Published on March 27th, 2015 | by Phil


Phil Is Maestro Concertatore For La Notte Della Taranta 2015





22 August 2015, Melpignano, Italy

27 March:   In the week that Phil Manzanera, acclaimed guitarist with Roxy Music and internationally renowned record producer, releases The Sound of Blue, his new album, it has been announced that he is Maestro Concertatore for the 2015 La Notte della Taranta.  Italy’s largest annual free concert which takes place on 22 August in the town of Melpignano, Puglia, Italy: last year over 150,00 fans danced through La Notte to the hypnotic beats of pizzica.


Phil Manzanera, who  recently co-produced Pink Floyd’s chart-topping final album, The Endless River, said:

“ I am honoured to become part of the rich musical tradition of pizzica music that has has evolved over 2,000 years and looking forward to reinterpreting its classics. Before being invited to be this year’s Maestro Concertatore I was unaware of pizzica as a music genre.  It’s been a thrilling experience to discover the history of pizzica and trace its origins from all parts of the Mediterranean region.  I am very much looking forward to working with the Popular Orchestra  and working with some very special guests.”


Pizzica, which originates from the Salento region of Puglia, Southern Italy, was brought to international attention by Alan Lomax in his field  recordings of1953 which were commissioned by Rai Uno and the BBC:  this year’s  concert repertoire will be based on many of those field recordings.  The almost psychedelic sound of this music, a fusion of ethnic Mediterranean sounds based on percussion instruments, used to be a part of the healing process  of people stung by the dangerous tarantola spider. The victim fell into a state of semiconsciousness and began to move as if by hypnotic shock, the power of the music was said to be able  to cure the victim.


Phil Manzanera will be working with over 20 musicians, dancers and singers, with the tamburello, the dominant instrument, providing the characteristic percussive beat of pizzica.

Previous Maestro Concertatores of the Festival, which  was founded in 1998, include, Stewart Copeland , Ludovico Einaudi, Goran Bregovic and for the last two years, Giovanni Sollima.  Stewart Copeland said:

“There is a reason why this music has survived the ages and why The Night of the Tarantula draws such multitudes to this day. The songs are eternally charismatic, the rhythms are elementally persuasive and the energy is wildly infectious.”


Information about La Notte della Taranta is at




Back to Top ↑