CRETAN BRIOCHE is a London-based Cretan folk music ensemble, formed in 2016 by Vassilis Chatzimakris (cretan lyra), Simon Merkouris (cretan lute) and Miltos Boumis (cretan lute). Each one of them bring different musical influences whilst sharing a passion for Greek traditional music, especially the folk music of the island of Crete. The trio often collaborates with other musicians, to perform or record together, forming a wider “Brioche circle” of Greek music enthusiasts.
They have performed in great music venues in London, including the Award Winning Folk Arts Centre “Cecil Sharp House”, the legendary “Fiddler’s Elbow” and the super vibrant “Balabam”. They have also participated in international festivals like “Griežynė” (International Festival of Folk Music, Lithuania) and “Dance Around the World” festival in London.
Their repertoire combines pieces composed in the mist of ancient times with modern compositions of the Cretan idiom. Their music is engaged in a dialogue between the past and the present, where fast and passionate dances succeed nostalgic and narrative songs that embrace all aspects of everyday life – from the joy of birth to mourning and loss of loved ones.
“Cretan music is like a tree. We are the branches and the leaves. We get to be blown back and forth by the wind of our times, but we always stay connected with the root. Because, without it, there are neither branches, nor leaves”.
-Giorgis Xylouris (Psarogiorgis)