A recently released book about the history of Greek music in America has received a 2019 Vasiliki Karagiannaki Prize for Best Edited Volume from the Modern Greek Studies Association.
The association recognized “Greek Music in America” edited by Tarpon Springs-based writer Tina Bucuvalas as the best edited book.
“Greek Music in America” comes as the first book dedicated to its topic. The volume helps readers understand platform the scope, practice and development of Greek music in the United States through essays and profiles written by principal scholars in the field.
During the 20th century, Greek immigrants in America brought with them the many permutations of music from their homeland. From 1896 to 1942, more than 1000 analog discs and other media with Greek recordings appeared in the US on labels large and small — and thousands more have since appeared.
The recordings encompass traditional music from all regions of Greece as well emerging urban genres, stylistic changes, social commentary and reflections of the daily lives of the immigrants.
“Greek Music in America” includes essays about the aforementioned topics as well as history and genre, places and venues, the recording business — and profiles of individual musicians.
This is a landmark work in Greek American studies. Comprehensive essays and thumbnail portraits chronicle popular, rebetiko, regional and sacred music in Greek America. The various contributors deal authoritatively with the subtle interactions between immigrant and mainstream culture. A must-read for anyone interested in the Greek diaspora or ethnic cultures in America.Dan Georgakas, director, Greek American Studies Project, Center for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, Queens College
Bucuvalas will officially receive the Vasiliki Karagiannaki Prize at the Modern Greek Studies Association’s 26th Biennial Symposium at California State University — Sacramento from November 7-10.
Founded in 1968, the Modern Greek Studies Association is a scholarly organization for modern Greek studies in North America covering topics such as language, history, politics, economics, society and the arts. The Vasiliki Karagiannaki Prize is awarded twice per year to the best edited English-language volume with significant content in the field of modern Greek studies.
The award announcement comes only months after the Washington DC-based National Endowment for the Arts announced a $35,000 grant to support the Greek Music in America Archives Project — also led by Bucuvalas.
The project will create a comprehensive and publicly accessible collection of commercially released Greek music recorded in America or by American companies in Greece that will be incorporated into the Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University.
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