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An intense and passionate reflection, from a female point of view, on the various faces of love: from the great, desperate and tender one to the sick, possessive and abused one. It's Amoreamaro, the new album by Maria Mazzotta, one of the most emblematic musical personalities of Southern Italy. Already in the Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, Mazzotta has come to be one of the most popular voices on the European world music scene. Ten songs in all, two of which are unpublished, which fearlessly cross all the emotions that this feeling can arouse, finding catharsis, consolation, strength and 'cure' in the song, as per popular tradition. They range from stornelli to traditional songs rearranged and enriched with new sounds and words, up to the milestones that have paved the way of the great Italian song such as Lu pisci Spada by Domenico Modugno, Tu non mi piaci più brought to success by Gabriella Ferri and Rosa canta e cunta by the great Sicilian singer-songwriter Rosa Balistreri.
But the heart of the record lies in the two unreleased songs in Salento: Nu me lassare, a painful love ballad, an invocation to those who are no longer there, and the title track Amoreamaro, a pizzica, traditionally a healing rhythm for tarantolate, which ideally aims to heal a sick world. The album released on January 10, 2020 by Agualoca Records, obtained a great response from audiences and critics. 2020 saw Maria Mazzotta among the five finalists of the Targhe Tenco in the Song interpreter section (plate later assigned to Tosca); she ranks at no. 8 (among 708 nominated) among the best records of the year in the World Music Chart Europe and at number 9 of the Transglobal World Music Chart, international charts drawn up by expert journalists in the sector; she is a finalist at the Parodi Prize where she receives the section of the international jury; it ranks third in the National Prize of the City of Loano, the most prestigious award for traditional music in Italy, awarded each year to the best folk music production by a jury made up of over fifty specialized journalists and scholars; selected for the showcase at the International Kulturbörse in Freiburg, Germany, and at the Fira Mediterrania de Manresa in Spain; finalist for the Preis der Deutschen Schallplatten Kritik (Germany) and for the FolkHerbst (Germany, November 2021); receives the Vincenza Magnolo Award.
Maria Mazzotta was born in Lecce and lives between Salento and the French Pyrenees. Her particular versatility makes Maria one of the most important voices of the Apulian panorama and, more generally, of world music, to which she approaches with extreme respect and meticulous research with regard to the vocal characteristics - and not only - that distinguish the various cultures. Ranging naturally from the sounds of Southern Italy to the Balkan cadences, her heartfelt interpretation involves the viewer by dragging him and immersing her in the culture of the interpreted pieces. At a very young age she devoted herself to the study of the piano and later, at the Conservatory of Lecce, to that of the harp. In 1998, the first approach to the songs of the Salento tradition takes place through listening to the original sources and actively participating in the revived songs. From 2000 to 2015 she was part of the historic Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, with which she recorded 6 albums and participated in the most important international world music festivals. She attends several workshops, masterclasses, deepening the various vocal techniques: with the homonymous opera singing teacher Maria Mazzotta; with Gabriella Schiavone delle Faraualla; with Sayeeduddin Dagar, one of the best known Indian Dhrupad singers; with Bobby McFerrin, who chooses her to duet with him in the 2008 edition of 'Bari in Jazz'. Turning her gaze to the East she became passionate about Balkan music and at the age of 21 Maria began a musical research with various musicians of different nationalities (Greeks, Albanians, Macedonians, Croats, Romanians, Bulgarians and Gypsies that he met in his numerous concerts). Hence the partnership with the Albanian cellist Redi Hasa which is completed by merging into a musical-cultural symbiosis from which the Hasa-Mazzotta duo springs. In 2006 she was part of the 'Notte della Taranta' orchestra conducted by Maestro Concertatore Ambrogio Sparagna. In 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 she is the solo voice of the 'Notte della Taranta' under the direction of M° Ludovico Einaudi, M° Goran Bregovic and M° Giovanni Sollima. Since 2013 she collaborates, as a singer, with the dance company of Miguel Angel Berna realizing the Mediterranean, La jota and la taranta, Cardia, Dos Tierras shows that lead her to perform in various theaters around the world, including Teatro Olimpico di Rome, Petruzzelli Theater in Bari, Teatro del Canal in Madrid, Suzanne Dellal in Tel Aviv. In 2015 she participates as a singer in the new film by Carlos Saura La jota. She boasts numerous collaborations with national and international artists, including Hysni (Niko) Zela and Fanfara Tirana, Eva Quartet, Klapa Otok, Bojken Lako, Paolo Fresu, Rita Marcotulli, Mannarino, Ballaké Sissoko, Ibrahim Maalouf, Raiz, Roy Paci, Orchestra of Piazza Vittorio, Piers Faccini, Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara, Roberto Ottaviano, Raffaele Casarano, Bijan Chemirani, Mario Arcari. During her career she has participated in important national and international reviews and festivals, including: Womad (Australia, New Zealand, UK), GlobalFest (New York), South by Southwest (Texas), Small World Music Festival (Canada), Rainforest (Malaysia), TarabTanger (Morocco), Thresholds (Saudi Arabia), Womex (Greece), Babel Med Music (France), Les Suds in Arles (France), Sete Sois Sete Luas (Portugal and Spain), Karneval der Kulturen ( Germany), At-tension (Germany), Festival Mito (Milan).
