If “rhythm is the cure,” as the singer-percussionist Alessandra Belloni claims, then Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino are some of the best healers you could ask for.
When the septet from Salento, in Italy’s Puglia region, unleashes the full force of their pizzica taranta, the potently rhythmic music lifts you out of whatever doldrums or dark moods you might be feeling. For at least the duration of one of their concerts, you feel cured.
Over the past two years, CGS has been building a growing fan base in North America, playing shows in the U.S. and Canada that have thrilled audiences and critics. (Earlier this year, they played several well-received sets at the leading music and pop culture festival, South by Southwest, in Austin, Texas.) Other musicians rave about them, too. Marc Ribot, the multi-genre guitarist known for his adventurous recordings and his collaborations with artists like Tom Waits and Vinicio Capossela, is a fan. And at the 2012 edition of globalFEST, the New York festival of world music, a member of the South African rap group SMOD improvised a rhyme praising Maria Mazzotta, one of CGS’s lead vocalists, after hearing the band’s set.
Building on the momentum of their recent tours, CGS returns to North America for a series of concerts. They’ll be performing music from their most recent album, Pizzica Indiavolata, a brilliant and varied set comprising ecstatic pizzica, soulful ballads and work songs. American and European critics have hailed it as one of the best “world music” recordings of recent years. The band also plays some older songs from their repertoire, like “Cogli la Rosa” and “Kalì Nifta.”
If you’ve missed CGS’ previous New York shows, you’re in luck -- they’re playing Joe’s Pub in Manhattan on June 27. The prestigious downtown club, with its excellent sound and sightlines, is a great venue for this remarkable band. For information and reservations, visit Joe’s Pub online.
For more information about their North American tour, visit Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino online.