Golden will get a taste of Italy on July 16 when Riccardo Tessi and Banditaliana pump out some smooth jazz and traditional Italian tunes at Spirit Square.
Over its 20 plus years as a group, Banditaliana has earned itself a place among the top Italian groups in the world. While Tesi believes their sound has evolved, the ensemble also hasn’t abandoned its roots.
“Each of us have become more and more of an expert with our own instruments,” he said. “We have changed, but we are also not completely different from the beginning.”
The group combines a range of different sounds that results in fresh, upbeat music that doesn’t limit itself when it comes to innovation, while also sticking to its Italian roots.
“We don’t just play a traditional Italian style,” Tesi said. “It’s more of a personal mix of many different things.”
Tesi, an internationally renowned artist, plays the diatonic button accordion, also known as the melodeon. Tesi taught himself how to play after struggling with the guitar.
“It was good to be a bad guitar player, because then I had to learn how to play another instrument,” he laughed. “Sometimes you can’t imagine how quickly life can change.”
Over the years, Banditaliana has taken part in some of the biggest festivals in the world and has released four albums. Their eponymous debut album was named Album of the Year by the Folk Bulletin referendum and they have gained worldwide acclaim for their enthusiastic live performances.
Despite the fact that their songs are sung exclusively in Italian, Banditaliana has developed a strong following outside of Italy, including in many Anglophone countries. They have toured through much of Eastern and Western Canada in the past, although this will be their first show in Golden.
“I think (anglophones) like us because our music sounds a bit exotic,” Tesi said. “They appreciate music from Italy.”
Riccardo Tesi and Banditaliana will be joined by local band Krista & the Krybabies.