"La Notte della Taranta" is the biggest festival in Italy and one of the most significant events about the popular culture in Europe. It takes place in Salento and it is dedicate to the re-discovery and the valorisation of the traditional music of Salento and its fusion with other musical languages, from the world music to rock, from jazz to the symphonic one.
Born in 1998 supported by Unione dei Comuni della Grecìa Salentina and "Diego Carpitella" Institute, in fifteen years the festival has experienced an extraordinary growth in terms of size, audience and cultural prestige. Its evolution counts different fundamental stages : in 2000 they created the “Festival Itinerante”, a selection of the most representative groups in the panorama of pizzica, that involves every year fifteen cities (the ones that are part of the Unione dei Comuni della Grecìa Salentina plus the cities of Lecce, Galatina, Alessano and Cursi) summoning thousands of people, representing a big journey towards the main Concertone; in 2004, with Ambrogio Sparagna, they created the Orchestra Popolare "La Notte della Taranta" a cultural evidence active throughout the year in our Country and all around the World; from 2010 the organization is curated by "La Notte della Taranta" Foundation.
The formula of the festival, that concludes with the final Concertone in Melpignano (Le) – gathering around 500 thousand people, even on the day before when artists rehearse- is an original and innovative one thanks to the presence of a Maestro Concertatore, invited to interpret the classic of the local traditional music together with a group of around 30 musicians among the best ones in Salento, and extraordinary guests from both national and international panorama.
Some of these Maestri Concertatori keep on working with the Orchestra Popolare even during other exhibitions both in Italy and abroad : Daniele Sepe (1998), Piero Milesi (1999 e 2001), Joe Zawinul (2000),Vittorio Cosma (2002), Stewart Copeland (2003), Ambrogio Sparagna (2004, 2005, 2006), Mauro Pagani (2007, 2008, 2009), Ludovico Einaudi (2010, 2011), Goran Bregovic (2012), Giovanni Sollima (2013, 2014), Phil Manzanera (2015), Carmen Consoli (2016), Raphael Gualazzi (2017), Andrea Mirò (2018), Fabio Mastrangelo (2019).
Orchestra Popolare has hosted and has worked with great artists form the musical panorama in Italy and not : Luciano Ligabue, Giuliano Sangiorgi, Lucio Dalla, Francesco De Gregori, Gianna Nannini, Caparezza, Clementino, Vinicio Capossela, Fiorella Mannoia, Enzo Avitabile, Franco Battiato, Roberto Vecchioni, Massimo Ranieri, Emma, Alessandra Amoroso, Boomdabash, Nada, Tosca, Federico Poggipollini, Luciano Luisi, Antonella Ruggiero, Alessandro Mannarino, Max Gazzè, Niccolò Fabi, Alfio Antico, Sud Sound System, Vittorio Cosma, Simone Cristicchi, Eugenio Finardi, Après La Classe, Morgan, Ginevra Di Marco, Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio, Eva Quartet, Piero Brega, Radiodervish, Gavino Murgia, Mario Arcari, Peppe Servillo, Lucilla Galeazzi, Piero Pelù, Davide Van De Sfroos, Giovanna Marini, Giovanni Lindo Ferretti, Francesco Di Giacomo, Gianni Maroccolo, Raiz, Nabil Salameh, Enzo Gragnaniello, James Senese, Elisa, Gué Pequeno, Enzo Avitabile, Alessandro Quarta, Maurizio Colonna.
From overseas : Salif Keita, LP, Stewart Copeland, Tony Allen, Paul Simonon, Gregory Porter, Concha Buika, Suzanne Vega, Noa, Dulce Pontes, Bombino, Yael Dechelbaum, Jerry Leonard, Tim Ries, Pedrito Martinez, Lisa Fischer, Buena Vista Social Club, Andrea Echeverri, Anna Phoebe, Raúl Rodríguez, Roby Lakatos, Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara, Joji Hirota & The Taiko Drummers, Mercan Dede & Secret Tribe, Diego El Cigala, Ballaké Sissoko, Savina Yannatou, Mercan Dede, Les Tambours Du Burundi, Taraf De Haïdouks, Mira Awad, Z-Star, Angélique Kidjo, Richard Galliano, Badarà Seck, Dhoad Gypsies from Rajasthan.
La Notte della Taranta, with its touring shows, explores the news of pizzica in the music flow. It is a constant research of a new centre of energies. A primordial energy that organizes things and allows us to vibrate in symphony with the surrounding nature, giving pizzica a curative power to exorcise the damages of nowadays society. The centre of everything is the rhythm of the tambourine, a key rhythm essential to find ourselves. The centre to grasp the substance of music that means the readiness to start a research will never end.