Michele Arpa Voice, Castanets
Daniele Barone Voice, Classical Guitar
Dario Barone Voice, Frame Drums, Marranzano
Margaret Ianuario Voice, Winds
Mario Musetta Voice, Chitarra Battente
Giovanni Saviello Voice, Winds, Organetto, Accordion, Marranzano
Damadakà is a musical group that originated in the early 1990s through the collaboration of musicians with a shared choral experience, aiming to embark on a journey to rediscover their musical roots. The current formation of the group was established in 2002, and its main goal is to recover and present the musical and dance heritage of the Campania region, and more broadly, Southern Italy.
The group, based in Montevergine, has developed a sound that combines traditional inspirations, focusing on the recovery and reinterpretation of the musical and dance traditions of Southern Italy. Damadakà actively engages with the local elderly population, forming both musical and human connections. They immerse themselves in the local culture, particularly the agricultural culture, to learn different styles and forms of sound, song, and dance, exploring their rich cultural meanings.
Damadakà’s repertoire is rooted in traditional inspiration, covering a range of styles from drum songs to tarantellas, lullabies to folk tales, work songs, and love songs to devotional chants. Their work involves field research, frequenting rituals, and religious festivals, resulting in a repertoire that showcases the diverse and authentic folk traditions of the region.
The group places a strong emphasis on vocal techniques, seeking ancient and evocative resonances, while incorporating contemporary and engaging elements. They employ traditional instruments such as chitarra battente, ciaramelle, sisco, double flute, frame drums (tammorre), friction drums (bughitibù), marranzani (Gypsy trumpet), bark flutes, cowbells, accordion, castanets, triccabballacche, bagpipes, and others.
Damadakà brings a personal perspective to their musical roots, presenting a unique sonic journey that enriches traditional languages with expressive novelties. The result is a fresh interpretation of ancient music that, while respecting its essence, reaffirms the fundamental importance of sung words.
The group has actively participated in national and international festivals and received recognition for its field research and the promotion of Campanian intangible cultural heritage both in Italy and abroad. Damadakà has won prestigious awards, including the Audience Award at the Young Audience Music Awards 2012 and the Eurofolk 2006 International Traditional Music Festival. They have performed in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, and various institutional figures.
Damadakà was selected by the City of Naples as artistic representatives of the cultural image of the city and the Campania tradition. They recorded the soundtrack for the advertising campaign “Naples: life is beautiful,” aiming to promote and disseminate Campanian artistic and musical richness in Italy and internationally. The group has participated in numerous national and international festivals, collaborating with organizations such as Jeunesse Musicale for the diffusion of traditional music culture in European schools.