The Casentuli offer a vast and diverse repertoire of Sicilian traditional music and songs, the result of years of field research and consultation of ethnomusicological collections. The study and performance of this valuable material contribute to the recovery of a rich musical universe, which has been largely forgotten in favor of the repertoire of folkloric groups. Their repertoire includes songs inspired by Mediterranean traditions (North Africa, Spain, Greece, the Balkans) and dances inspired by Northern European traditions (Scottish, polka, contradance, mazurka). They explore melodies related to rural life and fieldwork (flutes, barrel organs, bagpipes, castanets, Jews harp, zampogna), as well as the life of the barbershop (mandolins, mandolas, and barbershop guitars), and songs of love, anger, grape harvesting, mining, sailing, and gypsum quarrying.
Simona Di Gregorio, a singer and multi-instrumentalist (barrel organ, percussion, guitar, winds, etc.), began her musical journey as a young girl, studying classical and modern piano both in Italy and Germany. She later developed a passion for ethnic and folk music and began diligently studying and collaborating with Matilde Politi on traditional polyphonic Sicilian songs. She also leads the Voci di Tradizione Unicavuci choir with Matilde Politi since October 2017. Simona Di Gregorio conducts workshops on Sicilian and world songs, as well as vocal exploration and education. She has numerous collaborations with artists and associations on the island, participating in both performance and educational activities. She is a composer and performer for the film “Acqua fuori dal ring” by Joel Stangle. Alongside Giovanni Arena and Riccardo Gerbino, she co-founded Luftig and released the album “Erdring” (49Edizioni) in 2017.
Pasqualino Cacciola, a former member of Archinuè until 2009, has recorded three albums with them. In 2002, he won the Critics’ Award and the Press Room Radio TV Award at the 52nd Italian Song Festival in Sanremo. Currently, he is involved in various musical projects, such as the Giringiro trio (with Valeria Grasso and Dario Pruiti), which presents a repertoire of folk music from around the world and their original compositions in various languages. He is also part of Sambazita, a popular samba school directed by Manola Micalizzi. Since 2017, he has been part of the Coro UnicaVuci project, which recorded a CD of sea songs titled “Ainavò” in 2019. He composes and performs music for theater and dance, such as “On time#1” by choreographer Ilenia Romano (2018) and “È vietato il gioco della palla” by dancers Jessica Eirado Enes, Iro Grigoriadis, and Marika Meoli (2017). “Occhio a li Turchi” is another theatrical project resulting from a commedia dell’arte workshop led by Marzia Ciulla.
Giorgio Maltese, a singer and multi-instrumentalist, began studying classical guitar at a young age with Maestro Alfredo D’Urso, who won the first prize at the “TuttArte” national competition in 2005. In the same year, thanks to Fabio Tricomi, a musician and researcher from Catania, he discovered the world of traditional music and folk instruments, starting his study of the marranzano and diving into an intensive research endeavor. This led him to meet the few remaining elderly traditional Sicilian instrument players and builders, from whom he learned repertoire, playing techniques, and instrument construction techniques. He mastered the mandolin, traditional reed flutes, tamburello, barrel organ, and zampogna a paro. He performed with various musical groups, including ‘Na Maravigghia, I Beddi, Totò Nocera, Tamburo di Aci, duo Triquetra, Don Cecè and Mastru Giorgio, and played in several theater performances collaborating with Guglielmo Ferro, Tiziana Sensi, Salvo Piro, Valerio Santi, and Orazio Alba. He engaged in outreach activities related to traditional Sicilian instruments.
Valeria Grasso, a singer, performer, and contemporary dancer of Sicilian origin, has always explored the relationship between voice, movement, and poetry in her artistic and teaching path. She has collaborated in various artistic productions of dance-theater and music. In recent years, she has focused on studying the art of gesture and the anatomy of ‘dance’ in the Mediterranean, participating in various workshops on Sicilian and global traditional dances. She collaborates with Simona Di Gregorio in the study of Sicilian dance repertoires and gestures related to ancient Sicilian trades (land and sea). Valeria Grasso has taken part in various urban dance performances inspired by Sicilian literary and theatrical works and various community drama approaches, such as Social Intercultural Theater and Theater of the Oppressed. She created musical accompaniments for dance performances with Giringiro, a world music trio producing original pieces.