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In popular culture song constantly accompanies people’s lives, marking the most significant moments, personal and communal. One sings about the passing of the seasons, love that is born and that ends. One sings to celebrate the divine and the everyday, life and death. Today CGS sings its own Canzoniere: its new captivating Songbook.

CGS comes from Puglia, the heel of the "Italian boot" in Southern Italy.  A land surrounded by the sea, an historic crossroads of sounds, colors and languages. Its uniqueness was born out of its capacity to synthesize many diverse cultures. Here even the iconic Coke bottle was transformed, becoming a container for home made tomato sauce. CGS’ music is like that sauce: unique, timeless, profoundly contemporary. .

Canzoniere is a collection of 13 songs (11 original and 2 traditional), which consecrate the international dimension of the group. Mauro Durante conceived an innovative and ambitious album, salentino in lyrics, sound and heart, but with a global calling. With his exceptional traveling companions (Giulio Bianco, Emanuele Licci, Massimiliano Morabito, Giancarlo Paglialunga, Silvia Perrone and Alessia Tondo) different musical styles are confronted without ever losing CGS' own unmistakable style and originality. In Canzoniere, “Pizzica” meets the world, with strength and maturity.

A project born and developed between Lecce and New York, where Mauro spent several months, composing some of the songs with the likes of Joe Mardin (Aretha Franklin, George Benson, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston, Jewel, Bette Midler), Michael Leonhart (Bruno Mars, Steely Dan, James Brown, Lenny Kravitz, Mark Ronson), Rasmus Bille Bahncke (Backstreet Boys, CeCe Winans, Sting, Blue, Miley Cyrus), Steve Skinner (Arif Mardin, Celin Dion, Diana Ross, R Kelly), Scott Jacoby (Coldplay, John Legend, Vampire Weekend, Sia, Rachel Platten). 

Among the guests stand out Justin Adams on Aiora, English guitarist and long time collaborator of Robert Plant, and the English-French singer songwriter Piers Faccini on Subbra Sutta, who also co-wrote the song. The album also features the cello of Marco Decimo.

The producer and mixing engineer is Joe Mardin, son of the legendary Arif Mardin (Norah Jones, Aretha Franklin, The Bee Gees, Chaka Khan). The mastering engineer is Joe LaPorta (Grammy-winning engineer for David Bowie’s Blackstar), of Sterling Sound in NYC. 

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CANZONIERE GRECANICO SALENTINO (CGS)

Best Italian World Music Band, MEI 2010

Babel Med Music 2011

globalFEST NY 2012

WOMEX 2012

SXSW 2013

WOMAD 2013

SZIGET 2014 and 2015

Celtic Connections 2015

WOMADelaide, WOMAD New Zealand 2015

Cambridge Folk Festival 2015

FMM Sines 2015

Formed by writer Rina Durante in 1975, Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (CGS) is regarded as Italy’s leading and longest-standing traditional music ensemble, hailing from the Salento, the heel of the Italian boot, in Puglia.

Italy’s fascinating dichotomy of tradition and modernity come together in the music of CGS: the seven piece band and dancer are the leading exponents in a new wave of young performers re-inventing Southern Italy’s Pizzica musical and dance traditions for today’s global audience.

The tens of thousands who often congregate for this Lecce-based band’s concerts in Italy know: Bandleader, fiddler, and drummer Mauro Durante and company can make an audience shimmy with the energy of the ancient ritual of pizzica tarantata, said to cure the taranta spider’s bite with its frenzied trance dances. CGS shows are a life explosion: full of energy, passion, rhythm and mystery, they bring the audience from the past into modernity, and back.

Leadership of the ensemble was handed down to Durante by his acclaimed father Daniele, in 2007. CGS has revitalized both the rousing and the introspective sides of Southern Italian song and dance. Durante continues to innovate and energize, bringing decades of experience playing with global artists (Ballake Sissoko, Ibrahim Maalouf, Piers Faccini), contemporary classical composers (Ludovico Einaudi), and pop mavericks (Stewart Copeland of The Police).

At the age of 26, Durante was already the musical assistant of Ludovico Einaudi, Maestro Concertatore of the powerful Italian La Notte della Taranta festival, and worked with him in the creation and artistic production of that spectacular performance. CGS opened the Concertone of La Notte della Taranta in Melpignano, performing live in front of over 100.000 people.

Critically acclaimed with 18 albums and countless live performances throughout USA, Canada, Europe and the Middle East, in 2010 CGS was awarded Best Italian World Music Group at Italy’s MEI confab.

