Bella Ciao (Italy)

50 Years Italian Folk Revival
Lucilla Galeazzi, Elena Ledda, Riccardo Tesi and others

BELLA CIAO is historically known as the show that marked the beginning of the Italian folk revival. It was the first of a series of didactic concerts created by the Nuovo Canzoniere Italiano, which brought the rich heritage of folk songs collected between 1954 and 1964 to a wider audience. From its very first performance in June 1964 at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, which aroused violent disputes, comes the work of all musicians who nowadays with great success bring  Italian Folk music to stages all over the world.

Fifty years later the greatest show of the Italian folk revival has been rearranged with a formidable cast, consisting of some of the finest and most renowned Italian folk musicians of our time: Lucilla Galeazzi, Elena Ledda, Alessio Lega and others have come together to revive the old heritage with contemporary influences, directed and orchestrated by accordion player Riccardo Tesi, one of the most brilliant and rigorous protagonists of today’s world music scene.

Today, the old partisan and labourers’ songs of BELLA CIAO do not only retain all their expressive power, but they have acquired a new urgency in the globalized world for their values of liberty, peace and civil rights. BELLA CIAO is a lesson of democracy that directly originates from the people. A historical narration unravelling through music, sounds and words, carried by the most important voices of Italian social and political singing of the past 30 years.


Line Up

Lucilla Galeazzi – vocals
Elena Ledda – vocals
Ginevra di Marco / Luisa Cottifogli – vocals
Alessio Lega – vocals, guitar
Andrea Salvadori / Maurizio Geri – guitar, vocals
Gigi Biolcati – percussion, vocals
Riccardo Tesi – accordion, arrangements, musical direction


Discography

2015 Bella Ciao (Visage Music/Galileo MC)


Press

“It’s always moving when musicians playing historical and well-defined traditional tunes are able to strike the same chord in everyone who’s listening to them, even if those listeners have different origins and cultures. … they unveiled a central page of the Italian folklore in front of the Womex audience, showing the imaginative drive which those songs still harbour.”
Rhythm Passport (UK), 2016

“The music creeps mercilessly under your skin as it did 50 years ago.”
Moors Magazine (NL), 2015

„While talks and acts of war multiply, this ‘lession in democracy from the bottom’ reminds us of what we need most: peace.”
Les Inrocks (FR), Dix Disques pour refaire l’Europe, 2015

Didier Laloy (Belgium)

The mad dog meets the nobility:
BELEM Didier Laloy & Kathy Adam

Didier Laloy and Kathy Adam form an atypical duo featuring diatonic accordion and cello. They are both brilliant musicians in their own right. They have travelled through Europe with the group ‘Panta Rhei’, and shared the stage on many other occasions including Didier’s own projects “Didier Laloy Invites”, [Pô-Z]s, Noir’s and Nonsens. Although we had to wait for 23 years before a direct collaboration emerged, it was well worth the wait.

For decades, they’ve been thinking about experimenting with chamber music, without neglecting the expressive side. Today they provide an anthology of compositions, at the crossroads of their experiences. A strong but simple music, subtle and surprising, where silence, dynamics and the most elegant and crazy rhythms intersect. Musical images collide, and lead you on a musical journey and unique experience. Gentle and daring duo, result of a long-awaited meeting between two wonderful artists.

Laloy is considered as one of the most active representatives of the diatonic accordion revival in Europe. His easy and humorous onstage manner, his ability to tackle almost any musical genre from world to chanson, from contemporary music to projects for children, the subtlety of his playing and his never ending energy and enthusiasm have made him a highly sought after and appreciated musician in the contemporary Belgian musical scene. He was also a member of the transeuropean accordion collective The Samurai.

Kathy Adam studied cello and chamber music in Brussels and has been performing for over 20 years. In addtion to her life as a classical musician she regularly works with world music artists and theater and dance productions.


