In Salento, a former Greek colony in Southern Italy, legend has it that a spider bite would send a victim into a fit of rapid movement to the point of exhaustion. The only known cure was to play fast music and get the bitten to dance the poison off, on beat. In the Greek town of Taranta the hysterical condition came to be known as Tarantulism. Tarantella, or Pizzica, is music created to treat tarantula bites, causing the inflicted to dance for a cure.
Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino is a seven-piece Pizzica band from Puglia, started in 1975. Led by the son of the original founder, the band has released 17 records and toured Europe and the Middle East. Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino is bringing its gypsy-rhythms to Brooklyn to celebrate their latest release, Pizzica Indiavolata.
If you frequent Bulgarian Bar, shimmy to the traditional sounds at the Feast of San Gennaro or you appreciate the background music on the Shahs of Sunset, you’ll enjoy the red-checkered-tablecloth song stylings of CGS. Then you might check out the Concrete Boys, Calabria’s answer to the Beastie Boys, and feast on Pizzica’s other Puglieses, the sexy, Alla Bua.
Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino plays Pace Presents, at The Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts in Downtown Brooklyn, February 1 at 7pm.