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MUNICIPALE BALCANICA: 200 concerts in 3 years and the SudEstival in Terlizzi (Bari).
In the first album “Fòua”, the band started a lively and deep sinthesis among the well-known gipsy, klezmer e yiddish sounds of Eastern Europe and the warmer, radical ones belonging to their homeland: the Mediterranean Puglia, in the South of Italy.
In the beginning the band, made up of ten musicians, was mostly influenced by the Balkanic tradition, playing in the first gigs the world-known songs Hava Nagila, Ale Brider, Odessa Bulgarish, but very soon the approach to the old traditional tunes has become much more original and peculiar, because each musician of the group has its own musical background, much different from the other’s. For example the whole wind-instruments-section of Municipale Balcanica learned to play in the old Brass Band of the little town they live in. That’s why their musical expression is so powerful and lively in the best known east-European songs, really exploding with passion in the solo-bars included in the new arrangements. So even the rhythm has increased its strength supporting this overwhelming way to play ancient melodies. Moreover, if you listen to M.B. it is not hard to believe that the drum, guitar, and bass players keep their real special Rock-Attitude belonging to their former experiences in rock bands: the result is integrated and surprising, and it gives new expressions and meanings to the songs.
But you can recognize the real features of Municipale’ style in the original compositions mainly written by Livio Minafra, one of the most talented pianists of the young jazz scene. In the new songs in the CD “Fòua”, every single instrument faces the effort and the freedom to play at its best without the anxiety to be secluded in a predictable, stereotyped style. So the jazz, rock, and experimental influences are involved in many charming, exotic melodies but even in frenzied, mad, atonal tunes.
In tree years the Municipale Balcanica has performend more than 200 gigs, and the last Summer Tour has included even international Festivals, because it’s mainly thanks to the warmth and the force in their LIVE concerts that a huge, animated crowd has enjoyed the M.B.’s music.
The first concerts in foreign countries aroused an unexpected enthusiasm. In Stuttgart, for example, the band has performed in the grand Martkplatz the 24 July 2005 during the Sommerfestival der Kulturen, managed in cooperation with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura (Italian Institute for Culture). This organization has recognized in the Municipale Balcanica the representative expression of the newest Italian music and Culture. Something similar happened in Freiburg: the show during the prestigious “Gipfell du Jazz” brought a real state of euphoria to the sophisticated audience of one of the most important European jazz festivals.
The interest for Municipale Balcanica abroad is increasing, and you can listen to the album “Fòua” on many national Radios in Germany, Belgium, Finland, Canada. Even on the Internet (on the Vitaminic Web Sites) the M.B. is one of the most favorite in the World Music and Folk categories. And the official Web site WWW.MUNICIPALE BALCANICA.COM, in the last eleven months, has been visited by 11.000 times from 41 different states
M.B.’s performance is a Feast in which the traditional Rhythms of Eastern and Mediterranean Europe and the Original songs of the band can even bring the audience to an amusing dance! But it’s also a full cultural experience, a spur to the knowledge of our roots, of that different cultures we are continuously melting with, in a rich, amazing contamination.
M.B.’s Concerts are experiences that every kind of audience can enjoy: the ordinary spectator surely will not get bored! And the expert connoisseur will appreciate the sensitive, skilled development of the compositions by Livio Minafra, the world admired jazz pianist. This young musician has been defined by the international press “the author of one of the ten best CDs of the year” (Steve Koenig; Jazzhous.org); his album “La dolcezza del grido” is “a must-have album for every student” (Bogdan Benigar). The Japanese Jazz Critique Magazine published that Livio Minafra is one of the greatest talents of the Jazz New Generation 2004.
His Album is in the chart of the best CD of the year of the Greek magazine “Tzaz”. On January 2005, 70 italian jazz critics and experts has voted him as one of the best new talents on “Musica Jazz” magazine. He’s performed his Piano Solo in Fukui (Japan), in Münster (Germany), for the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Lisbon, at the Cultura Centre of Belém, and in Lubjana (Slovenja) durino the Jazz Festival Druga Godba, and in Rüsselsheim, Freiburg, Colonia.
Moreover, the performances of M.B. are often animated by special guests, such as the famous jazz icon Pino Minafra, the great Carlo Actis Dato, Admir Skurtaj, Francesco “Fry” Moneti from Modena City Ramblers.
The band also promotes events of great cultural value, especially the “SudeEstival”, a festival in their hometown where you can listen to the music of Mediterranean nations and also meet important artists, and bands from the whole Europe.
M.B. put up a freely downloadable MIDI file of Fòua on their website in 2006. The Australian musician Beam Up / Brian May (http://www.myspace.com/smackumyongaku) found this and made a dub remix of the track. They liked it and as a result, Brian remixed more M.B. tunes, of which Hava Nagila and Carovana have been released (on "Gypsy Beats and Balkan Bangers too" 2007, "Road To Damascus 2008"). Their musical relationship continues…..
Home page: http://www.municipalebalcanica.com/
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