good time, too, the violinist especially
was beaming at the joy at the music and good time they were creating.
And, finally, an almost transcendentally beautiful show by the oudist
Haig Yazdijian and his ensemble back in Athens, we were all carried
away with their amazing improv and soulfulness, the sheer beauty of it.
I raved about the food and wine (and ouzo!) yet? We enjoyed so many
delicious group feasts at all kinds of casual, lovely restaurants,
every day. I lost track of my fave dishes, there were so many. Really a
treat Though not the pounds I put on!
I didn’t know anyone in
the group before the trip but they turned out to be really friendly and
fun, interesting, simpatico. I had a wonderful time hanging out with
them as we traveled around together and shared many good times.
Carol on the left and Carolyn Wright on the right
I”m running out of adjectives to rave with so I’ll stop now.
expect the 2018 trip will be even better as Dore tweaks this inaugural
run, though it’s hard to imagine that he could make many improvements.
Highly highly recommended, make plans to join him.
Edward Neely, San Francisco
Edward in Makrinitsa (photo by Carolyn Wright)
I loved this trip. Dore has expertly planned a unique opportunity, the Tangents
Music Tour, for those who love traditional roots music. An
opportunity to not only see the sights, learn the history, meet the
folks, and savor the food in Greece
but to enjoy Greek musical culture through a series of exceptional live concerts.
Music is the heart of this tour. The quiet mountain retreats and sunny Mediterranean
beaches of Crete ; the emerald waters of the Aegean Sea along the coast of the
Pelion Penninsula; the mountain vistas of Zagoria ; the ancient sites, the plazas,
the markets, and tavernas of Athens and Thessaloniki are all landscape and setting
for the songs, rhythms, and instruments the Greeks love to play. The musicians
are wonderful. The sounds of the oud, the lyra, the qanon , the Cretan lute, the
bouzouki ... are fascinating.
was the heart , but the ears of this trip belonged to a delightful
group of interesting, enthusiastic, often hilarious, world music fans.
Thank you :
Avram, Brenda, Carol, Bob, Carolyn, Elaine, Elise, Hillary, Maryann, Nora, Mike,
Pete, Phil, and Ron for sharing the travel, the food, the fun, the photos, the
music. And thank you, Dore, for making Tangents Greece Music Tour so easy
Mike Banister, Oakland
Loukas Metaxas of Balarom Trio
(left) and Mike at a musician's hangout cafe in Athens
Greek Tangents Tour was probably the highlight of my year. My wife and
Hilary Winslow, Bolinas
traveled a lot together and this trip was the most informative,
entertaining and mind-blowing of the year. I loved getting to
know the traditional Greek musical styles and instruments. And the
musicians were phenomenal and unassuming. The cities, towns
villages we visited opened my mind to a part of the world I had never
visited. I was surprised to see how clean Athens, Thessaloniki
the other towns were. The island of Crete and the town of
were magical. Looking forward to another Tangents tour!
Hilary and a shepherd
after a hike in Portaria, Pelion
I had a fabulous time on Dore’s maiden Greek adventure. This is a trip
like no other, with such a variety of musical encounters, pristine
beaches, fabulous food, sights and sounds in this amazing,
country that your head will spin—in a great way. Highly
recommend this trip! Ron Scudder Livermore
Ron and Brenda
Dore hit this tour out of the ball park! Every concert has been
different and amazing, with a great variety of musical styles and
venues. It's exceeded all of my expectations, and that's tough,
considering the standard that Dore set on the Turkey tours. Avram Mednick, San Francisco
Top 10 Highlights of 2017 Tangents Greece Tour
10. Smelly little fish with every meal
09. The Pindus Mountains, not unlike Yosemite
08. The raki
07. The Yankees
06. The Acropolis Museum in Athens
05. Nighttime half-marathon in Thessaloniki
04. Meteora, monasteries like Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan
03. The walking tours
02. Crete, everything about it
01. The music (Alekos Vretos Quintet my favorite)
More 2017 Tangents Greece Tour