Antonio Castrignanò: Traditional Music from the Future at Womex Festival

Antonio Castrignanò
Antonio Castrignanò

14.10.2021, by Luca Testoni

A “thoroughbred” from team Ponderosa takes to the stage at Womex, the Portuguese festival-fair long devoted to the exportation of world music.

Among the live performances scheduled for the prestigious festival, whose 27th edition will be held in Porto (Portugal) from October 27th through the 31st, audiences will find a show by Antonio Castrignanò, one of the main protagonists in the rediscovery of traditional Salentine music, the “pizzica tarantata”.

On October 28th, the 44-year-old musician and composer from Calimera, a town in the so-called Grecìa Salentina, will perform with his Taranta Sounds ensemble on the stage of the Coliseu Porto Ageas theater, a cult venue of the Portuguese cultural scene.

Antonio’s participation in Womex will be a chance to perform never-before-heard pieces from “Babilonia”, the new album by Antonio Castrignanò & Taranta Sounds, scheduled for release with Ponderosa Records on February 18th, 2022.

«This is not traditional music from the past. It is traditional music from the future. It explores the issues and doubts of today with a language that is consciously aimed at the young», Castrignanò explained of his new work. The two singles preceding the album’s release are inspired by the same principles: take for instance “Masseria Boncuri”, a clear reference to one of the most symbolic places in the fight against agricultural workers’ exploitation, the so-called “caporalato”: the piece flows from a powerful groove of Mediterranean-inspired chords to describe the reality and exploitation taking place in the fields of Salento, of the whole Puglia, of the whole world, and is further enriched by an appearance from Enzo Avitabile.

But Avitabile is not the only special guest on the album. Other artists have made their mark on Castrignanò’s new studio release, such as Gambian musician Sona Jobarteh, the first woman to play the African kora harp professionally; Senegalese singer Badara Seck; Turkish musician and producer Mercan Dede; Albanian cellist Redi Hasa; and Don Rico, the vocalist of long-standing Salentine-ragamuffin posse Sud Sound System.


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