Gioconda’s Smile  is one of the most famous albums by Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis. It is considered one of the classic albums of 20th-century music in Greece. The album was recorded in New York in 1965, with Quincy Jones as producer. It was first released in USA in 1965 with twelve orchestral songs, and that same year in Greece. In this video, MandolinARTE, the Plucked Strings Orchestra of Athens performs The Concerto from the famous disc.

Performing for the New York Times with MandolinARTE

In this beautiful video, MandolinARTE, the Plucked Orchestra of Athens is performing for the Democracy forum organized by the New York Times in Athens, September 2016.

The dreamy sound of the mandolin is great with Handjidakis music but also the dreamy atmosphere of the magnificent Roman Agora located at the center of the Athens, is the perfect setting for a concert!

You can read more about the New York Times conferences here and about the 2016 forum here.

Roman Agora is the perfect setting for concerts!


As you can see from the pictures below, the Roman Agora at the center of Athens is the perfect place for a concert. Mind you, it is extremely difficult to get a permit from the Greek State officials to perform there!

I think that we were very lucky to perform there, as a result of the importance of the New York Times Forum importance and of course the fact we were performing with the extraordinary Greek singer, Alkistis Protopsalti. Enjoy the photos…

When a performance has technical issues…keep smiling!

During this performance where I play the Octave Mandolin, we were unlucky to have the microphone of the guitar broken at the very first note! As a result, nobody was able to hear the rhythm set by my friend guitarist Kostas Bouropoulos. Also his important melody passages were simply not existent.

Did that affect us? Yes it did. But did it ruin the performance? No it did not (as you can see)!

As everybody performing live knows, bad things do happen. So the only thing to do in such cases is to continue playing and smile. The reason I am posting this video here is to show how we managed to cope with the issue and play this song. It is not perfect I know, but it is much better than what it could have been!

So, smile and always keep playing!



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