Roza Eskenazi
Women in Judaism ~ Women in Judaism - Singer

Roza Eskenazi

Roza Eskenazi was arguably the most famous and successful of all greek divas. A passionate, heartfelt soprano singer who shared some vocal qualities with both Billie holiday and Edith Piaf (both known for their ability to convey raw emotion through song), Eskanazi was a powerful interpreter of a wide range of artistic material but is most remembered as a Rembetiko singer – in the greek folk tradition. Her prowess earned her the name The Queen of Rembetiko.

Eskenazi was born Sarah Skinazi to a Sephardic Jewish family in Istanbul, Turkey in the mid-1890s. She sang as a small girl and her talents were noticed immediately, and she pursued her dreams of being a singer and dancer, first in her hometown of Thessaloniki and then in Athens, After teaming up with two Armenian musicians Seramous and Zabel – with them, she performed a wide variety of songs in Greek, Turkish and Armenian. In the 1920's, she came to the attention of well-known composer and impresario Panagiotis Toundas. Toundas immediately recognized her talent and introduced her to Vassilis Toumbakaris of Columbia Records – thus began a recording career that lasted until the 1970's.

Much has been written about Eskenzi and her extraordinary life and a documentary film, My Sweet Canary premiered in Thessaloniki, Greece in 2012.

Your can find out more about the film and the work surrounding it to continue Eskenazi's impressive musical legacy in

Subscribe to our mailing list

* All fields are required

What newsletters are you interested in?