Didier Laloy’s Current Projects

Duo Didier Laloy (acc) & Quentin Dujardin (guit)
Belem & The MeKanics (Didier Laloy & Kathy Adam and a mechanical orchestra)
Belem (Didier Laloy & Kathy Adam)
Belem & Ensemble Quartz (Didier Laloy & Kathy Adam & wind quartet)
Belem & Slang (Didier Laloy & Kathy Adam & jazz trio)
Belem & Barbara Fortuna (Didier Laloy & Kathy Adam & Corsican voices)
Noir’s (Quartett acc – cello – guit – perc, concert in the dark)
Duo Didier Laloy (acc) & Tuur Florizoone (acc)
Didier Laloy’s Cameleon Tribe (flexible format from trio to quartet)


Discography

2019 Water and Fire / Didier Laloy & Quentin Dujardin (Agua Music)
2017 Belem & The MeKanics (Igloo Records)
2014 Belem Didier Laloy & Kathy Adam (Homerecords.be)
2012 Didier Laloy & Tuur Florizoone (Aventura Musica)
2011 Noir’s (Wild Boar Music)
2009 Milann&Laloy “ La Marquise”
2008 Didier Laloy PôZ’s
2005 CD/DVD Didier Laloy “Invite…s”
2003 Didier Laloy “S-Tres/Version Originale”


Press

“Fanstastic world chamber music from Belgium. ORF Ö1, A, 2015

 “On the duo album you can only hear the two musicians. But at no moment the purely instrumental music sounds thin or sketchy. On the contrary, the sound is powerful like a small folk orchestra. Special compliment to producer Michel van Achter.”
Folker, D, 2015

What did we hear? Jazz, folk, contemporary music, world music? Or just simply good music in the best sense of the word?”
Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, D, 2011

“His musical expression resembles a rough diamond… Loneliness, the dark and profound abyss, but also desire and charm are recurring elements in all his projects. And during his concerts he seems in league with love just as well as with the devil…”
Concerto, A, 2011

“The wild body language of a rock musician with the grace of a primaballerina in slowmotion.”
De Volkskrant, NL, 2009

Maria Kalaniemi (Finland)

The queen of Finnish Accordion

Maria Kalaniemi, a master of free-bass button accordion, is one of Finland’s leading contemporary accordionists. Once a member of pioneering groups Niekku and Aldargaz, from the Sibelius Acdemy Folk Music Department, where she now teaches, her roots are in folk and classical music but her sights and abilities go far beyond existing styles. Technically brilliant as a player, and adept at improvisation, she is also a very powerful, intuitive and sensitive composer, with pieces that stylistically touch in numerous areas but feature her own personality as the driving force. Melody is the meaning and with Maria, listeners are sure to feel her message deeply.

Maria has released many albums, the latest one, Svalan, reached the top position of the European World Music Charts in 2017. In 2018 Maria Kalaniemi was awarded the Finnish State Prize for Music. She was a member of the international accordion collective Accordion Tribe, Swedish-Finnish music group Ramunder, UNTO Tango Orchestra as well as many other projects with whom she has toured throughout Europe, USA and Canada. Currently Kalaniemi performs in quartet with Johanna Iivanainen, Mikko Iivanainen and Timo Alakotila, in duo with Eero Grundström, Desiree Saarela and Marianne Maans.


Current Projects

Maria Kalaniemi (acc) & Timo Alakotila (piano)
Maria Kalaniemi (acc) & Eero Grundström (harmonium)
Vilda Rosor Trio or Quartet


Discography (selection)

2020 Mielo (Akerö/Galileo MC)
2017 Svalan (Akerö/Galileo MC)
2014 Kaustinen Live 2003 (Akerö CD014)
2011 Akerö (AkeröCD011)
2010 Vilda Rosor (Aito Records)
2006 Bellow Poetry (Aito Records AICD 006)
2004 Niskavuoren Nuori Emäntä (Gudaa 41)
2003 Viimenen Maa (LUR 8902-2)
2001 Ambra (Amigo Sweden KMHCD 18)
1999 Ahma (Roccadillo Records ZENCD 2059)
1995 Iho (Olarin Musikki OMCD 57)
1992 Maria Kalaniemi (Olarin Musikki OMCD 40)
1984 Kultaisen Harmonikan Voittaja (Finnish Accordion Institute FAILP 2)


Press

“If fellow Finn Kimmo Pohjonen is said to be the Hendrix of the instrument, then Maria can be credibly claimed to be its Erik Satie.
BBC, UK

„Maria Kalaniemi creates atmospheres and thus cinema for the mind. The starting point for her stories may be the moonshine or the subdued light in a country house, she maybe looking forward to spring or listening to the pattering rain – her listeners enjoy travelling with her and losing themselves in these natural phenomena.”
Jazzzeit, Vienna, AT

