In recent years, the Greek American Heritage Society of Philadelphia has been on a long-term mission, collecting countless photographs and other materials for a digital library to preserve the city’s rich Greek heritage and history.
But it is not just any digital library; it is a historical record being put together through public photo submissions that tells the story of more than 100 years of Greek music in Philadelphia.
The GAHSP hosted photo tours for the past four years to promote its collection efforts. This year’s tour, titled “Photo Tour 2018, A Musical Odyssey – The Heritage of Greek Music in Philadelphia,” took place at the Philadelphia History Museum on March 10th and drew in more than 300 guests.
The event featured a multimedia exhibit of more than 30 Greek musicians and bands from the area, as well as a display of family heirloom instruments, bringing visitors back to the early 20th century when Greek immigrants first arrived and created Greektown.
In addition to the exhibit, the society presented “Greek Musical Odyssey – The Soundtrack to our Lives,” (see below) a short film produced by member Eleftherios Kostans capturing the history of Greek music in Philadelphia. The film featured bars and clubs in Greektown and early recordings of rebetika music from the historic RCA/Victor Records studio in Camden, NJ.
The society continues to compile photos, saying that more submissions will “contribute to build and define our community while showing how the Greeks of Philadelphia and the Greater Delaware Valley have contributed to the making of America.”
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