Italian group combines traditional, modern music

Published 5:13 pm Saturday, June 22, 2013

Formed by writer Rina Durante in 1975, Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (CGS) is regarded as Italy’s leading and longest-standing traditional music ensemble, hailing from the Salento, the heel of the Italian boot in Puglia.

They will be performing live at the Historic Paramount Theatre at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10.

This is a free event and is presented in collaboration with Riverside Concerts in Rochester.

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Italy’s fascinating dichotomy of tradition and modernity come together in the music of CGS. The seven piece band and dancer are the leading exponents in a new wave of young performers re-inventing southern Italy’s Pizzica musical and dance traditions for today’s global audience.

The tens of thousands who often congregate for their concerts in Italy know that bandleader, fiddler, and drummer Mauro Durante and company can make an audience shimmy with the energy of the ancient ritual of pizzica tarantata, said to cure the taranta spider’s bite with its frenzied trance dances. CGS shows are a life explosion, full of energy, passion, rhythm and mystery.

The band has revitalized both the rousing and the introspective sides of Southern Italian song and dance.

Durante continues to innovate and energize, bringing decades of experience playing with global artists, contemporary classical composers, and pop mavericks. Their concert at the Paramount will be a preview to their full concert on Thursday, July 11 at Thursdays on First in Rochester.

Following this event, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 12, the Austin Area Commission for the Arts presents the electrifying party band Power of 10.

Tickets are available for that event at