„Maria Kalaniemi’s understanding of music seems like meditation, like the questioning of hidden fantasies. But always without creating illusions.”
Jazzthing, DE

„This music is archaic, it seems to call us from far away and nonetheless will always be valid. It sounds melancholic but also dreamlike and light, does not need any technical means and shines from the inside.”
Stereo, DE

Dancas Ocultas (Portugal)

Four magical accordions from the edge of Europe

Danças Ocultas are four accordionsts from Agueda near Porto who are among the most innovative and most exciting representatives of contemporary Portuguese music. For some years now they have been rising on the international world music scene – with an apparently very simple concept: quiet, lyrical, more or less traditional, with only four diatonic accordions.

The quartet’s name has nothing to do with esoteric spheres but means that Dancas Ocultas play music for dances that still have to be invented. Famous Fado plays a minor role, the band’s inspiration comes rather from traditional village music, Tango Nuevo and the chamber music e.g. of the Russian Terem Quartet. They neither indulge in virtuosity competitions, nor do they play pure folk music. “Impressionist Folk” is maybe the best label for this timeless art music: minimalist, profound sound paintings full of unexpected turns and noble melancholy. Very special music – impossible to escape its magnetism.

One of the first supporters of Danças Ocultas was Gabriel Gomes, the accordionist of Portugal’s most famous world music band Madredeus. He motivated them to explore their own sound worlds. Their collaboration with choreographer Paul Ribeiro and the Gulbenkian Ballet, regular appearances at international festivals and a highly acclaimed showcase at Womex 2010 have brought them international recognition far beyond the Portuguese borders.


Line up

Artur Fernandes – diatonic accordion
Francisco Miguel – diatonic accordion
Filipe Cal – diatonic accordion
Filipe Ricardo – diatonic accordion


Current Projects

Danças Ocultas (accordion quatuor)
DENTRO DESSE MAR Danças Ocultas feat. Jaques Morelenbaum
ARCO Danças Ocultas feat. Dom la Nena
AMPLITUDE Danças Ocultas with orchestra (possible collaboration with local orchestras)


Discography

2018 dentro desse mar (Sony/Galileo Music)
2016 Amplitude (Uguru/Sony/Galielo Music)
2014 Arco (EP Uguru)
2011 Alento (iplay / Galileo MC)
2009 Tarab (Numerica)
2004 Pulsar (Magic Music)
2002 Travessa da Espera (L’Empreinte Digitale)
1998 Ar (EMI VC)
1996 Dancas Ocultas (EMI VC)


Press

“Danças Ocultas have managed to leave the circuit of mere accordion lovers and to perform on big stages, which is best proved by Amplitude.”
JazzThing, DE, Amplitude, 2016

„Amplitude is a powerful album that opens your heart.”
Sound&Image, DE, Amplitude, 2016

“It was less of a concert but much more a musical lecture, a collective
breathing that you’re being part of and that you’re carried away with, in an
emotional, meditative dimension”.
Il Giornale di Vicenza, IT, 2011

You walk into the darkened main concert hall and suddenly, all that falls away, there are four men on stage, and they are creating a space where you can relax, breath and luxuriate in beautiful sounds.””
Michal Shapiro on The Huffington Post, USA, 2010

„Inventive and creative instrumental music by one of Europe’s best art music ensembles. Highly recommended!“
CD Roots 2007

“Danças Ocultas are very special – the interaction of these four accordionists is amazing. Their music is so full of tension that you did not realise how the time goes by. The music is excellently arranged and acts between very slow bits, where only one accordion is playing – creating an atmosphere of very loud silence – up to quite fast and very lively pieces. It is not easy to describe their music – you simply have to see them live to get an idea of what they are doing (or at least you should listen to their CD…) My personal highlight of the festival.”
Folkworld 2001

Renato Borghetti (Brazil)

Squeezebox Gaúcho with Passion and Flair

Ecstasy, humour and first rate virtuosity: Accordion wizard Renato Borghetti is the superstar among the nu folk musicians from Rio Grande do Sul in Southern Brazil. The charismatic gaucho has revised, adapted and modernized many of the native sounds of his home country. His shows are unforgettable live events, offering a sparkling and elegant mix of traditional forms such as Milonga, Chacacera and Chamamé with elements of Jazz, Tango and chamber music, adapting each of those forms to his unique style of accordion playing.

