The Vibrant Beats of Apulia

Briganti di Terra d'Otranto - Focu de paja
Briganti di Terra d’Otranto – Focu de paja
Briganti di Terra d’Otranto

Focu de paja (Italian World Music, 2009)

Briganti di Terra d’Otranto is an exciting contemporary tarantella band from the Apulia region of Italy. On Focu de paja the band perform Italian traditional sounds based on the steady rhythms of dual tambourines, engaging vocalists and vibrant fiddle and flute melodies.

The band lineup includes Giovanni Sperti on guitar and vocals; Andrea Cappello on tambourines and tammorra; Amedeo De Netto: on tambourines and tammorra; Antonella Esposito: on vocals and castanets; Tonino Friolo on guitar, bass, percussion and vocals; Cristian Palma on violins; Stefano Blanco on flute and ottavino; and dancer Emanuela Vergari.

The song selection includes traditional pieces from Salento as well as originals by Friolo and Sperti.

Briganti Di Terra D’Otranto hails from Salento and performs a mix of pizzica, taranta, and the ancient heritage of Greece’s Griko music. The name Briganti is an old and rabble-rousing Italian term that indicates someone willing to rise up against suppression of freedom. In this case, Briganti Di Terra D’Otranto rises against the globalisation of the music market and its mass media. The band is committed to preserving its own musical identity from cultural colonization and erosion.

Focu de paja is a great introduction to the infectious rhythms of the popular music from the Salento area of Italy.

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Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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