Vince Abbracciante. He is the rising star of the accordion in Italy, gifted with a remarkable technique, a deep sense of blues and swing. Master the accordion like few others and play any musical genre with talent. (Italian jazz dictionary, 2014).
Richard Galliano said of him: The one who most impressed me is a young Italian, originally from Puglia: his name is Vincenzo Abbracciante. In each song he embarked on a story and moved me. (Jazzman, 2005)
He was born in Ostuni in 1983. At the age of eight he began his musical studies with his father Franco and with A. Sanese. He studied and attended master classes with Franco D'Andrea, Bruno Tommaso, Richard Galliano, Joelle Leandre, Steve Potts, Gianni Lenoci, Roberto Gatto, Dado Moroni, Jacques Mornet, Gianluca Pica, Rosario Giuliani, Gian Vito Tannoia and graduated in music jazz, first level, at the Monopoli Conservatory and in Classical Accordion, second level, at the Matera Conservatory, with honors and special mention. In 2000 he won the '25th International City of Castelfidardo Competition' and in 2003 he won the '53rd World Trophy' for accordion. Since 2000 he has been testimonial of the Borsini accordions of Castelfidardo. He has performed on five continents: Germany, Brazil, United States, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, England, Austria, France, Spain, South Africa, Egypt, China, India, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Lebanon, Denmark, Russia, Holland, Latvia, Lithuania and Canada, in prestigious festivals and jazz clubs, playing with leading musicians: Javier Girotto, Gabriele Mirabassi, Fabrizio Bosso, Juini Booth, Peppe Servillo, John Medeski, Richard Galliano, Marc Ribot, Flavio Boltro, Carlo Actis Dato, Bruno Tommaso, Giovanni Amato, The Bumps (Davide Penta & Antonio Di Lorenzo), Roberto Ottaviano, Paola Arnesano, Luca Ciarla, Lucio Dalla, Ornella Vanoni, Heidi Vogel, Francesco Lotoro. In 2006 he approaches the typical 'vintage' keyboards such as the Hammond organ, Farfisa, Rhodes and others, giving vent to his creative and psychedelic vein. In 2009, together with Carlo Borsini, he designed a new system for changing the accordion registers, which allows to expand the sound range of his instrument. The new accordion, after more than a year of construction and design, was officially presented at the Frankfurt fair in April 2011. In the same year it was awarded the prestigious 'Voce D'oro' prize, a historical recognition of the International Festival of Castelfidardo to those who, with their music, promote the image of the accordion. In 2012 he released his first jazz album as a leader entitled Introducing..., the album features the legendary New York bass player Juini Booth. In 2013 he was awarded by the 'Argojazz' festival in Marina di Pisticci (MT) as 'Best Instrumentalist 2013'. In 2017 he released his second album entitled Sincretico, the first gem of his discography, containing eight new compositions for accordion, string quintet and guitar. Since 2017 the cast of his right hand has been kept at the 'International Museum of Accordionist Footprints' in Recoaro Terme (VI). In 2018 he won the 'Bucharest International Jazz Competition' with his trio. He has written scores for the films of director Gianni Torres Le Mamme di San Vito (2010) (Globo Tricolore award 2011), Unique (2014) and Angels in Bangkok (2016). In 2019 he released his third album, Terranima.