Founded in 1975 by the writer Rina Durante, Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (CGS) is the most important group of traditional Salento music, and the first to be formed in Puglia.
The captivating dichotomy between tradition and modernity characterizes the music of CGS. The group consists of key figures in the current Puglian music scene, reinterpreting in a modern key the traditions revolving around the famous ritual dance, the pizzica tarantata, which had the power to heal through music, trance, and dance the bite of the legendary Taranta spider. CGS performances are an explosion of energy, passion, rhythm, and magic, taking audiences on a journey from the past to the present to the beat of the tambourine, the pulsating heart of the Salento tradition. Led by tambourine player and violinist Mauro Durante, who inherited the leadership from his father Daniele in 2007, CGS continues to innovate and represent Italian music worldwide, collaborating with artists such as Ludovico Einaudi, Piers Faccini, Ballake Sissoko, Ibrahim Maalouf, Fanfara Tirana, Stewart Copeland of The Police. They bring the voice of a musical territory that has always expressed its identity through the pizzica.
At just 26 years old, Mauro Durante serves as the musical assistant to the conductor of the Night of Taranta, Ludovico Einaudi, working on the creation and artistic production of the show alongside the renowned maestro. The Canzoniere opens the Concertone of the Night of Taranta in Melpignano, performing in front of over a hundred thousand people. Acclaimed by both audiences and critics with 17 albums and countless performances in the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East, the group has made history in Italian world music, recognized in 2010 by MEI as the Best Italian Folk Music Group.