Having built her reputation as a singer of Baroque, renaissance, and early music, Savina Yannatou has increasingly veered toward avant-garde jazz and improvisational music. Accompanied by her band, Primavera en Salonico, which she formed in 1993, Yannatou continues to demonstrate her mastery of Mediterranean music. Her repertoire includes songs from Sardinia, Corsica, Israel, Turkey, Italy, Cyprus, Albania, Spain, Africa, South American, the Caribbean, and her homeland in Greece. RootsWorld described her as "a singer of astonishing range, superb vocal control, and consummate musical scholarship," while www.cityofwomen-a.si claimed that "like a tightrope walker, she elegantly dances on the rope connecting the modal music of the Orient with equivalent music from the West, medieval song and Mediterranean polyphonies." Having established her reputation in classical music, Yannatou began to expand her horizons in 1993 when she formed Primavera en Salonico. The group -- which focuses on a mix of European classical, Byzantine, traditional Greek, and Near Eastern music -- creates a world music sound with a combination of Western instruments (guitar, violin and double bass) and Eastern instruments, including toumbeleki, bendir, tambourine, daoul, kanonaki, nay, and tamboura. A year after coming together, Yannatou and Primavera en Salonico recorded an album of Sephardic folk songs of the Balkan region. The album was followed by two additional group recordings -- Songs From the Mediterranean and Virgin Maries of the World. Yannatou has also recorded as a soloist, releasing Spring in Salonica in 1994, Traditional Lullabies in 1998, and Rosa Das Rosas in 2000. ~ Craig Harris
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