Tag Archives: Riccardo Tesi

Masterful Contemporary Italian Roots Music from Riccardo Tesi and Banditaliana

Riccardo Tesi & Banditaliana – Argento

Riccardo Tesi & Banditaliana – Argento (Visage Music, 2018)

Riccardo Tesi & Banditaliana is one of the leading world music ensembles in Italy. Tesi and his colleagues combine Italian traditional music with Mediterranean influences, progressive jazz elements and even blues.

On Argento, the award-winning band celebrates its 25th anniversary with new material as well recreations of previously released musical pieces, including a moving tribute to the memorable Italian singer-songwriter Gianmaria Testa, who passed away in 2016. In addition to Tesi, percussionist Gigi Biolcati has emerged as one of the prominent composers in Banditaliana.

Although the core ensemble consists of four musicians on accordion, guitar, saxophone and percussion/vocals, three bassists, various percussionists and additional guests appear on Argento.

High profile guests include acclaimed jazz trumpeter Paolo Fresu; progressive rock multi-instrumentalist Mauro Pagani (Premiata Forneria Marconi) on bouzouki; pianist Francesco Magnelli; Spanish Basque accordionist Kepa Junkera (who plays the percussive chalaparta in this case); and the fabulous female voices of “Bella Ciao”: Elena Ledda, Lucilla Galeazzi, Ginevra Di Marco and Luisa Cottifogli. The three bass players are Silvano Lobina, Nicola Vernuccio and Mirco Capecchi. The album also features Andrea Piccioni on Middle Eastern and North African percussion and vibraphonist Ettore Bonafé.

Riccardo Tesi & Banditaliana includes Riccardo Tesi on accordion; Maurizio Geri on guitar, saz, chitarra battente (southern Italian folk guitar) and lead vocals; Claudio Carboni on soprano, bartitone and alto saxophones; and Gigi Biolcati oo percussion, lead vocals and a new device called GGtarra

Argento is a captivating and masterfully-crafted album by some of the most talented instrumentalists in the Italian folk and world music scene.


Engaging Squeezebox Fest

Samurai Accordion – Te

Samurai Accordion – Te (Visage Music, 2017)

Five of the leading European accordion players got together to record an album and tour combining their talents. Te is an accordion fest full of virtuosic performances, fascinating interactions and masterfully synchronized ensemble work.

The musical influences range from traditional Irish, Italian, Finnish and Spanish Basque folk music traditions to jazz and beyond.

The five performers of Samurai Accordion include David Munnelly (Ireland) on diatonic accordion; Riccardo Tesi (Italy) on organetto diatonico; Simone Bottasso (Italy) on organetto and electronics; Kepa Junkera (Spain) on trikitixa and percussion; and Markku Lepistö (Finland) on kolmerivinen haitari.

Buy Te


Bella Ciao to Showcase at WOMEX 2016 in Spain

Bella Ciao – Photo by Nico López Bruchi
Bella Ciao – Photo by Nico López Bruchi

Italian act Bella Ciao is set to perform on October 21, 2016 at WOMEX in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

The project revisits an influential 1964 show called Bella Ciao at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto. The concert caused much controversy while effectively marking the beginning of the Italian folk revival. About 50 years later, a prestigious cast has come together to restage this significant show that celebrates the values of liberty, peace and civil rights. They released an album titled Bella Ciao.

Riccardo Tesi, Lucilla Galeazzi, Elena Ledda, Ginevra di Marco, Gigi Biolcati, Andrea Salvadori, Alessio Lega - Bella Ciao
Riccardo Tesi, Lucilla Galeazzi, Elena Ledda, Ginevra di Marco, Gigi Biolcati, Andrea Salvadori, Alessio Lega – Bella Ciao

The songs have been updated and rearranged by admired bandoneon master Riccardo Tesi and are performed by three of the most outstanding voices of Italian folk and social singing over the last 30 years: Ginevra Di Marco, Lucilla Galeazzi and Sardinia’s Elena Ledda.

The lineup includes Riccardo Tesi on diatonic accordion and arrangements; Elena Ledda on vocals; Lucilla Galeazzi on vocals, guitar; Luisa Cottifogli on vocals; Alessio Lega on vocals, guitar; Maurizio Geri on vocals, guitar; and Luigi Biolcati on percussion.

Time: 21:30 – 22:15
Venue: Auditorio Abanca


Landmark Bella Ciao Revisited

Riccardo Tesi, Lucilla Galeazzi, Elena Ledda, Ginevra di Marco, Gigi Biolcati, Andrea Salvadori, Alessio Lega – Bella Ciao (Buda Musique 4759288, 2015)

Bella Ciao revisits an essential 1964 show that marked the revival of Italian folk songs, the Nuovo Canzionere Italiano. Accordionist and composer Ricardo Tesi spearheaded the project, bringing together some of today’s finest vocalists and instrumentalists in Italian folk music.

The iconic artists recreated the songs their way, without restrictions, although they kept the essence. The selection includes marble quarry worker (a very dangerous profession) songs, songs of struggle, textile worker songs, rice field chants, migrant laborer songs, prison chants, protest songs, harvest songs, Sardinian sacred chants, anti-war songs, and suggestive songs.

The extensive CD booklet provides an introduction by Tesi, descriptions of the songs and the lyrics in Italian, English and French.

The lineup on Bella Ciao includes Riccardo Tesi as musical director, arranger and accordionist; Lucilla Galeazzi on vocals; Elena Ledda on vocals; Ginevra Di Marco on vocals; Alessio Lega on vocals; Andrea Salvadori on guitar, tzouras (a Greek instrument related to the bouzouki), harmonium and arrangements; and Gigi Biolcati on percussion, vocals and body percussion. Guests include Mirco Capecchi on upright bass and Michele Marini on clarinet.

Bella Ciao is an outstanding recreation of popular Italian folk songs and chants recorded by some of the most talented musicians and vocalist in the current Italian folk and world music scene.

Buy Bella Ciao in the Americas

Buy Bella Ciao in Europe