Greek Music on the Gulf of Mexico

Pop-up Performance

This performance showcases the music and oral poetry brought to the Gulf Coast by Greek sponge divers, sailors, and fishermen, who settled in places like New Orleans; Mobile, Alabama; and Tarpon Springs, Florida. It will feature the laouto (long-necked steel-string lute), tsambouna (goatskin bagpipe), and fiddle, as well as improvised couplets and narrative songs on nautical and heroic themes.



Panayotis (Paddy) League

Panayotis (Paddy) League

Panayotis (Paddy) League is a musicologist, author, performer, and composer specializing in the traditional music, dance, and oral poetry of the Greek islands and Northeast Brazil – as well as the electric guitar music of the American South. He grew up in the Greek immigrant community of Tarpon Springs, Florida, where his family helped found the city’s sponge diving industry, and learned the music, dance, and poetry of the island of Kalymnos from elder practitioners in both Tarpon and Greece. Paddy is Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology and Director of the Center for Music of the Americas at Florida State University, and his book Echoes of the Great Catastrophe: Re-Sounding Anatolian Greekness in Diasporawas published in 2021 by University of Michigan Press. In 2019 he was named a Master Artist by the Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Program for his work teaching traditional Greek music and poetry to young community members.