A fascinating journey between the sounds and cultures of the Mediterranean Sea, in search for a musical and lyrical language that unites its various populations. This is the idea behind the show of Stefano Saletti & Banda Ikona: A journey to rediscover the different types of music that tell the stories about the passionate people from the Mediterranean.
A multi-instrumentalist, expert in Mediterranean music and director of international ensembles, Stefano Saletti is the founder of the Banda Ikona, comprised of such famous musicians such as the vocalist Barbara Eramo, wind instrument player Gabriele Coen, the violinist Carlo Cossu, the bassist Mario Rivera and the drummer Giovanni Lo Cascio. Many of the Piccola Banda Ikona‘s original compositions are sung in Sabir, an ancient francophone language used by sailors, pirates, fishermen, merchants and ship-owners in Mediterranean ports to communicate with one another: from Genoa to Tangiers, from Salonika to Istanbul, from Marseilles to Algiers, from Valencia to Palermo, until the early decades of the twentieth century this form of sea-faring “Esperanto” developed little by little availing of terms from Spanish, Italian, French and Arabic. In their last cd “Soundcity: sounds from border towns” (published by Finisterre and distributed by Felmay) Stefano Saletti started from the recordings that, in the past few years, he had made around the Mediterranean in many border cities: Lampedusa, Istanbul, Tangier, Lisbon, Jaffa, Sarajevo, Ventotene… Sounds, noises, radios, voices, sound spaces, buskers have all inspired his melodies, lyrics and rhythms. In June 2016 “Soundcity” has reached the top ten of World Music Charts Europe (4th) and remained on the charts for three months and in May 2016 the top ten of the Transglobal World Music Charts. Their previous CD called “Folkpolitik” contains Saletti’s original compositions and arrangements of Mediterranean authors who, through their music, have described the struggle against power, suffering, persecution, arrests and violence. In October 2012 “Folkpolitik” has reached the top ten of World Music Charts Europe; this CD remained on the charts for three months. The CD “Marea cu Sarea” (out in 2008) was listed among the ten best new issues on the Folk Roots chart, the prestigious English world music magazine, in addition to being listed as one of the best releases of 2008 by the World Music Charts Europe. “Marea cu Sarea” was awarded the “Coups de coeur du jury” award at Babel Med 2009 in Marseilles. In recent years Stefano Saletti and the Banda Ikona have toured extensively, playing at major international festival in Italy, Canada, Capo Verde, Portugal, Spain, France, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Morocco, Hungary, Swiss, Greece, Egypt and Germany. Their first album “Stari Most issued in 2005, was dedicated to the historical bridge in Mostar (Bosnia), bombed in 1993, which has always represented as a symbol for meeting and passage between East and West. Stefano Saletti and the Piccola Banda Ikona boast numerous collaborations with writers and theatre directors in national and international tours.
Stefano Saletti: bouzuki, oud, guitar, vocals
Barbara Eramo: vocals
Gabriele Coen: sax and clarinet
Mario Rivera: acoustic bass
Carlo Cossu: violin
Giovanni Lo Cascio: drums and percussion
Arnaldo Vacca: percussion