Line up: Mauro Durante (voice, frame drums, violin), Alessia Tondo (voice), Giulio Bianco (Italian bagpipes, harmonica, recorders), Massimiliano Morabito (diatonic accordion), Emanuele Licci (voice, guitar, bouzouki), Giancarlo Paglialunga (voice, tamburrieddhu), Silvia Perrone (dance) .

 

VIDEOS

Taranta https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cG6pbwx_dw

download videoclip www.yowau.com/canzoniere/taranta.zip

SOLO ANDATA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tf-bH-aaLB4 download videoclip https://vimeo.com/98321831

about the album Quaranta https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gzfo3fTWqgg

 

PRESS QUOTES

THE NEW YORK TIMES

"CGS was a whirlwind” - "Lets the Pizzica Sing" 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/29/arts/music/canzoniere-grecanico-salentino-lets-the-pizzica-sing.html?_r=0

 

THE NEW YORKER

"The band has few peers in contemporary world music"

 

THE GUARDIAN

4 stars http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/may/07/canzoniere-grecanico-salentino-quaranta-review

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/may/13/the-playlist-folk-and-world-the-younguns-lau-and-the-foghorn-stringband

"one of the most exciting performances of WOMAD 13 festival came from CGS - an extraordinary, exhilarating noise" (uno dei concerti più esaltanti del WOMAD 2013 è arrivato dal CGS - un rumore straordinario, inebriante)

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/jul/29/womad-2013-review-robin-denselow

"the triumph at Womad of Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino" (il trionfo al Womad del CGS)

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/aug/26/towersey-festival-review

 

FROOTS

"one of the best bands in the world at the moment without a shred of doubt" 

"Pizzica Regeneration" front cover May 2013

 

LA REPUBBLICA - E. Assante

"l'interesse internazionale che suscita il collettivo pugliese forse non trova eguali nella scena italiana"

http://www.repubblica.it/spettacoli/musica/2014/07/08/news/canzoniere_grecanico_salentino-90908232/

 

THE INDEPENDENT

"Traditional music has rarely sounded more intense, mysterious and urgent"

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/reviews/album-review-canzoniere-grecanico-salentino-pizzica-indiavolata-discovery-records-8458689.html

 

SONGLINES

5 stars Review, Top of the World http://www.songlines.co.uk/world-music-news/2015/06/album-review-top-of-the-world-canzoniere-grecanico-salentino-quaranta/

Puglia’s finest hit their 40s with no hint of a mid-life crisis

"Quaranta, CGS’s new release, celebrates four decades of the group’s existence. It is awe-inspiring, stirring and soulful; with an array of acoustic instruments plus subtle keyboards, this septet of accomplished musicians (plus one dancer) have long been giving Salento traditional music a contemporary character. Take the standout work-song-style opener ‘Tienime Tata’, or the powerful account of migrants, seeking hope, trying to cross the Mediterranean that is ‘Solo Andata’. Or the rousing ‘No Tap’, on which Fanfara Tirana add weighty brass, or ‘Ziccate’, about local environmental devastations. Producer Ian Brennan has captured the band’s sheer exuberance and straightforward sound. Thundering tamburelli percussion and driving fiddle by bandleader Mauro Durante (whose father co-founded the band in 1975), propel the organetto, guitar, bouzouki, bass, zampogna, ciaramella and flute, with Maria Mazzotta, Gianluca Paglialunga and Emanuele Licci’s voices displaying stunning diversity of timbre. There’s the bitter humour of the fizzing tarantella ‘I Love Italia’, featuring Piers Faccini, and the exotic-tinged ‘Taranta’, on which pianist Ludovico Einaudi pops up. Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino are contagiously spreading the rhythms of Puglia round the world”

Top of the World: Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino – Pizzica Indiavolata

http://www.songlines.co.uk/world-music-news/2013/04/top-of-the-world-canzoniere-grecanico-salentino-pizzica-indiavolata/

 

LIBERATION

"L’énergie de Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino emporte tout sur son passage” 

 

POPMATTERS

http://www.popmatters.com/review/193161-canzoniere-grecanico-salentino-quaranta/

"With Quaranta, Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, a band rooted in the past but thoroughly contemporary, has made an outstanding album that feels both of the moment and timeless”

Tracklist
 
1. Quannu Te Visciu
2. Ientu
3. Lu Giustacofane
4. Con Le Mie Mani
5. Tienime
6. Moi
7. Pizzica De Sira
8. Aiora
9. Subbra Sutta
10. La Ballata Degli Specchi
11. Sempre Cu Mie
12. Intra La danza