“CGS was a whirlwind” – Lets the Pizzica Sing” 


“The band has few peers in contemporary world music”


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


“one of the best bands in the world at the moment without a shred of doubt”
“Pizzica Regeneration” front cover May 2013


“l’interesse internazionale che suscita il collettivo pugliese forse non trova eguali nella scena italiana”


“Traditional music has rarely sounded more intense, mysterious and urgent”


5 stars Review, Top of the World 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


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


“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”

Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino
Le Monde – 27/12/2011 – Patrick Labesse

Un violon d’une gloutonne énergie, rejoint par une fougueuse voix féminine, puis celle d’un chanteur tout aussi emporté et le rythme entêtant du tamburello, un tambourin martelé avec frénésie. Dès l’ouverture de Focu d’amore, cette joyeuse bande italienne va droit au but.

CGS at New York Gypsy Festival
The New Yorker – 09/o9/2011- Dan Kaufman

Much of the material the group performs is intended for a traditional courtship dance from the region called the pizzica, or, more recently, the taranta. Their intense and precise arrangements of it are utterly beguiling and trance-inducing.

Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino Live at Babel Med Music
Appeared on: 05/04/2011. In: Written by: Benjamin Minimum

In the night between the 26 and the 27 of March by saying hi to the spring we lose a hour according to the western timetable. However, during the last night of he Babel Med Music festival 2011, this effort was largely compensated by the emotional intensity of the Italian group Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino […]
In the crowd, you can see the first reactions provoked by the uneasiness of the pizzica. Smiles come out, feet lift up from the ground, heart, bodies and soul mix with each other like in a turbine.

[…]The six young virtuous musicians and a naughty dancer with carmine veils on the stage dominate our emotions. It’s like a perturbation bringing us until remote periods.
[…]Anyway this music is lacking success and glamour style to become a proper international phenomenon. There are not so many musicians as Mauro Durante and his partners to conjugate a savage essence with a music with no imperfections[…]

In conclusion, we can say that even without losing its sensuality and provoking a state of constant uneasiness, Pizzica might result attractive and involving for the rest of the world such as it did with the Babel Med Music 2011 audience.

National Geographic  


Thrill with the explosive excitement of one of Italy’s hottest bands. This multi-generational group brings alive the music of Italy’s Puglia region—through atmospheric concerts ranging from tender love songs to pagan rites marked by frenzied dance and pizzica tarantata played on guitar, drums, accordion, and bagpipes.

Focu d’amore
Telerama – 26/11/2011 – Anne Berthod

Les arrangements de Mauro Durante, qui a repris le flambeau paternel en 2007, redessinent aussi les contours d’un Salento universel.

“Pizzica can transcend linguistic and temporal borders.”
Roots World – 5/o1/2012 – George De Stefano

[…]The band was electrifying, a whirlwind of rhythmic power and soulful melody.[…]Under the spell of CGS, waiters beat their trays in time to the band’s surging rhythms, bartenders danced as they served drinks (“I don’t know what this music is, but it’s fantastic!” mine exclaimed), and the patrons left their seats to pack the dance floor. How amazing, I thought, that the centuries-old music of a peasant folk ritual could work its magic in this setting, so distant in time and place from its origins.

World music fest – 19/o9/2011

“[…]a sound full of energy, passion, rhythm and mystery.”

La scommessa vinta della pizzica in America tra Stati Uniti e Canada 23 concerti in 23 giorni
Il super tour del Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino
Corriere della Sera – 13/1o/2011 – Francesco Farina

“Siamo partiti per un tour di ventuno date in Nord America ma ne abbiamo fatte ventitré perché due ci sono state richieste mentre eravamo sul posto. Considerando che siamo stati negli Usa e in Canada per ventitré giorni, abbiamo fatto fino a tre concerti in un giorno”

All Over the Map: GlobalFEST 2012 – New York – 18/o1/2012 – George De Stefano

CGS returned to New York for GlobalFEST, and their performance was a triumph. Led by violinist and percussionist Mauro Durante, the septet played a fiery, rhythm-driven set that electrified the packed Marlin room. While hewing to pizzica’s traditions, the band subtly wove in other influences—a bit of bluegrass stomp, some qawwali-style vocals, and jazz (courtesy of the Lebanese-born and France-based trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf). Each musician demonstrated a vivid musical personality and formidable chops, Dancer Silvia Perrone delighted the audience with her graceful, sensual moves.
The band was so on fire that after their set ended, and while the stage crew set up for the next act, they played an impromptu jam in the audience. After the impressive debut they made this year, the return of Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino ought to be on the bill for GlobalFEST 2013.

Canzoniere in the Italian Playlist of David Byrne

Radio David Byrne – March 2010

In his “radio programme”, this famous musician plays selected traditional Italian tracks (by Modugno, Conte, Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino) along with a few modern pieces (by Debora Petrina, Carmen Consoli, Marco Parente)

Focu d’amore Best Album of the Year 2010
Appeared in July 2010. In: Giudizio Universale. Written by: Dario De Marco.

Salento and pizzica have currently lost much of their original flavor to become simply part of fashion. But the Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino was born 35 year ago, well before this fashion began and has been leading band in the revival of Apulian music traditions. Yet, they know how to keep up-to-date, thanks to talented young musicians and a broad music repertoire which includes: old pizzicas played without any commercial overtone in order to bring their hypnotic rhythm to the fore; lullabies and serenades in griko (a local dialect originating in Modern Greek) transformed into jazz ballads; playful brass band pieces; and socially engaged songs (such as their piece La quistione meridionale). Viscerale.

Salvatore Esposito – Blogfoolk

Focu D’Amore is the record that best represents the state of the art of Salentine music revival and will be a prominent landmark for future generations of musicians.