Michael Kaler - Bouzouki and Vocals Michael Kaler, a.k.a. Blitz, is a scholar, teacher and musician who fell in love with rebetiko music - and particularly the music of Markos Vamvakaris - way back in the 1990s. But at that time he was too busy touring and recording with singer/songwriter Ron Hawkins to do anything about it. However, once he'd returned from grad school in Quebec, he set to work creating musical contexts in which to explore this hypnotic style of Greek folk music. In 2008 he formed Alaniaris, an electric trio influenced equally by rebetiko, Dick Dale, and free improve, but realized that something was still lacking in his life. So in 2013 he started playing bouzouki seriously and formed the Friends of Markos, an acoustic band, to take a more folk approach to rebetiko music - and, as time went on, other music from the Aegean region as well.
Michaelangelo Iafalldano - Vocals, Baglama, Clarinet and Percussion. Michelangelo Iaffaldano is an Italian-born visual artist, singer and multi-instrumentalist, active both in the experimental and folk / traditional music scenes. He has been known to dress in black and sing with the Element Choir.
Rachel Melas - Upright Bass, Accordion, Violin. Rachel Melas has spent almost 4 decades playing electric and upright bass in various bands. She is currently fascinated by all sorts of archaic music. She plays bass with Swamperella, les Singes Bleus, Moo'd Swing, Jazz singer Joanne Morra, Klezmer groups The Horables and the Gypsy Jive Band as well as other purveyors of jazz and traditional music.
Conny Nowe - Guitar, Vocals and Mandolin. Conny Nowe is a veteran of many musical scenes, drumming in punk and pop bands in the 80's, world music bands in the 90's and turning her attention to acoustic music as the rhythm guitarist in Swamperella for the last 20 years. She has been playing Klezmer and Old Time music on the mandolin for the last 15 years. When Conny is not playing music she is a professional sound technician.
Mark Zurawinski - Percussion Mark Zurawinski is a Toronto-based drummer and percussionist. With an eclectic palette, and fondness for left of field music, he can be found mixing it up in city’s vibrant creative music scene with groups ranging from folk to free-jazz, post-bop to surf-rock, and fusions of all kinds. You might have heard him in other popular Rebetiko inspired acts such as Alaniaris, and Never No More!