‘Dithen’ were formed in Athens in 1994 by a group of young musicians who wanted to study and perform the traditional songs of Asia Minor, Smyrna, Constantinople, as well as the ‘rebetika’ songs of Piraeus. The intention of the group is to recreate the atmosphere of this traditional music which is full of emotion, music appreciation, ‘meraki’ and originality.
During the last twenty-three years, Dithen have performed in many restaurants and ‘koutoukia’ (small traditional taverns) in Athens such as ‘Klimataria’, ‘Berde’ and ‘Enallax’. In 2001, they played music in ‘Kotarou’ (one of the most historic taverns) and from 2002 to 2006 they performed in ‘Dipnosofistes’ and ‘Pinologio’. In 2007, they worked alongside the famous singer Giannis Lembesis in ‘Karavani’. Following this collaboration, they played music in ‘Galazia fiali’ and ‘Tzivaeri’. In recent years, they have performed in “1002 Nyxtes’, ‘Peran’, ‘Taverna tou fotografou’,‘Palia markiza’ and other places on a regular basis.
Dithen have also taken part in concerts of various municipalities in Athens, as well as in other regions of Greece. In particular, they participated in music events organized by the municipalities of Vrilissia, Nea Philadelphia, Argyroupoli, Korydallos, Kaisariani, Voula, Agios Dimitrios, Chalandri (Rematia Festival 2008), Psichiko, Nea Smyrni etc. Moreover, the group took part in many other cultural events as well as in “panigiria” (traditional festivals organized during the Summer) hosted by municipalities and cultural associations with which they still collaborate. Some of those events took place in Athens at Dora Stratou Dance Theater, at the museum of Greek Folk Art and at Parnassos Literary Society in 2011.
Some other festivals and events took place in Thiva, Pilio, Mykonos and Hydra (Miaoulia Festival 2008). During some cultural events in Athens and Halkida in 2011, Dithen collaborated with the Turkish singer Fulya Ozlem and played songs that are common in Greek and Turkish music tradition. They also performed the popular ‘Café Aman’ songs in Aggelon Vima theater and other songs in the theater of the American College. In 2012, they played music in various commemorations of the Asia Minor Catastrophe in places such as Kaisariani and Lamia and in Benaki museum, Divani Caravel Hotel, Vembo theater in Voula and the Asia Minor Folk Museum in Nea Erythrea. From 2013 to 2016 Dithen not only continued performing in Greek cities and Greek islands, but also in foreign countries. For instance, the group has performed multiple times in Art Base, a multi-functional art centre located in Brussels (Belgium).
The group has not only collaborated with cultural associations and famous singers, but also with highly-esteemed musicologists/ rebetiko music experts such as Panos Savvopoulos, Panagiotis Kounadis, Nikos Politis and Vasilis Petrohilos.
Having gained such valuable experience, Dithen decided to create their own album.
The album was released by Legend Records in 2008 under the title ‘glikias avgis antamoma’. It mainly contains unknown rebetika and Smyrna songs, some of which are sung by the famous singers Panagiotis Lalezas, Giannis Lembesis, and Manolis Dimitrianakis, who did the group the honor of participating in the album.
‘Dithen’ consists of the following members: Giannis Karamanis (guitar-laouto-vocals), Nikos Mourgelas (kanonaki-baglamas),Vivi Voutsela (vocals),