Alegría e Libertà (Galicia/Belgium/Italy)

Joy, Freedom and Strong Female Voices

Alegría e Libertà is the encounter between the fiery Cantabrian sea, kissing the cliffs of the Praia das Catedrais, off the coast of Ribadeo and the languor of the Ionian Sea, coloring the Terra d’Otranto in vivid azure.

From muñeira to tarantella, this musical journey takes us on the paths of Santiago de Compostela, through Galicia, this region of northwestern Spain, neighbor of Portugal, of Celtic culture; and on the paths of Salento, in the extreme south-east of the Apulia region, described as ‘the heel of the Italian boot’.

This album is dedicated to the meeting of the voices of memory: that of the “pasionaria” of Italian folk song, Lucilla Galeazzi, and those of the ethereal Galician “cantareiras” of Ialma. A repertoire oscillating between tradition and modernity, sublimated by the virtuosity of the diatonic accordionist, Didier Laloy, the rhythmic energy of tamburello player Carlo Rizzo and the excellence of Maarten Decombel on guitar.

Alegría e Libertà are songs of women to each other, to strengthen themselves at work, while harvesting potatoes or spinning jute fiber; to encourage themselves while waiting for their men who went fishing at sea; to resist when their songs are repressed by dictatorship. Popular songs that bring us back to the culture, to the roots, to the identity that is passed on generation after generation.

Nevertehless Alegría e Libertà is also the joy of singing and dancing, from moving vocal fusion to mystical lyricism, in absolute freedom.


Line Up

Veronica Codesal – vocals, percussion
Eva Fernandez – vocals, percussion
Natalia Codesal – vocals, percussion
Marisol Palomo – vocals, percussion
Lucilla Galeazzi – vocals
Didier Laloy – diatonic accordion
Carlo Rizzo – tamburello
Maarten Decombel – guitar


Discography

2019 Alegría e Libertà (Homerecords.be / GalileoMC)


Press


“In a time when freedoms are being threatened, including artistic freedoms, in Europe and elsewhere, my sense is that this is a quiet cri-de-coeur from artists that are part of that international community that is forming in places like Belgium, where many paths cross in the heart of today’s political Europe…. a very joyous and passionate project.”
Rootsworld.com, USA

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

NEW RELEASES BY OUR ARTISTS

2018 has been a highly productive year for our artists:

Italian melodeon maestro Riccardo Tesi and his Banditaliana celebrate their  25 years band anniversary with Argento. Albanian-Swiss vocalist Elina Duni releases her first solo album Partir and sings in nine (!) languages about the pain of separation and the courage to seek new beginnings. Amira Medunjanin, the cool Sevdah queen from Sarajavo, commemorates her 15 year stage anniversary with a special retrospective project: Ascending was recorded with the renowned Norvegian Trondheim Solistene in the even more renowned Abbey Road Studios in London. And Danças Ocultas will present dentro desse mar at the end of October, recorded in Rio de Janeiro and produced by Brazilian cellist and producer Jaques Morelenbaum. Congratulations!

Riccardo Tesi & Banditaliana, Argento, Visage Music / Galileo MC
Elina Duni, Partir, ECM
Amira Medunjanin & Tronheim Solistene, Ascending, Town Hill Colony / Croatia Records
Danças Ocultas, dentro desse mar, Sony / Galileo MC

AMIRA MEDUNJANIN ON TOUR IN GERMANY, AUSTRIA, SWITZERLAND

Bosnian Billie Holiday – Sevdah Meets Jazz

Amira Medunjanin, acclaimed singer, humanitarian and worldwide ambassador for the culture and music of her native Bosnia-Herzegovina and the wider Balkan region, presents her new album DAMAR. As in all her previous productions she draws deep from the wellspring of Sevdah, the “beating heart” of Bosnian music, with revivifying ancestral Bosnian songs, whilst for the first time introducing new compositions to her artistic palette. A particular emphasis on acoustic guitar brings a subtle Iberian piquancy to DAMAR, and once again the great Serbian pianist Bojan Z  bestows his musical and production skills upon the endeavour.  With a quintet that suggests everything from flamenco to contemporary jazz – a flourish of guitar here, a provocative piano solo there – Amira transforms tradition into a powerful emotional statement, one that suggests her homeland but is not limited to it.

“Bosnian Billie Holiday” (Gart Cartwright) was born in Sarajevo at the time when the popularity of traditional music in former Yugoslavia was at high tide, and Sevdah held a special place for her. The Sevdalinke (sevdah songs) she learned from her mother were the most beautiful of songs. Her fascination with the oral tradition of Bosnia and Herzegovina led her to devote herself to creating a unique voice within Sevdah to explore its expressive capacity to the full.