“Borghettinho”, as his fans like to call him, has been recording cds since the beginning of the 80ies. He has shared the stage with big names such as Dominguinhos, Sivuca, Stephane Grapelli, Ron Carter and Hermeto Pascoal and is the first Brazilian musician to achieve a golden record with purely instrumental music. His direct and playful style slightly reminds of the feeling of Zydeco and Cajun in Luisiana which combines European and African elements in a similar way. And in spite of all experiments Renato Borghetti remains 100% Gaúcho – with long hair, hat and wide riding breeches.

And he is one of the very few musicians from Southern Brazil who are regularly performing in Europe. “Andanças. Live in Brussels”, Renato’s first and long expected live album, was released in 2011 and represents something like a resume of 10 years touring in Europe – a time of investiganting the musician’s own roots, discovering new ways of musical expression and makiong a lot of new friends. Borghetti is also actively securing the future of his instrument back home in Southern Brazil: at the end of 2010 the first diatonic accordion branded “Borghetti” left the recently founded “Fabrica de Gaiteiros” near Renato’s ranch – a project initiated not only to produce instruments but also to organize accordion courses for underpriviledged children and young people. It was precisely here, at the “Factory of Accordionists”, that he recorded his latest album Gaita na Fábrica – Sounds from the Squezebox Factory, which was presented on an extensive European release tour in autumn 2016.

BorghettiYamandu, a documentary by Estação Eletrica on Renato’s duo project with Brazilian guitar virtuoso Yamandu Costa, was released on DVD and CD in 2017 and nominated for a Grammy Latino in 2018. The European live première of this stunning duo happened at Wiener Konzerthaus in October 2019.


Line up quartet

Renato Borghetti – diatonic button accordion
Daniel Sá – guitar
Vitor Peixoto – piano
Pedro Figueiredo – saxophone, flute


Current Projects

Duo Renato Borghetti (acc) & Yamandu Costa (guit)
Renato Borghetti Quarteto (acc – sax/flute – guit – piano)
Renato Borghetti Quarteto Meets Gabriele Mirabassi (cl)


Discography (selected)

2016 Gaita na Fábrica. Sounds from the Squeezebox Factory. (Saphrane Records)
2011 Andanças. Live in Brussels. (Saphrane Records)
2009 Fandango! (Felmay fy 8147)
2005 Gauchos (Quinton Records Q-0501-2)
2002 Paixao no Peito (Som Livre/RBS Discos)
1999 Ao Ritmo de Tio Bilia
1998 Gauderiando (Atracao)
1996 Gaúcho (RGE)
1995 As 20 Melhores de Renato Borghetti (RGE)
1994 Accordionist (Prestige Records)


DVDs

2017 Borghetti Yamandu (Estação Eletrica)
2016 Gaita na Fábrica (Estação Eletrica)
2012 Renato Borghetti Quarteto Europa (Estaçao Eletrica)
2008 Fandango! (Estaçao Eletrica)
2005 Renato Borghetti Quarteto Ao Vivo No Tatro Sao Pedro


Awards

2018 Borghetti Yamandu (Estação Eletrica), CD&DVD, nominated for a Grammy Latino
2011 Andanças, best CD of the year of the Dutch newspaper Het Parool, selected among the best CDs of the year 2011 on All About Jazz Italia
2009 Womex Showcase in Copenhagen
2008 Fandango!, CD&DVD, Premio Açorianos as best CD&DVD of the year, nominated for a Grammy Latino
2005 Gauchos, CD, nominated for Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik
2005 Gaitaponto.com, CD, nominated for a Grammy Latino


Press

“An inimitable Brazilian feeling comes through – a certain languor and naturalness in the rhythms and relationships… Borghetti’s folk has an expansive register and emotional range and is a perfect introduction to a sound as removed from the world music radar as its heartland is off the tourist map.”
Songlines (UK) on Andanças

“The sound quality is wonderfully transparent, you can almost physically feel the presence of the audience, and the guys are playing mind-blowing solos. Prozac? Light therapy? No need for all of this: With their music, Borghetti and his musicians do really chase winter depression away through the front door.”
Het Parool (NL) on Andanças

