Syros is a Greek Aegean island, located at the Cyclades region. Its capital is Ermoupolis. After 1826 AD , and the resettlement of refugee populations from the (still under Ottoman authority) islands of Psara, Chios, Crete, and also form Asia Minor, Syros island gradually promoted into one of the most prominent naval, industrial and cultural centers of the newly founded modern Greek state. After the end of the Greco – Turkish war (1922 AD), numerous refugees from Smyrni (Izmir), also resettled in Syros, enriching the island’s life with their distinctive cultural achievements.
Refugee music was a major factor that affected the common people of Syros, and quickly evolved into the modern Greek urban folk music, known as rebetiko. Markos Vamvakaris was born in 1905, at the Skali neighborhood of Hermoupolis. He was son of a poor peasant family. With his work, he managed to enrich rebetiko in musical style, form and lyrics, thus regarded as one of the rebetiko pioneers. Syros is regarded nowadays as one of the birthplaces of this particular style of Greek folk music. This honor is owed completely to Markos, the “eternal rembetiko patriarch”.