Live Promo 2019
“Feast your ears on an Italian group that cooks up an exotic blend of cross-cultural ingredients.” Dore Stein, Tangent Radio, USA
“Akoustikòs” is Agricantus’ new artistic project – a journey through various places full of evocative perfumes, colors and atmospheres. Born out of their meeting with Sicilian pianist and vocalist Anita Vitale, the project revisits the band’s earlier repertoire with new ears, creating new music and songs with intense emotional power. The use of electronics, always a signature feature of the band, is here only to complement the gentle, organic and natural sound of the voices and instruments.
In these times of great confusion, “Akoustikòs” is a call to slow down and come together, to listen to the deep and the ancient. It is also a tribute to forgotten places and peoples, from the heart of the Mediterranean.
Agricantus are: Anita Vitale (lead vocal, Fender Rhodes, piano), Mario Crispi (ethnic wind instruments, vocals), Mario Rivera (6 string acoustic bass, vocals), Giovanni Lo Cascio (drum set, percussion).
Special guests: Arnaldo Vacca/Massimo Laguardia (frame drums, vocals), Enzo Rao (violin, oud), Alessandro Gwis/Seby Burgio (piano, keyboards).
With the release of the album Gnanzù! (1993) and the EP Viaggiari (1995), the band formed in 1979 began revisiting the melodies and lyrics of the oral traditions of Southern Italy and mixing them with ambient music and electronic influences. The 1996 release Tuareg, one of the band’s most representative works, brought Agricantus widespread success in Italy and Europe. Tuareg was awarded the prestigious Targa Tenco 1996 for best album in dialect and charted 6th on the World Music Charts Europe. In 1997 Agricantus won the Italian Music Award, PIM and performed the soundtrack to the movie Hamam – Il Bagno Turco, winner of the Golden Globe. The same year also saw the publication of HaleBopp Souvenir, a mini-album realised with the participation of Fadimata Wallet Oumar, spokeswoman of the most authentic Tuareg culture. In 1998 Agricantus publish Kaleidos, an album in which the band undertakes an ideal journey in search of the popular roots of classical music, mixing classical compositions inspired by popular music with archaic tools and modern technology. Also in 1998, the band was involved in the soundtrack to the film I Giardini dell’Eden; in 1999 the album Best of Agricantus was published in the United States and distributed in Canada, South America, Australia and Japan. In only a few weeks, this album scaled the peaks of American and Australian campus radio charts. The same year, the band released Faiddi featuring a collection of reinterpretations of songs from their live repertoire. In 2000 the group competed the soundtrack to Pasquale Scimeca’s film Placido Rizzotto. In February 2001 Agricantus published Ethnosphere, a musical journey through Tibet and the Mediterranean describing landscapes of light and shade, day and night, introspection and extroversion, inspired by Eastern philosophies. February 2002 saw the release of Jamila, a single produced as a collaboration between Agricantus and the guitarist Francesco Bruno. From 2001 Agricantus began working with the French label “George V Records” which lead to the inclusion of “Hala Hala” on Nirvana Lounge (2001), “Amatevi” on Buddha Bar IV (2002) (the first Italian song featured by this collection), and “Orbi Terrarum” on Siddhartha vol 1 (2003). This collaboration also led to a live concert by Agricantus and DJ Ravin and the group’s participation in prestigious international festivals such as “Roma incontra il mondo – 2003”, “Ville Tuscolane Festival – 2005”, “Palermo Kals’Art 2005”. Agricantus has performed concerts in various countries around the world and as a guest at such international festivals as “Le Printemps de Bourges”, “Arezzo Wave,” “The Europennes nuit” in Strasbourg, “Womad” and “International Festival of Tunis – Medina”. Agricantus has had several lineups, from 1979 to 2008, the year the band went on hiatus for a few years. Their artistic journey resumed in 2013 with the release of the single “Omini”, produced by CNI, Blob, Lega Ambiente. The single was followed in 2014 by the full-length album Turnari.
