Anastasios "Taso" Karistinos is the recipient of a 2010 Florida Folk Heritage Award for excellence as a sponge diver and sponge boat captain. Karistinos is a regular at the Gulf Maritime Fest.
TARPON SPRINGS - The Center for Gulf Coast Folklife has scheduled a variety of winter-spring programs, continuing March through May, including the popular Gulf Maritime Fest on March 23.
Events begin with Dodecanese Music Night, Saturday, March 9, 8 p.m. to midnight, at Kalymnian House, 42 W. Morgan St. Admission is $5: $10 for mezedes (appetizers plate). Kalymnian violinist Michalis Kappas joins laouto player Panayotis League for a night of music and dance from Kalymnos and other Dodecanese islands.
The Gulf Maritime Festival is Saturday March 23, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Sponge Docks. Tarpon Springs will showcase Gulf Coast maritime folklife from Cortez to Apalachicola along its working waterfront. Enjoy demonstrations, interviews, music, dance and food.
Journey Stories - Smithsonian Exhibition will be displayed April 11 to July 6, at the Center for Gulf Coast Folklife Gallery, 101 S. Pinellas Ave. A public reception is scheduled on Thursday, April 11, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Programs from 7:30 to 9 p.m. include:
• April 11 - Community Voices: How We Came Here and What We Brought. Community members explain why their families came here and what they brought with them to reflect their homelands and journeys.
• April 18 - Scholars and Stories: Gary Mormino/Ybor City, Ray Arsenault/African Americans, Jose Fernandez/Cubans, Jeff Klinkenberg/northerners, Tina Bucuvalas/Greeks. Florida scholars explore local and regional immigration, and tell their own journey stories.
• Friday, May 31 – Xenitia: Journey Songs of the Greek Diaspora. Songs about immigration, its difficulties, and the havoc it creates in the lives of those who leave and those left behind, are a staple of the Greek musical repertoire.
Night in the Islands takes place on Saturdays, 6 to 11 p.m. on April 20, May 11, June 1, July 13, Aug. 3, Sept. 7, Oct. 5 and Nov. 2 at the Sponge Docks. Free dance lessons are offered from 6 to 7 p.m. Night in the Islands re-creates the Greek islands with outdoor dining on the Sponge Docks, music by outstanding groups Ellada and Odyssey, and Greek dancing.
• Kalymnian Violin Workshops with Michalis Kappasm Thursday, March 7, 7 to 8:30 p.m.; Friday, March 8, 7 to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 9, 2 to 3:30 p.m.; Sunday, March 10, 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Safford House, 23 Parkin Court. Cost is $5 per class.
Michalis Kappas (Greece) will provide workshops in the traditional violin music of the island of Kalymnos. Kappas learned from the best traditional Kalymnian players of the older generation and has performed extensively at European and U.S. festivals. Students should bring a violin.
• Greek Percussion Workshops with Panayotis League, Friday, March 8, 5:30 to 7 p.m.; Saturday, March 9, noon to 1:30 p.m., at the Safford House, 23 Parkin Court. Cost is $5 per class.
Musician/ethnomusicologist Panayotis League will explore playing techniques and styles for the touberleki (dumbek), daouli (two-headed drum), defi (tambourine), and other instruments used in traditional Greek music. Students will learn dance rhythms and improvisation within rhythmic structures. Please bring an instrument.
• Bouzouki Workshops with Leonidas Zafiris, Sundays, 2 to 4 p.m., May 12, 19, June 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30, July 7, at Safford House, 23 Parkin Court. Cost is $5 per class.
Originally from Greece, Leonidas Zafiris is an outstanding professional bouzouki musician and teacher who just re-located to the Tarpon Springs area from Toronto. Classes will be divided into adult, 2 to 2:45p.m.; and youth, 3 to 4 p.m. There will be a few bouzoukis available for beginning students.
• Greek Clarinet Workshops with James Stoynoff, Thursday, May 30, 7 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, June 1, noon to 1 p.m.; Sunday, June 2, noon to 1 p.m., at Heritage Museum, 100 Beekman Lane, Craig Park. Cost is $5 per class.
James Stoynoff (Chicago) specializes in research, performance, and preservation of Greek folk music, with emphasis on the regional clarinet styles of Greece and Turkey. Students will learn songs typical of regional styles, and the history of the clarinet in Greek music. Students should have 1 year of clarinet, and should bring an instrument.
The Center for Gulf Coast Folklife offers programs focusing on traditional culture. The Center is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Florida Humanities Council. Journey Stories is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and Florida Humanities Council.