“Who has not seen on stage this accordionist and wonderful communicator with the attitude of a flamenco dancer, does not know what are joy and improvisation!”
Musibrasil (IT)

“Mozart would have enjoyed it a lot!”
Wiener Zeitung, Vienna (AT)

“With Borghetti the Gaúcho tradition of Vanerão, Rancheira and Milonga turns into elegance and finesse. With his long hair and hat he appears like a popstar – but above all he is a brilliant virtuoso on his button accordion, impulsive and dynamic. And in certain moments his body seems to be inhabited by Piazzolla’s spirit.”
Musicas sem Fronteiras – Cronicas da Terra (PT)

“Borghetti does to Gaúcho music what Piazzolla did to Tango.”
Jazzthetik on “Gauchos” (DE)

Merima Ključo & Jelena Milušić (Bosnia Herzegovina)

‚Lume‘ – Dramatic Love Songs and Dark Chansons

‘Lume’ is a thrilling project brought to us by two brilliant Bosnian musicians, Merima Ključo and Jelena Milušić. The enormous value of this conceptual work lies in the diverse cultural origins and languages of the repertoire – the love songs from different parts of the world combined with Ključo’s song cycle, based on Romanian, Croatian, Kosovan and Sephardic traditional pieces. In different languages, ‘Lume’ has various meanings: world, life, source of light, illusion, fire, spark, lover, humanity, more than love…, but all these meanings point in the same doubtless direction: life is passion and love!

The magnetic connection between these two musicians takes us on a dreamlike journey through diverse worlds of strong, expressive and yet subtle music. Jelena’s unique and rare, singularly versatile contralto complements brilliantly the notes of Merima’s concert accordion. Jelena’s voice transforms from one song to the next in a truly chameleonic and fascinating way. Together on stage Jelena and Merima, with just a voice and an accordion, build an atmosphere that is enchantingly theatrical: they completely wrap their audience in their wide-ranging performance that goes from grimly dramatic to fetchingly melancholic, only to dissolve into a cheerful, almost cabaret-like finale.

Acclaimed concert accordionist Merima Ključo masters a dizzying variety of music, her play moving by its depth of understanding and experience. Whether performing as a guest soloist with world renowned orchestras and ensembles, or as a composer and performer for theatre, movie and radio productions, her passion and mastery in both traditional and contemporary music allows her to explore new artistic dimensions combining them in a compelling and unique way.

Expressive and bold, Jelena Milušić is a singer who easily transforms her voice to the needs of various genres ranging from blues, jazz, rock to traditional Balkan and world music. With Orchestre National du Vetex, Milušić performed throughout Europe. With Bosnian guitarist Atilla Aksoj, she interprets Sephardic and Romani music under the name Barimatango.


Line up

Merima Ključo – concert accordion
Jelena Milušić – vocals


Diskography

2018 Lume, Croatia Records


Press

“Mind-blowing! Pleasant pain is caused on the one hand by the richness of Merima Ključo’s artistic expression, whose every tone, interval, chord or cluster on the accordion grow out of layers of determination and melancholy. And when Jelena Milušić’s incredible vocal gets involved, I wonder if Merima’s accordion has a human voice among its registers.”
Marija Vitas, ethnomusicologist & Editor in Chief, Serbian World Music Magazine (RS)

“When one makes love it is usually behind some kind of closed door, but there Merima and Jelena were, making love with their music, for all of us to see. Very Sexy.”
Kathleen Kaun, soprano, former Chair of Voice and Opera at Rice University, USA
 
“Jelena is absolutely unique and stirringly chameleon-like.”
Maja Vasiljevic, Rumbo al Este, Radio Clásica, RTVE, Spain

“The touch that Merima has to the accordion tunes easily with the most recondite of the human soul. No matter which repertoire she plays or where the listener comes from, Merima is a true wizard whose magic spell works universally! If one really pays attention to her art, one falls at her feet forever.”
Maja Vasiljevic, Rumbo al Este, Radio Clásica, RTVE, Spain
 
“Jelena Milušić’s powerful contralto voice, rich in deep resonances,
with full sense of drama…”
Francesco Martinelli, New York City Jazz Record