vocals – Fender Rhodes – piano
Anita Vitale studied piano since the age of eight. Falls in love with jazz singing after hearing Maria Pia De Vito, studied with her for three years, and as a singer matures his most important musical collaborations (Mario Raja’s Big Band, Pietro Tonolo, Maurizio Giammarco, Piero Leveratto, Claudio Corvini, Roberto Rossi, Marcello Rosa, Giampaolo Casati, Salvatore Bonafede, Romano Mussolini, Vito Di Modugno, Giuseppe Milici). In 2000 she won the scholarship to study at the Berklee College of Music by participating in the Umbria Jazz Berklee Clinics. Lives in London and in New York where he won another scholarship to the New York City College. In 2004 he studied jazz at the Conservatory in Groningen in the Netherlands, where he attended lectures by some of the most popular world famous musicians such as Ralph Peterson, Conrad Herwig, Brian Linch, David Berkman, Dina Dalton, Ron Jackson, Don Braden. Here she won the prize as best student of the year, she participated in a seminar with Bobby Mc Ferrin in Amsterdam, performing with him. In hers curriculum to remember the collaborations with “I Beati Paoli” (which in 2005 collaborates with Lucio Dalla and Claudio Baglioni) and with Mario Incudine, (concerts at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo with Antonella Ruggiero, at the Teatro di Verdura with Orchestra Etnomediterranea by Hevia, and in Florence with Fausta Vetere, Clara Murtas and Lucilla Galeazzi). She is currently working with several groups, Divas and Le Tinte Unite (two female quartets), and Sudd MM. Always active in jazz, she participated in the festival of Castellanza in 2006, she performed with various groups in Italy and in 2008 in the most important cities in the South Africa. Winner along with the vocal Quartet “NAIMA” on My WaycFestival 2009, participates and won with the Quartet at Jazz Festival and at the same competition Brentwood Festival. Since November 2016 is the new lead vocals with Agricantus.
archaic wind instruments, vocals
Born in Palermo, his first true commitment to music began in 1976, with an early interest in archaic wind instruments from all over the world. One of the founding members in 1979, he is a versatile composer and flautist with Agricantus. He has completed research in ethnomusicology, collaborating with the Archivio Etnofonico Siciliano, Folkstudio in Palermo, the Institute for Folk Traditions of the University of Palermo and the Museum of Popular Traditions in Nuoro. To further his musical research he has visited many regions of the world, inducing Africa, the Middle East and Asia Minor to learn about people, stories, musical instruments and musicians, enjoy important musical experiences and develop melodies and compositions. In addition to his work with Agricantus, he has also composed music for dance performances (Roberta Escamilla Garrison), theatre, environmental sound design (the exhibition “Forma: la città e il suo passato” by Massimiliano Fuksas at the Colosseum in Rome) and film soundtracks (Jungby A. Harvested and F. Lazzaretti, presented at the 57th Venice Film Festival 2000 and winner of the IDFA Amsterdam, Afghanistan – side effectsby A. Vendemmiati and F. Lazzaretti) and his solo project “Soffi”, with whom he released the eponymous album (2000). In 2008 he produced the album FolkaLab, the result of a collective musical experience developed in Palermo; in 2009 he released his second solo album Arenaria, a musical journey through Sicily. In 2010 he produced the original soundtrack to the documentary film Left by The Ship, by A. Vendemmiati and E. Rossi Landi. In 2011 he released Insulaewith Sardinian saxophonist Enzo Favata, a mix of archaic wind instruments, saxophone and clarinet. In 2012, Mario Crispi and Mario Rivera revived the Agricantus artistic project, releasing the singles “Omini” in 2013 and “Nsunnai” in 2014, followed by the full-length album Turnari.
6 string acoustic bass, vocals
Born in Palermo, he studied classical guitar and double bass as a teenager. He holds a degree in jazz bass from the Conservatory of L’Aquila. In 1979 he was one of the founders of Agricantus, a group he continues to perform with. In the early 1980s he approached the world of contemporary theatre with the German director Werner Eckl and the E.X.I.L. 84 Theatre Company. A study of the integration between theatre and music from these years would lead him to compose music for theatrical performances and create an unusual, but steady relationship with film and theatre as an actor. Alongside his work with Agricantus during the 1990s, he began exploring electronic music, from trip-hop to jungle. His first album Roots ‘n’ Bassfeatures remixes by various artists including Lester Bowie, John Trudell and Dissidenten. Since 2001 he has been collaborating with the director Renato Giordano and composing music for his plays. Between 2003 and 2005 he produced Bonoraby Marcello Murru, La Via della Seteby Nuklearte, Deaby Isola and Stari Mostby Stefano Saletti & Piccola Banda Ikona, as well as numerous remixes for various artists (including Enzo Avitabile, Mory Kante and Tinturia). He released his second solo album is O.S.T.in 2007, a collection of music composed for theatre and documentaries. His encounter with the Roman musician Gabriele Coen led to an intense collaboration that includes various soundtracks for feature-length films (Notturno Bus, Scontro di Civiltà per un Ascensore a Piazza Vittorio, Matrimoni e Altri Disastri), short films (Mare Nostro, L’Arma Più Forte) and the theatre (Satyricon – La Cena di Trimalcione, La Storia di Amore e Psiche). A multidisciplinary figure, he currently works as a producer, music teacher and musician. He is one of the leading figures of the new artistic path of Agricantus, and a regular collaborator with various ethnic, acoustic, world music and jazz projects.