In 2017 Amira Medunjanin was selected into the Top Ten of World Music Divas by the British magazine Songlines.

UPCOMING LIVE DATES
28-04-17 München (DE), Gasteig • 29-04-17 Wien (AT), SIMM City • 05-05-17 Stuttgart (DE), Liederhalle • 06-05-17 Frankfurt (DE), Saalbau Volkshaus Sossenheim • 07-05-17 Düsseldorf (DE), Capitol Theater • 23-05-17 Baden (AT), Cinema Paradiso • 24-05-17 La Chaux de Fonds (CH), L’Heure Bleue • 26-05-17 Genève (CH), Le Temple de St. Gervais • 28-05-17 Ettiswil (CH), Stimmenfestival • 18-08-17 St. Gallen (CH), Schutzengelkapelle • 19-08-17 Rorschach (CH), Carmen Würth Saal • 24-08-17 Innsbruck (AT), Treibhaus • 26-08-17 Saaldfelden (AT), Internationales Jazzfestival • 17-09-17 Berlin (DE), Admiralspalast

BRANKO GALOIĆ & FRANCISCO CÓRDOVIL ON TOUR IN GERMANY AND AUSTRIA

Poetic Yugo Rock with Parisian  Charme

As many other important encounters this was a spontaneous one: Croatian guitarist and song poet Branko Galoić and Portuguese guitar virtuoso Francisco Córdovil met at Chez Adel, a typical artist bar in Paris. During a commom jam session they gelled immediately – feeling an almost magical southern connection between two musicians that for many years had been living far from their home countries. Branko’s Balkan roots und Francisco’s Iberian influence blended into an explosive mix enchanting their Paris audience.

Last summer Branko Galoić and his SKAKAVAC ORKESTAR toured successfully at festivals in Germany, Austria, Italy and Hungary. Starting in Kehl tomorrow March 31, the duo will make their debut in Germany and Austria to promote their first album ONE WITH THE WIND (CD Baby).

UPCOMING LIVE DATES

DUO BRANKO GALOIĆ & FRANCISCO CORDOVIL
31-03-17 Kehl (DE), Stadthalle SOLD OUT
01-04-17 Wolfach (DE), Klausenbauernhof
02-04-17 Passau (DE), Café Museum
03-04-17 Salzburg (AT), Gastlokal Fridrich
04-04-17 Freistadt (AT), Local-Bühne
05-04-17 Wien (AT), Sargfabrik

BRANKO GALOIĆ & SKAKAVAC ORKESTAR
06-07-17 Rudolstadt (DE), TFF Rudolstadt

Luca Bassanese & La Piccola Orchestra Popolare (Italy)

Italian Manu Chao

There has never been a more unusual career than that of Luca Bassanese. Ecologist and independent artist, Luca regularly fills public spaces and concert halls around the country with his mix of poetry, Italian folk music and electro-Balkan sounds. His performances with La Piccola Orchestra Popolare will put you in a good mood and make you want to dance, move your feet and lose yourself for a moment in a third reality. This is what happened to thousands of people in 2018 at various European festivals like Paléo in Switzerland, Esperanzah! and Dranouter in Belgium, and Vidor Festival in Hungary.

The artistic director of ‘Le Grand Soufflet’ festival in France wrote: “The minstrel, activist, poet and musician Luca Bassanese slays austerity by summoning Trans-alpine fanfares and tarantellas in a grand Fellini operetta, in a style that is both folk and world music. A musician who grew up with the records of the great Fabrizio de Andrè, and enlivened by the powerful folklore of the two shores of the Adriatic (the Italian and the Balkan), he fanned the embers of social engagement with klezmer hints of brass or heady gusts of opera buffa. What Luca Bassanese proposes to us is a modern spectacle, Circassian and ruffling, a new cornerstone in its work of restoration of the great Italian popular music.

The best songs of his repertoire (12 albums since 2005) are part of Luca Bassanese’s new show, supplemented by new compositions produced by Stefano Florio, manager of the Buenaonda label. Over the years, Luca Bassanese has collaborated with numerous Italian and foreign artists, including, to name a few, the Original Kocani Orkestar of Macedonia, the Berber artist Bachir Charaf (nicknamed The Voice of the Desert), and the satirical artist Antonio Cornacchione. On his latest album also appears Jacopo Fo (son of the writer, playwright, director and actor Dario Fo, Nobel Prize for Literature) and the Choir Mondines de Bentivoglio. Luca is also a regular host of the prestigious Carnevale di Viareggio. Among the official recognition for his artistic and activist engagement, Luca has received several awards (Targa MEI, Premio Recanati Musicultura, Marcello Torre National Award, etc.).

