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Rita Abatzi (also spelled Abadzi; Greek: Ρίτα Αμπατζή) (1914 – 17 June 1969) was a Greek rebetiko musician who began her career in the first part of the 1930s.

Rita Abatzi

She was born in Smyrna (now Izmir), Turkey.[1] Some sources have given her year of birth as 1903.[2] A versatile singer of rebetiko, Smyrneika and other music, she was a popular performer on gramophone records in the 1930s. During that decade, the only female singer of rebetiko who rivalled her in popularity, and in the number of her recordings, was Roza Eskenazy.[3][4]

Abatzi performed with many of the most famous musicians including Panayiotis Toundas, Vangelis Papazoglou, Kostas Skarvelis, Iakovos Montanaris, Spyros Peristeris, Dimitrios Semsis, I. Ogdontaki up to Markos Vamvakaris and Vassilis Tsitsanis. Her career ended after World War II.[2] She died in Egaleo (Athens), Greece.

Her sister, Sofia Karivali, was also a notable singer of rebetiko.[2]


Two collections dedicated to Rita Abatzi's recordings have been issued:[1]

Rita Abatzi 1933–1938, Heritage
Rita Abatzi, Minos-Arkheio

Rita Abatzi. Mother, please don't send me to America


^ a b Broughton, Simon; Mark Ellingham; Richard Trillo [editors] (1999) World music: the rough guide. Africa, Europe and the Middle East, Volume 1. Rough Guides. p. 138. ISBN 1-85828-635-2
^ a b c National Geographic World Music: Rita Abatzi
^ Greek-Oriental Rebetica: Songs and Dances in the Asia Minor Style, 1911–1937. CD booklet. Arhoolie/Folklyric 7005
^ Petropoulos, Elias, Ed Emery, and A. Kanavakis. (2000). Songs of the Greek underworld: the Rebetika tradition. London: Saqi Books. p. 34. ISBN 0-86356-398-8

Singers and Composers

Rita Abatzi | Grigorios Asikis | Giorgos Batis | Sotiria Bellou | Manolis Chiotis | Loukas Daralas | Roza Eskenazy | Michalis Genitsaris | Manos Hadjidakis | Antonios Katinaris | Maria Katinari | Apostolos Nikolaidis | Marika Ninou | Marika Papagika | Stelios Perpiniadis | Kostas Roukounas | Iovan Tsaous | Vasilis Tsitsanis | Kostas Skarvelis | Markos Vamvakaris


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