Riccardo Tesi (Italy)

Il Signore del Folk

For 30 years Riccardo Tesi has been one of the most imaginative players of the organetto, the diatonic button accordion. As an ethnomusicologist he has explored the liscio, the waltz of his native tuscany, the musical traditions of southern Italy, the Balkans, Madagscar, Africa or India as well as jazz or Nino Rota’s film music.

With his longtime project Banditaliana he melts all those elements into a colourful, refined and easily danceable art music which nevertheles remains deeply rooted in Italian tradition. Tesi has collaborated with numerous artists of the Italian and European world and jazz scene (Elena Ledda, Patrick Vaillant, Gianluigi Trovesi, Gabriele Mirabassi, Gianmaria Testa etc), and in 2002 he was awarded the “Voce d’Oro” Prize at the Castelfidardo International Accordion Festival for outstanding achievements on his instrument.

The fresh and sunny music resulting from Banditaliana’s kaleidoscope of sounds is regardless of categories, searching for innovation but sticking to its roots, as a wide synthesis of forms and rites drawn from the Tuscan tradition, Mediterranean flavours, jazz improvisation and songwriting. Original compositions, instrumental virtuosity, precious rhythmic grooves and refined arrangements represent the stylistic features of the group, that over the years has gained a reputation as one of the most interesting bands in the international world music scene and has achieved great success while touring Europe and Canada, regularly appearing at the most important folk&jazz festivals.


Line up Banditaliana

Riccardo Tesi – accordion
Maurizio Geri – guitar, vocals
Gigi Biolcati – percussion
Claudio Carboni – sax


Current Projects

Riccardo Tesi & Banditaliana (quartet)
Duo Riccardo Tesi (acc) & Maurizio Geri (guit/voc)
Trio Riccardo Tesi (acc) – Maurizio Geri (guit/voc) – Gabriele  Mirabassi (clar)
Riccardo Tesi CAMERISTICO (quintett)
Riccardo Tesi PRESENTE REMOTO (sextet)
BELLA CIAO feat. Lucilla Galeazzi, Elena Ledda, Ginevra di Marco (sextet)


Discography (selection)

2018 Riccardo Tesi & Banditaliana “Argento” (Visage Music/Materiali Sonori)
2015 Riccardo Tesi & Lucilla Galeazzi, Elena Ledda and others “Bella Ciao” (Visage Music)
2014 Riccardo Tesi & Banditaliana “Maggio” (Visage Music/Materiali Sonori)
2011 Riccardo Tesi & Banditaliana “Madreperla” (Viavai/Materiali Sonori)
2010 Riccardo Tesi & Maurizio Geri “Sopra I Tetti Di Firenze” (Materiali Sonori)
2007 Rioccardo Tesi “Solo Organetto” (Cinq Planètes/Felmay)
2007 Riccardo Tesi “Presente Remoto” (Il Manifesto)
2006 Riccardo Tesi & Claudio Carboni “Crinali” (Felmay fy 8114)
2004 Riccardo Tesi & Banditaliana “Lune” (Il Manifesto CD140)
2003 Riccardo Tesi “Acqua Foco e Vento” (Dunya Records)
2001 Riccardo Tesi “Acqua, foco e vento LIVE” (VM301)
2000 Riccardo Tesi & Banditaliana “Thapsos” (Il Manifesto CD063)
1998 Riccardo Tesi “Banditaliana” (Il Manifesto CD028)
1995 Riccardo Tesi “Un ballo liscio” (Auvidis Tempo A 6242)
1995 Riccardo Tesi “Un ballo Liscio” (Silex Y 225056)
1994 Riccardo Tesi, G. Trovesi & P. Vaillant “Colline” (Silex Y 225048)
1993 Riccardo Tesi, K. Junkera & J. Kirkpatrick “Trans-Europe Diatonique” (Silex Y 225026)


Press

“A brilliant set of modern Italian folk with strong jazz and world music influences, mostly instrumental, but regularly interspersed with beautiful son.”
Heaven 2 on Maggio, NL, 2016

“Accordionist Tesi, saxophonist Claudio Carboni, guitarist Maurizio Geri, and percussionist Gigi Biolcati are all utterly masterful musicians, and the world’s their oyster. One can’t produce pearls without grit, however, which here takes the form of subtle but pointed political commentary.”
Straight.com on Maggio, Canada, 2014

“…exciting arrangements breathing new and fresh life into the old songs. This is one of those albums that grows onto you when listening to it again and again – probably, because some of the arrangements are rather complex. I am now at a stage of loving this album, listening to it again and again, falling for the charming spell that this music has in it, and discovering each time new details. So an album not only of cultural interest, but also highly enjoyable.”
Folkworld on Aqua, Foco e Vento, D, 2003

“Tesi has always been considered a master of his craft, a highly sought after session musician and a member of many of Italy’s best ensembles over the years, but with Banditaliana he is firmly in control and shows that while craftsmanship counts, artistry is the real test. Tesi passes, 100%.”
RootsWorld on Banditaliana, UK, 2003