Mauro, to put it bluntly, "had no choice". Not only because his father put him on the stage when he was a little child alongside some of the best international musicians invited in Salento, but mostly because he soon realized blood and music were flowing through his veins. Being a musician was just inevitable.
Nuovo Quotidiano di Puglia, 1/5/2010
At the early age of fourteen, Mauro Durante began playing the frame drums and the violin in the Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino. In 2007, he followed his father’s footsteps and took over the leadership of the band. (His mother, Rossella Pinto, was also one of the members that founded the CGS and she was part of the band until the keys were handed to the new generation).
Maria was still very young when she began to study classical music. She initially took up piano and harp lessons at the Tito Schipa Conservatoire in Lecce. She later learned the techniques of Salento singing thanks to collaborations with numerous traditional musical bands, among which there was the Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino.
Under the guidance of the homonymous Maria Mazzotta, she learned the basics of opera singing. Then she focused her attention on polyphony and ethnic music techniques as she studied with Gabriella Schiavone, singer of the Faraualla band.
Diatonic accordionist who was lucky enough to grow up in Cisternino, a little town near Brindisi, where there is the highest percentage of accordionist of the whole region (together with Villa Castelli).
He had the opportunity to learn the traditional repertoire directly from the elders, and at the same time he studied with Mario Slavi, attending workshops as well with some of the most important Italian and foreign organ players (like Vincenzo Caglioti, Roberto Tombesi, Riccardo Tesi, Joseba Tapia, Stéphane Delicq, Filippo Gambetta, Renato Borghetti).
He combined the study of the instrument with a thorough work of research in the field. That led him in 2004 to be in charge and edit the research CD Tomma tommë – music and dance from Murgia dei Trulli (Ethnica, Pino Gala), and have personal funds for his research in the Archives Sound Pugliese (Archivio Sonoro Pugliese).
In 2008, he recorded his first solo album sendë nà rionettë sunà (Squilibri ed.) in which he performed 11 ‘tarantelle’ from the southern center of the Puglia region. Many of them were the result of his research in the field, that is to say totally new. Thanks to his numerous collaborations, he performed on some of the most prestigious stages in Italy and abroad.
Extremely passionate and keen to learn about wind instruments, Giulio dedicated his time to a meticulous and constant study of the flutes (recorder and transverse), harmonica and Italian bagpipes.
He explored the techniques of these instruments and specialised in the traditional repertoire from Salento, especially in the execution of the ‘pizzica pizzica’. At the same time, he studied the musical traditions in which the flutes are predominantly used, focusing mainly on the Irish music.
The need to expend the possibilities of the instrument led him to study the Italian bagpipes in ‘Medolic’ scale and Bagpipe ‘Zoppa’ (with origins from the Molise, Lazio and Abruzzo regions). That allowed him to discover other musical genres (like rock), and gave him the opportunity to use the instrument with a modern and personal sensibility in his approach to popular music from Salento.
His professional career began very early at hardly 15, when he joined the Aioresis band. From that point on, he never ceased to gain experience through many collaborations not only in the popular music but also the folk scene (Modena City Ramblers, Carlos Nunez, The Chieftains). He recorded many albums and performed all around the world.
Fascinated by dancing ever since she was a little kid, she was particularly interested in dances with traditional and popular roots, which had among its main characteristics symbolism, elegance and sensuality.
She entered the world of ‘pizzica pizzica’ spontaneously out of the desire to dance the music of where she grew up. She was at all the popular festivals, taking part in the ‘ronde’ of musicians and dancers. She watched and learnt directly by mixing up with the other dancers of the region.
She soon felt the need to put in the traditional dance her own sensibility. She inserted some of her personal moves next to the most well-known ones, and borrowed some from other ‘tarantelle of different regions of southern Italy. She also invented a new style in the use of the foulard, important accessory in the ‘pizzica’ as well as in other popular dances, which is at the same time a love token (when dropped), symbol of shield, protection or distance (if used as a cap or barrier between the dancer and the man), or something used to play, to invite (when agitated away from the body, or rested on the shoulders or around the waist to symbolize a hug).
While preparing for her performances, she pays special attention to the full picture that will perceive the observer, she makes specific use of the lights, designed to enhance the shapes created by her moves.
Giancarlo plays the ‘tamburello’ with great temperament, he has an archaic voice tone and he’s one of the most important figures around in popular music in Salento.
He fell in love with the music of his homeland, Salento. He studied singing and traditional ‘tamburello’ through the elderly and by participating in all the most genuine events deriving from the traditions, like the ‘ronde’ and the popular festivals. He developed his own approach, floating somewhere between tradition and modernity.
Singer, guitar and bouzuki player, like Mauro Durante, Emanuele is the son of one of the founders of the Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, Roberto Licci.
His versatile and particular voice as well as his musical sensibility led him to become in recent years one of the main figures of popular music in the Puglia region.
He was born in Calimera (Le), where he still lives. He studied guitar with ‘maestros’ such as Daniele Durante, Sergio Stefano Sciattone, and Maurizio Colonna. He acquired from his father the love for singing in ‘Griko’, the ancient language of his home town.
Guitar teacher at the Lecce Music Accademy, he taught at the “Tito Schipa” Conservatory in Lecce in the experimental course of popular music.
His musical career began in the late 80’s with the Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, in a phase of experiments and revival of traditional music. He recorded two albums with the band called ‘Concerto 1’ and ‘Concerto 2’, taken from the show ‘Carataranta’ (in its first version).