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“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)
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“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/” target=”_blank”>

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
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“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”


A Night When All the World’s Onstage
The New York Times – 10/01/2012 – Jon Pareles

The most traditionalist group at Globalfest was Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, from Salento in the Puglia region of southern Italy, and it was a whirlwind. It plays an ancient style called pizzica tarantata: ritual healing songs driven by speedy, triple-time tambourines and declaimed in sharp-toned voices. But even as they exulted in their heritage, they stretched it. For one song the group brought up a Lebanese trumpeter, and soon the tambourines were propelling a chromatic, zigzagging melody that was headed away from home.

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.

Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino in concert 22/o8/2011

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.

Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino Best Italian World Music Band
Appeared on: 24/11/2010. In: Nuovo Quotidiano di Puglia. Written by: Osvaldo Piliego.

Despite the sound of the word, Salento is not silent at all. It has a bright voice which spreads around loud and clear, winning its place in the international music panorama. Like a marvellous tree, its sound, deeply rooted in the local traditions, boasts a lusty crown of modern branches and projects itself into the future with continuous unexpected stems.
In such a buzzing music scene, Mauro Durante and his group Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino have been awarded the “Premio italiano Musica popolare indipendente” as best world music band. Their latest album “Focu d’amore” reviews some major phases in the group’s repertoire, starting from its inception in 1975 when Daniele and Rina Durante founded the band. An exploratory tour of new music spaces, made possible by the presence of highly talented musicians embracing styles ranging from jazz to classical music, this record opens new paths in the area of folk and world music. […]

IT. Ma quale Salento lento! Questa terra corre, compete e vince. E viaggia, arriva lontano e si fa ascoltare. Ha il suono della tradizione che affonda la sue radici profonde nella storia dei luoghi ma anche quello di un presente fatto di rami lunghi che hanno visto altro e producono inedite gemmazioni.

A dimostrazione di una scena musicale popolare in continua crescita, Mauro Durante e il suo rinnovato Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino ritireranno il Premio italiano Musica popolare indipendente nella categoria “migliore gruppo”. Il loro album “Focu d’amore” è un viaggio che ripercorre il repertorio della band fondata sull’onda del folk revival nel 1975 da Daniele e Rina Durante. Un percorso che esplora territori musicali nuovi grazie a una schiera di musicisti d’eccezione capaci di spaziare dal jazz alla musica classica e indica nuovi percorsi possibili alle musiche di tradizione. […]

Pizzica on the road
La Repubblica – 12/o9/2011- Francesco La Tegola

Stati Uniti, 2011. Il Canzoniere intraprende un lungo tour nordamericano. Ventitre date tra Stati Uniti e Canada, con tappe a Chicago, NewYork, Toronto, Montreal, Washington, Philadelphia, tra gli altri. Un tour da record: il più lungo per un gruppo italiano che per la prima volta tocca il territorio statunitense.

REVIEW: Magical evening launches Landfall Festival at CSPS
Estern Iowa Life – 22/o9/2011- Diana Nollen

Several more standing ovations awaited as Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino brought a hip spin totraditional Old World sounds.[…] Their layers of sound and exotic array of instruments brought whistles, shouts and applause during and after each spirited song.[…] Actually, all the evening’s musicians spoke the universal language of virtuosity.

Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino to open La Notte della Taranta
Appeared on 28/08/2010. In: La Repubblica. Written by. Antonella Gaeta

«This is a big International meeting of great artists– declares Turkish DJ Mercan Dede – but the real stars of the festival are the local musicians, who pass on to us their traditions». He is absolutely right: the Notte della Taranta Orchestra, with its 30 musicians and Ludovico Einaudi’s assistant, Mauro Durante, are the core of this event. […]
The concert, in the memory of local violinist Luigi Stifani who died ten years ago, will be opened by Uccio Aloisi and Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (and will be broadcast live on Telenorba, Telerama and Puglia Channel).

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.”

WMN’s Rough Guide to globalFEST 21/12/2011

Accustomed to playing to crowds tens of housands strong, their globalFEST 2012 performance will no doubt be a mesmerizing one.

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.

INTERVISTA · Parla Mauro Durante, icona del Salento Folk Revival«Il segreto della pizzicaè la sua forza primordiale»
Il Manifesto – 22/o9/2011 – Pierfrancesco Pacoda

Mauro Durante, non ancora trentenne, è l’icona immediatamente riconoscibile del Salento Folk Revival, quell’inarrestabile ondata che, generata dalle ricerche e dall’amore per la cultura contadina negli anni ’70 del Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino ha portato al successo planetario della Notte della Taranta.

