Rebetiko Gymnastas

After the sea, comes the harbor. Harbors are, for music, what pollen is for flowers. This is a record that contains “harbor music” for individual “indiscipline”. Horses trying to be giraffes. It’s a record played in Greek, because of the debt we all have with Greece, that gave to the world not only civilisation, but also one of the most interesting and passionate urban music: rebetiko. We release this record in the year of the Olympics to exercise rebellion and identity, to keep in shape the mangas that lives inside us. To remember to ourselves that we are original, which means we have an origin. 

That we are men, not only consumers and we are not afraid to consume life.

(Vinicio Capossela, June 2012)

 The new album by Vinicio Capossela is named «Rebetiko Gymnastas» and it has been released on 12th June 2012 in both Italy and Greece via La Cùpa/Warner; it features four unreleased songs, a ghost-track and eight famous songs written by Capossela but rearranged in the style of rebetiko. 

The album has been recorded in the historical Sierra Studios in Athens on analogic tape with some of the greatest rebetiko musicians: Ntinos Chatziiordanou (accordeon), Vassilis Massalas (baglamas), Socratis Ganiaris (percussions) and Manolis Pappos, supreme rebete of bouzouki. The album features the singer Kaiti Ntali, Mauro Pagani, Marc Ribot and Ricardo Pereira as well. Along with them, there are Alessandro Asso Stefana (electric guitar) and Glauco Zuppiroli (double bass). 

The cover drawing has been designed by the great French drawer David Prudhomme, who is the author of «Rebetiko. La mauvaise herbe». The booklet contains also the translated lyrics in Greek and some gym exercises for those who want to try them. 

The four new songs in «Rebetiko Gymnastas» are «Rebetiko mou» (a rebetiko philosophy exercise), «Abbandonato» (a free interpretation in Italian of a song by Atahualpa Yopanqui), «Misirlou» (the most famous international hit of this genre, led to success in the electric guitar version that appears in the soundtrack of «Pulp Fiction») and eventually «Cancion de las simples cosas» (an Italian version of the heartbreaking song already known in the voices of Mercedes Sosa and Chavela Vargas). The ghost track is an Italian-Greek duet of the song «Come Prima» by Tony Dallara. 

The eight songs coming from Capossela’s repertoire, but played in the style of rebetiko, are «Gymnastika» (by Vladimir Vitsosky), «Contrada Chiavicone» (from Il Ballo di S. Vito), «Con una rosa» (from Canzoni a manovella), «Non è l’amore che va via» (from Camera a Sud), «Contratto per Karelias» (from Canzoni a manovella), «Corre il Soldato» (from Canzoni a manovella), «Signora Luna» (from Canzoni a manovella), «Morna» (from Il Ballo di S. Vito) and «Scivola vai via» (from All’una e trentacinque circa).


  1. Abbandonato (traduzione di Los Ejes de mi carreta di Atahualpa Yupanqui) – 4:18
  2. Rebetiko μου – 5:07
  3. Gymnastika (in originale Утренняя Гимнастика di Vladimir Visotzky) – 2:39
  4. Misirlou (folclore, Grecia) – 4:10
  5. Contrada Chiavicone (da Il ballo di San Vito) – 3:29
  6. Con una rosa (da Canzoni a manovella) – 5:24
  7. Non è l’amore che va via (da Camera a sud) – 4:04
  8. Contratto per Karelias (da Canzoni a manovella) – 4:30
  9. Corre il soldato (da Canzoni a manovella) – 3:43
  10. Signora Luna (da Canzoni a manovella) – 4:35
  11. Morna (da Il ballo di San Vito) – 6:11
  12. Le semplici cose (traduzione di Canción de las simples cosas di Mercedes Sosa) – 4:19
  13. Scivola vai via + Come Prima (da All’una e trentacinque circa + ghost track) – 9:05


Vinicio Capossela (piano and voice), Ntinos Chatziiordanou (accordeon, farfisa), Socratis Ganiaris (drums, congas, bongos, shakers, bendir, ntefi), Alessandro “Asso” Stefana (electric guitar), Glauco Zuppiroli (double bass), Manolis Pappos (bouzouki, voice), Vassilis Massalas (baglamas, voice), Kaiti Ntali (voice in «Come prima» and «Misirlou»)