The band has few peers in contemporary world music– The New Yorker
Formed by writer Rina Durante in 1975, Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino 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.
The whirling rhythms and gale force irascibility of Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino are something to behold. Violins shriek and swoon, an accordion groans, a bass guitar throbs and thuds dissonantly. Sometimes vocals will intrude, rising like a wind over the tumult of instrumentation.– Irish Independent