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Riccardo Tesi & Banditaliana. The history of "Bella ciao".



Riccardo Tesi & Banditaliana. The history of

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Riccardo Tesi & Banditaliana are back to Australia in April-May 2019 on a tour called Argento (Silver) that aims at celebrating the group’s 25th anniversary.

On the occasion of the 25th April Liberation Day that celebrates the end of the fascist regime and the end of the Nazi occupation of Italy in 1945, Banditaliana presents a special show at the IIC Melbourne entitled "Bella ciao".


Historically, the show “Bella ciao” has marked the beginning of the Italian Folk Revival, a great musical movement, now renamed World Music, which has recovered and enhanced the Italian traditional instruments and repertoires.

It was been showing for the first time on 21 June 1964 at the “Festival dei Due Mondi” in Spoleto. The singing and culture of the lower classes were presented onstage to a bourgeois audience, far from the way and contents of this music.

However, furious controversy have accompanied the show. The riots broke out when a General, who saw the show, denounced the company for contempt of the Armed Forces because of an anti-militarist verse in the song Gorizia, thus triggering a struggle and political debate of national dimensions between the right and the left. With immediate effect, the scandal of Spoleto produced a great advertising to "Bella ciao" that from then on received an unexpected success approaching the younger generations of the left for rediscovering popular song as an identity phenomenon.

From this show, however, derives the work of all the musicians who bring today the Italian popular music in the squares of the world.

Over the past 50 years, the revival of popular song has often changed shape, soul and philosophy, interweaving its path with contemporary styles and genres, thus deeply marking the current music scene.
"Bella ciao" is a lesson of democracy that comes from below. A historical novel narrated through music, sounds and words.
Today, its songs not only preserve all their expressive power, but also acquire a new urgency in the globalized world for their libertarian, pacifist and civil values.
These songs talk about universal themes: work, oppression, emigration, love, party, as all popular songs do.

This is why they are the ideal soundtrack for a party on 25th April.

"Our show will tell the story of this representation and the path of musicians like us, who are sons of “Bella Ciao” period, who have lived through the following seasons of Folk Revival up to the present day." (Banditaliana)


The quartet was founded in 1992 by Riccardo Tesi, and is now one of the most famous internationally known Italian groups in the world music scene. Original compositions, instrumental virtuosities, precious rhythmic combinations and refined arrangements make up the stylistic character of the group which, with its fresh and sunny music, has enchanted the audiences of the most important national and international folk and world music festivals.

Instigator of the rediscovery of the diatonic accordion, Riccardo Tesi revolutionized the image and vocabulary of this popular instrument by opening up the narrow boundaries of ethnic music and including it in jazz and original compositions by several well-known Italian songwriters (Tesi was the organist of Ivano Fossati, GianMaria Testa and Fabrizio De André in his latest Anime Salve).

Since its debut in 1992, the band's leading elements are Maurizio Geri, singer and acrobatic guitarist whose style blends themes related to Mediterranean music with swing-manouche improvisations, Claudio Carboni, saxophonist with a clear and precise phrasing who grew up in the best ballo liscio (ballroom dancing) tradition and, since 2010, Gigi "FastFoot" Biolcati, the barefoot percussionist who adds his personal groove to the music of Banditaliana.

The group Riccardo Tesi & Banditaliana has already toured Australia twice, in 2007 and 2011, enjoying great acclaim from both the public and critics.


Limited seats. Booking essential: T 9866 5931; E


Date: Thursday, April 25, 2019

Time: From 6:30 pm To 8:00 pm

Organized by : IIC Melbourne

Entrance : Free



IIC Melbourne, 233 Domain Rd, South Yarra