Vivi Gkeka (or Vivi Geka) is a mandolin player from Greece. I have recently discovered her videos on youtube.
A short biography of Vivi Gkeka can be found here:
The recent videos with Vivi Gkeka have been produced together with the pianist Dr. George Roberts. Let’s start with one of the Carribean Music Videos – Sly Mongoose
Working with Vivi, my Athenian Mandolin collaborator on this piece, further reinforced to me that music and playing has an accent. Though she easily got the notes correctly, to get the Caribbean intonation we had to get her dancing on the chair in rhythm. And even after that you could sometimes hear her Greek heritage coming through.
Vivi Geka was born in Athens in 1968 and has studied theory of music, mandolin and piano at the Greek Conservatory and the Conservatory of Aggela Lalaouni. She has collaborated with great Greek composers such as Manos Hadjidakis and Mikis Theodorakis and with famous international music ensembles.
Listen to “The Concerto” from the album “Polyrhythmic Eroticism” with 21 melodies of Manos Hdjidakis.
In the past Vivi Gkeka has played Greek music and classical mandolin music in the ensemble
opou gamma, ro
This is a song by Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis
Manos Hadjidakis-Μάνος Χατζιδάκις Performed by ” opou gamma, ro ” Mandolin: Vivi Gkeka Cello: Christina Kolovou Base: Vaggelis Zografos Piano: George Diamantopoulos Arranged by George Diamantopoulos
The videos with Dr. George Roberts and Vivi Gkeka are great examples how well piano and mandolin can be played together. There are only few mandolin players who do regularly play together with a piano. In the time around 1900 when the mandolin was very popular in Europe many pieces for mandolin and piano have been composed and pblished, and maybe many interesting pieces could be discovered.
I have compiled my favorite Videos with Vivi Gkeka in the following Playlist.
The next video has been recorded together with the guitarist George Diamantopoulos, a quartet recorded in a multi track video: Vivi Gkeka – Mandolin, Mandola George Diamantopoulos – Guitar, Mandola