In the course of a 19 years activity, the Tuscan band founded by the accordion player Riccardo Tesi with the help of Maurizio Geri, guitar and voice, Claudio Carboni, sax and Gigi Biolcati, percussions, has established itself as one of the most representative Italian groups in the international world music outline.
From Banditaliana’s kaleidoscope of sounds results a fresh and sunny music that knows no boundaries and searches for innovation but keep sticking to its roots. It is a wide synthesis of forms and rites drawn from the Tuscan tradition, Mediterranean flavours, jazz improvisation and songwriting.
Original compositions, instrumental virtuosities, precious rhythmical joints and refined arrangements are the stylistic key feature of the group and were a great success in the most important folk&jazz festivals around Europe, Japan, Australia and Canada.
Banditaliana was founded by internationally renowned composer and concertina player Riccardo Tesi, rated as one of the most daring and authoritative musicians in the European world music scene, having collaborated with ethnic music exponents like Elena Ledda, Justin Vali, Kepa Junkera, John Kirkpatrick and Patrick Vaillant, jazz musicians such as Gianluigi Trovesi and Gabriele Mirabassi, as well as with great songwriters Ivano Fossati, Fabrizio De Andrè and Gian Maria Testa.
Guitar virtuoso and vocalist Maurizio Geri, blending in his style Mediterranean features with swing-manouche improvisation, and saxophonist Claudio Carboni, provided with a clean and accurate phrasing developed according to the liscio (Italian popular dance music) tradition, have been members of the band since its debut in 1992. Recently joined the band a new percussionist, Gigi Biolcati, replacing the previous member Ettore Bonafè.
The fresh and sunny music resulting from Banditaliana’s kaleidoscope of sounds is regardless of categories, searching for innovation but sticking to its roots, as a wide synthesis of forms and rites drawn from the Tuscan tradition, Mediterranean flavours, jazz improvisation and songwriting. Original compositions, instrumental virtuosity, precious rhythmic grooves and refined arrangements represent the stylistic features of the group, that over the years has gained a reputation as one of the most interesting bands in the international world music scene and has achieved great success while touring Europe and Canada, taking part in some of the most important folk&jazz festivals.
Banditaliana has released four albums: the first one, Banditaliana, produced in 1998 by Stefano Melone (a collaborator of Ivano Fossati), gained wide recognition from specialized magazines all over the world and was appointed “Album of the Year” by the Folk Bulletin referendum. The second one, Thapsos, released in 2000, was chosen as “record of the month” by the Jam and Rockstar magazines, won the “Bravo” prize of the TradMagazine, “Choc de la Musique” and got a special mention by Repertoire. The third one, released in 2004, Lune, with “Maggio” and “Tevakh” remix by dj Ominostanco won the “Città di Loano” prize for Italian Folk music as “The best album of the year”. The last one, Madreperla, is going out in March 2011.
Banditaliana was also taking part in several different albums, such as Acqua foco e vento (by R. Tesi, 2003), Crinali (by R. Tesi and C. Carboni, 2006), Sopra i tetti di Firenze (by R. Tesi and M. Geri, 2009).
Several musicians have contributed to the recording and concerts of Banditaliana: clarinet player Gabriele Mirabassi, saxophonist Daniele Sepe, drummer Claudio Fossati, bass players Silvano Lobina and Daniele Mencarelli, cellist Damiano Puliti, singers Nando Citarella, Lucilla Galeazzi and Mancuso brothers, while Carlo Muratori wrote the lyrics.
In 2001 Banditaliana was mentioned as “best live band” by the German specialized magazine Folker.
In 2002 Banditaliana reached the sixth place in the Canadian CKUA Music Network Top Ten and was the only Italian group running for the BBC World Music Awards.