Luca is without question one of the major characters of the new committed Italian popular music. His colourful shows are accessible to a wide audience, including family and children.


Line Up

Quartet
Luca Bassanese – lead vocal, tammorra, guitar, bass drum
Stefano Florio – guitars, bouzouki, effects, vocals
Massimo Tuzza – drums
Elodie Lebigre – vocal, dance

Sextet
Luca Bassanese – lead vocal, tammorra, guitar, bass drum
Domenico de Nichilo – trumpet
Stefano Florio – guitars, bouzouki, effects, vocals
Paolo Cecchin – bass, vocals
Massimo Tuzza – drums
Elodie Lebigre – vocals, dance


Discography

2020 Piazza Bassanese, CD, Ola Ola Music
2019 Liberate l’Elefante! Venite Gente Pim Pum Pam, CD, Ola Ola Music
2019 Live at Paléo Festival Nyon, CD, Ola Ola Music
2017  Colpiscimi felicità, CD, Buenaonda
2015  Quando piove tutti cercano riparo tranne gli alberi che hanno altro a cui pensare, CD, Buenaonda
2014 L’amore (è) sostenibile, CD, Buenaonda
2013 Popolare contemporaneo – per l’acqua, per la terra per la dignità dei popoli, CD, Buenaonda
2012 La Rivoluzione, CD, Buenaonda
2011 C’è un mondo che si muove!, CD, Buenaonda
2010 Il Futuro del Mondo, CD, Buenaonda
2008 La Società dello Spettacolo, CD, Buenaonda
2006 Al mercato, CD, X-Land
2005 Oggi che il qualunquismo è un’’arte mi metto da parte e vivo le cose a modo mio, EP, X-Land


Press

“A minstrel show, full of music and fantasy, where italian Commedia dell’Arte meets Fellini’s magic world.”
Cabaret Sauvage@Le Bal Rital, Paris (FR)

“Luca Bassanese accompanied by the Piccola Orchestra Popolare, a passionate exhibition of strong scenic and musical impact. The actor, musician and ballad singer proved again to be one of the most interesting exponents of the Italian popular music world. “
Michele Fumagallo, Il manifesto (IT)

“The street orchestra accentuates the athmosphere with Bassanese the “philosopher”, outright and addictive.”
Andrea Laffranchi, Corriere della Sera (IT)

“In Paris, Place d’Italie, a crowd gathered and danced to the rhythm of the hectic tarantella of the Italian artist Luca Bassanese and his group. Congratulations to Luca whom we want to hear again in many public places of the city!”
Nadia Khouri-Dagher, Babelmed.net (IT, FR, UK)

„I was there… spectacular concert of Luca Bassanese and his band, magnificent, fantasy, poetry…“
Bruno Moio, Radio Aligre, Paris (FR)

Suonno d’Ajere (Italy)

Canzone Classica Napoletana

Three passionate musicians, born and bred in the city of Naples, have come together to prove once and for all that the tradition of Neapolitan song writing is still as moving and relevant as it has ever been.

Suonno d’Ajere means “The Dream of Yesterday” and refers to a famous song title by Neapolitan cantautore Pino Daniele. The trio was born in 2016 from the need to know and enhance what Naples has produced in its vocal musical history. Despite their different musical backgrounds, from jazz to light music, from popular to classical, the members of the group have always been confronted with Neapolitan song, remaining deeply fascinated. They intend to restore dignity and depth to this tradition by exploring all the repertoire from 1600 to the present day, proposing arrangements that combine stylistic rigour with a contemporary approach. The choice of instruments recalls the popular Posteggia formations from the early nineteenth century, street and bar musicians loved by common people as well as by aristocrats, but the execution is of a far more refined and sophisticated approach, often far from the street versions. The result is a flamboyant mix between popular and classical that has always been the cornerstone of Neapolitan music.

Suonno d’Ajere are the recipients of numerous awards (including the First Prize at SanremoCantaNapoli Festival as well as a performance at Biennale di Venezia for the soundtrack of La Chimera documentary) and much critical acclaim for their performances of existing songs as well as their own original compositions. In 2019 they released their debut album Suspiro.

“Neapolitan song is not a relic for museums, nor a mummy without oxygen. Its scores are no holy pells but a legacy to be celebrated.” Suonno d’Ajere


Line Up

Irene Lupe Scarpato – vocals
Marcello Smigliante Gentile – mandolin, mandola, mandoloncello
Gian Marco Libeccio – classical guitar


Press

“breathtaking musicality …. one of the best albums of the year.”
Mirjam Jessa, ORF Ö1, AT

“Suonno d’Ajere clearly believe in the songs and the mother tongue of the Gulf of Naples.“
Napoli Today, IT
„This group gives me hope for our forgotten classical repertoire.“
Salvatore Palomba, poet and writer, IT

„Suspiro is neither vintage nor anachronistic, but the intelligent balance between philology and the temptations of our time.“
Il Mattino, IT

„Suonno d’Ajere reassure!“
Radio Napoli

RICCARDO TESI TURNS 60 – BELLA CIAO GOES WOMEX!

