Night of the Taranta concert draws 200,0

Mirò hits big with tradition, 'Il Volo' wants to join next year

(ANSA) - Melpignano, August 28 - The 2018 Night of the Taranta concert, directed by Italian singer-songwriter Andrea Mirò, kept its promise to go beyond limits and "contaminate tradition" with other musical forms, not in order to betray tradition but rather to help pass it along.
    Mirò herself performed on the concert stage, lit by a large sun of lights.
    The pride of the tradition of the Salento could be seen throughout the concert: in the voices of the Popular Orchestra and the Italian and foreign guests, in the powerful sound of the tambourines, in the sensual moves and in the faces of the dancers performing the pizzica, the dance that heals from the bite of a tarantula - not a spider, but a "zoomorphic divinity" that "poisons" and saves the heart of those who come into contact with it.
    That's what happened to the three members of the group "Il Volo", who told journalists backstage that next year they would like to sing on the same stage.
    "Who knows; it would be wonderful," they said.
    "We were very curious to see this really big event," said Piero Barone.
    "There are still 12 months and there's time to organise it," said Ignazio Boschetto.
    "And there's always time to come up with a song last minute," said Gianluca Ginoble, jokingly.
    The group emphasised that it has "always thought that music has no limits, and that you can always try anything without putting any barriers - we try and we see what happens".
    Italian-American pop singer LP, Laura Pergolizzi, one of the most eagerly anticipated of the concert's performers, said she "immediately fell in love with this ancestral music".
    The 200,000 concertgoers, who began waiting in the afternoon in the small village of 3,000 residents in the Grecia Salentina, kept asking "When is she going to arrive?" Before the great party began, however, the mayor of Melpignano called for a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the Genoa bridge collapse and the flooding of the Raganello river gorge.
    On stage, the Dhoad Gypsies performed and the call of Rajasthan was unsettling for the more conservative attendees.
    Immediately realizing how much the melody from India is like the voices of the Salento, however, brought a warm wave of welcoming applause from the whole audience.
    The Salento group Apres la Classe, with its track "Kalos Irtate", gave its own sort of welcome in the Griko dialect, singing verses they wrote themselves about the "minister who takes issue with the blacks, and wants to command: Salento, however, will always be a middle ground".
    The differences between tradition and innovation faded away under the direction of Mirò, assisted by the multi-instrumentalist and arranger Davide Brambilla, resulting in a continuous "flow" of music.
    Rapper Clementino, at first timid, hit his stride with a series of rhymes, calling on "those from the south to jump up", to which all ages responded.
    Mirò, with her performance of the song "Fimmine", spoke of the condition of women, over Indian guitars and a reggae-dub bass line.
    Then, a continuous tambourine beat announced the arrival of LP, with the "pizzica" version of her hit "Lost on You".
    The pop singer took on the Salentino dialect in "Vorrei Volare", demonstrating significant effort, and sung half of "Pizzicarella" in English, adding in a few steps of the traditional dance as well.
    The music continued, with the trombone of Frank Nemola rounding out the sound of the tambourines, while the violin perfectly accompanied the voice of Cuban singer Yilian Canizares in the Griko song "Ela-Mu Condà".
    A touch of Naples came with Enzo Gragnaniello and his "Beddha ci stai luntanu" and "Na ni na", accompanied by the jazz sax of James Senese.
    Meanwhile, Salentino traditional poet Mino De Santis recalled landscape, the theme of this year's concert, with his warm voice singing "La Terra": the land, where this music was born, and, thanks to the Night of the Taranta concert, will never die.