La Pizzica a New York
L’Espresso – 7/10/2011- Pierfrancesco Pacoda

Il Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino suona ogni sera […]Il più lungo tour di un gruppo italiana in America: 21 date, tutto easurito[…]Oggi il gruppo annovera tra i suoi più accesi sostenitori David Byrne.

Dances with Spiders: Italian RootsMusic, With Bite, Comes to NorthAmerica
Popmatters 11/o9/2011 George de Stefano

Few bands have represented Salento and its culture as long and devotedly as Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino[..]When played by an expert ensemble like CGS, pizzica can exert a powerful, even overwhelming force; you can understand—no, feel—how its rhythms induced frenzied dancing and trance states.”

120 thousand people sing along with Canzonere Grecanico Salentino
Appeared on 31.08.2010. In: Corriere della Sera. Written by: Felice Blasi

MELPIGNANO – Saturday night at Melpignano, during the closing concert of La Notte della Taranta, the public made its voice heard clearer then ever. […]
It was one of the most touching moments since the beginning of La Notte della Taranta – 13 concerts in all, from 13 to 28 August, touring around the Grecìa salentina region – and it clearly showed that this event has acquired a national significance that goes well beyond that of a music event. The band Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino was closing the first part of the concert with a song titled “La quistione meridionale”, a track with ironical lyrics on the problems that followed Italian unification: to paesants, migrants and outlaws the Italian unification brought only grief, mourning and death; but for a “professor” who studied it and became member of Parliament, gaining money from both legal and illegal sources, Italian unification turned out to be a real business. The song ended with Mauro Durante’s violin satirically playing the refrain of the Italian national anthem, and the public singing along. But when the notes ended, the public went on singing the anthem. «Initially – says Mauro Durante – I thought the public did not understand the irony behind this particular track. But then, when we were silently standing on the stage, to my surprise I became ever more certain of something I have long believed: in folk music, the musicians and the public are equally important. The music of “La Quistione meridionale” was written in 1981 by my father Daniele on a poem by Rina Durante and it was considered a socially engaged song piece with an artist marking. Today, a track of this type is considered by the public as folk music. I wonder why in Greece and Spain sirtaki and flamenco, respectively, are played on the radio as national music, while Italians call national music a type of pop music which has no links to the history of our Country».[…]

MELPIGNANO – Sabato sera a Melpignano, al concerto finale della Notte della Taranta, è salita la voce della massa. […]
Ed è stato forse il momento più alto di tutta la serie dei tredici concerti itineranti iniziati il 13 agosto nei paesi della Grecìa salentina, perché ha fatto intuire il significato, ormai nazionale e anche extramusicale, della Notte della Taranta. Stava per concludersi la prima parte della serata con un brano suonato dal Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, La Quistione meridionale, ironica parafasi dei «Fratelli d’Italia» scritta da Daniele Durante su testo della saggista Rina Durante. A briganti, contadini ed emigranti la quistione ha portato solo dolore, morte e separazione; invece, un «tizio professore» che l’ha studiata è diventato un personaggio, un deputato a cui entrano quattrini da ogni parte: «per lui la Quistione meridionale è stata certamente un buon affare». La canzone si è chiusa con le note suonate beffardamente al violino da Mauro Durante sul refrain dell’inno di Mameli. Ma nel silenzio che ne è seguito il pubblico ha continuato a cantare questo «pezzo tutt’ora in voga», come lo definiva Rino Gaetano. «Da principio – ci dice Mauro Durante – ho pensato che gli spettatori non avessero capito il senso ironico del brano. Poi, mentre noi musicisti eravamo in silenzio sul palco, ho avuto la sorpresa e la conferma di quello che ho sempre pensato: che nella musica popolare esecutore e pubblico hanno la stessa importanza. La Quistione meridionale nacque come brano d’autore nel 1981 per lo spettacolo Ballata salentina, scritto da mio padre Daniele su versi di una poesia di Rina Durante. Oggi un brano del genere è percepito come musica popolare. Mi chiedo come mai in Grecia il sirtaki, o in Spagna il flamenco, sono ascoltati alla radio come musica nazionale, mentre in Italia la musica nazionale è soltanto un pop che non ha legami con la storia del nostro Paese».[…]

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.

Viviana Leo – Musicaround

[…] This record is a highly coherent and refined interpretation of the traditional language and structure of folk music. Going against a fashion that imposes contamination at all costs, it is characterized by technical elegance and expressiveness developed within well defined boundaries by musician with a clear personality and broad music heritage.