Giovanni Lo Cascio
drum set, percussion
Born in Rome in 1963, he began studying music in 1969 with Maestro Vincenzo Rafii. From 1976 he studied drums with Ivano Nardi and Roberto Gatto and solfeggio with Maestro Pangare. From 1983 to 1985 he attended courses at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA. In Boston he studied percussion with Ed Uribe, Gary Chaffee, Joe Hunt, John Ramsey, Tommy Campbell and others. He studied ethno-musicology at the “Sapienza” University of Rome. He worked for cinema, theatre, dance, television and radio on many occasions. He is the author of soundtracks for films, documentaries and television commercials. He has performed concerts in France, England, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Greece, Egypt, Jordan, Brazil, the Czech Republic, the United States of America and the Vatican. He has played at festivals such as Umbria Jazz, Gaia (Thessaloniki), Cairo Opera House, Enzimi, Overruns, Santarcangelo theatre and numerous festivals of jazz, rock and ethnic diversity. He is a regular teacher at the Jazz University of Terni and Timba Percussion Centre in Rome. He is the author of several textbooks for schools and articles for music magazines. Since 2005 he is responsible for the Juakali Drummers music workshop in Nairobi, Kenya. Juakali Drummers, now called Drummers Slum is a project Dulcimer Fondation pour la Musique/Alta Mane Italy for the recovery of street youth through music. He has taught drums, harmony and arrangement. He taught music for film at the Fine Arts University in Rome. In 2009 he began working with Mario Crispi, initially with the Arenaria project, and since 2013, as a member of Agricantus.
AKOUSTIKOS – Vol. 1
1- Carizzi r’amuri (Es-Souk) (Agricantus – Dentrix)
2- Azalai (Agricantus)
3- Istanbul Uyurken (Pivio – De Scalzi – Ozpetek)
4- Qanat (Crispi – Rivera – Agricantus)
5- Ciavula (Crispi – Acquaviva – Agricantus)
6- Manu su manu (Crispi – Rivera – Agricantus)
7- Cantu Errami (Crispi – Rivera – Agricantus)
8- Sentimentu (Crispi – Rivera – Agricantus)
9- Nsunnai (Crispi – Rivera – Agricantus)
10- Sentu (Crispi – Rivera – Agricantus)
11- Jura (Mastroeni – Crispi – Rivera – Vitale)
Produced by Mario Rivera, Mario Crispi & Paolo Dossena
Arranged by Agricantus
Concerts 2014 - 2018
Palermo Sud Festival – Palermo (Italia)
Visa for Music – Rabat (Marocco)
Kaulonia Tarantella Festival – Caulonia (Italia)
Festival Popolare Italiano – Roma (Italia)
Agricantus e Focu – Chiesa dello Spasimo – Palermo (Italia)
Festival Sete Sòis Sete Luas – Alcàzar de San Juan – Tavernes de la Valldigna (Spagna)
Festival Sete Sòis Sete Luas – Oeiras – Elvas (Portogallo)
Festival Insulae – Catania (Italia)
Festival Lithos – Siracusa (Italia)
Equlibri Festival 2016 – Avola (Italia)
Touscoleurs 2015– International Festival – Bordighera (Italia)
Concerto del Primo Maggio – Roma (Italia)
38° Festival Internazionale dell zampogna – Scapoli (IS) (Italia)
Ossigeno Festival – Roma (Italia)
Concerts 1994 - 2005
Festival delle Ville Tuscolane (con Dj Ravin) – Italia
Festival Kals’Art (con DJ Ravin) – Palermo
Auditorium Parco della Musica – Roma
Festival “Roma incontra il mondo” – Roma
Festival “Roma incontra il mondo” (con Dj Ravin) – Roma
Concerto del Primo Maggio 2002 – Roma (Italia)
Festival Internazionale di Verdura – Palermo (Italia)
Intercultural Meetings Palazzo Azem – Damasco (Siria)
Teatro Greco – Taormina (Italia)
Concerto del Primo Maggio 2000 – Roma (Italia)
Festival della Medina – Tunisi (Tunisia)
Festival “Roma incontra il Mondo” – Roma (Italia)
Neapolis International Music Festival – Napoli (Italia)
Festival de Musica Mundial Brasile – Saõ Paulo (Brasile)
Concerto del Primo Maggio 1998 – Roma (Italia)
Intercultural Festival “Crossroad” – Galilea – (Israele)
Festival Le Nuit Europeennes – Strasbourg (Belgio)
International Music Festival Arezzo Wave – Arezzo (Italia)
Concerto del Primo Maggio 1996 – Roma (Italia)
Festival Sete Sois Sete Luas 1997 – (Portogallo)
Festival Internazionale Arezzo Wave – Arezzo (Italia)
Festival Le Printemps de Bourges – Bourges – (Francia)
ArtRock Festival – Saint-Brieuc (Francia)