Just on time for his upcoming 60th birthday on July 22, Riccardo Tesi has plenty of reasons to be happy: Italian ethnomusicologist Neri Pollastri has recently presented his biography UNA VITA A BOTTONI. Concerts and tours with his main projects  Banditaliana, Bella Ciao and the accordion quintet Samuraï will lead the Tuscan accordion master all across Europe during the summer months. And the special birthday news is that Riccardo’s present success story Bella Ciao featuring Lucilla Galeazzi and Elena Ledda has been selected for a showcase at this years WOMEX in Santiago de Compostela. Auguri maestro!

Elina Duni (Albania/Switzerland)

La Fille de l’Air

Born into a highly artistic family in Tirana, Albania, in 1981, Elina Duni made her first steps on the stage as a singer aged five, singing for National Radio and Television. In 1992, after the fall of the communist regime, she settled in Geneva, Switzerland, with her mother, where she started studying classical piano and thereafter discovered jazz. She went on to study on the jazz programme at Hochschule der Künste in Bern. During this time, she formed the Elina Duni Quartet with Colin Vallon on piano, Patrice Moret on double bass and Norbert Pfammatter on drums. This project represented a return to her musical roots, a combination of Balkan folk songs and jazz.

After two albums, Baresha (2008) and Lume (2010), both on Meta Records, the quartet went on to release for ECM in 2012, Matane Malit (Beyond the Mountain) and in 2015, Dallëndyshe  (Swallow), which were praised by the wider European media for their lightness as well as their subtle manner of exploring Albanian folklore. In 2014, Elina Duni released her first album as a singer-songwriter in Kosovo and Albania, entitled Muza e Zezë (The Black Muse).

In 2017, Elina Duni was one of the winners of the Swiss Music Prize, and in 2018 her first solo project Partir was released on ECM: In nine (!) languages she presents old folk songs, chansons and ballads of farewell and separation, accompanying herself on guitar, piano and frame drum.

For her latest project Songs of Love and Exile Elina is joined by guitarist and BBC New Generation Artist Rob Luft, one of the rising stars of London’s flourishing contemporary jazz scene. Luft’s playing incorporates echoes of West African high-life, Celtic folk and textural minimalism. His joyously original sound finds an ideal counterpart in Elina Duni’s vocals. Their first common album Lost Ships will be released by ECM Records end of 2020.

“I come from a family who has already fought against fascism, this is why I abhor any kind of nationalism. Societies who seal themselves off, are fearful societies. We all have to learn again how to fight for things that we have come to see as a given and take for granted.” (Elina Duni)


Current Projects

Elina Duni Solo “Partir”
Duo Elina Duni & Rob Luft
Trio Elina Duni & Rob Luft feat. Fred Thomas
Quartet Elina Duni Band


Discography

2020 Lost Ships, ECM
2018 Partir, ECM
2015 Dallëndyshe, ECM
2014 Muza e Zezë
2012 Matane Malit, ECM
2010 Lume, Lume, Meta Records
2008 Baresha, Meta Records


Awards

2020 Freiburger Leiter, Germany
2017 Swiss Music Prize
2015 Diaspora Award, Embassy of Kosovo, Switzerland
2013 Kult Award for “Matanë Malit”, Tirana, Albania
2012 Jazz Pott Award, Essen, Germany
2010 Pro Helvetia “Priority Jazz ” for Elina Duni Quartet, Switzerland
2008 HKB Prize, Bern, Switzerland
2008 “Coup de Coeur 2008” Bern, Switzerland
2007 Friedl Wald Prize, Switzerland


Press

“Duni’s soaring, sensuous singing has a clarity and purity that recalls, say, Yanka Rupkina, but it is tellingly infused with jazz elements such as light scatting and sparing but effective melodic improvisation.”
London Jazz News, UK, 2019

“… Each of her songs turns into a convincing recital, a profound homage to sincere humanity.”
Kulturkomplott, DE

“This album is all of a piece. Tuned in a pensive tone, although it is about departure. But this departure is not frivolous or euphoric, and Elina sings about it with earthy presence and mastered strenth.”
Neue Züricher Zeitung, CH

“Her voice is pure and clear and of ever more transparent intimacy. She does not cling but lets you go off to something at the same time melancolic but also full of hope and relief.”
Kulturtipp, CH