Salento (the 'heel' of Italy) is known for its pizzica (the oldest form of the tarantella), an uplifting dance with a therapeutic goal: to heal a dangerous spider bite (tarantula = spider). Officina Zoé has put these uplifting age-old rhythms back on the map - and with success. The pizzica has become extremely popular with southern Italian youth in recent years. Under the direction of Cinzia Marzo (vocals, flute, tambourine) and Donatello Pisanello (diatonic accordion), the band brings, in keeping with an ancient tradition, original compositions in which the compelling percussion of the tambourine hypnotizes the audience. Officina Zoé has recorded a total of six CDs, played at the biggest European festival such as Womex and Womad, but is also big in Japan and Cairo and wrote the soundtrack for movies, including Sangue Vivo and Miracolo.
Founded in 1993, Officina Zoé remains the standard-bearer of pizzica and taranta. The group also regularly reaches for like-minded souls from other cultures. For example, they worked with the Turkish electro-trance of Mercan Dede or with the West-African musicians Baba Sissoko (Mali), Mamani Keita (Mali) and Sourakata Dioubate (Guinea) in the Taranta Nera project that made Italian trance and Malian trance melt together. It makes their groovy roots music only grow stronger. It is therefore not surprising that the group is so hip with Italian youth, who can find themselves blindly in the energy of the ritual pizzica dances.
Lamberto Probo - percussion, vocals
Donatello Pisanello - diatonic accordion, guitar, mandola
Giorgio Doveri - violin, mandola
Luigi Panico - guitar, harmonica
Silvia Gallone - percussion, vocals