The 2024 Loano Prize goes to Peppe Voltarelli

The 2024 Loano Prize goes to Peppe Voltarelli

Peppe Voltarelli – with the album “La grande corsa verso Lupionòpolis” (Visage Music) – is the winner of the Città di Loano National Award for Italian Traditional Music, the most prestigious award for traditional music in Italy, awarded every year to best folk musical production by a jury made up of over fifty specialized journalists and scholars.

The Youth Award – awarded to the best album by a musician under 35 – goes to “Bucolica” by the Campania singer Hiram Salsano (self-production).

The next edition of the Loano Prize will be held from 24 to 26 July 2024 in the Ligurian town. The twentieth anniversary edition, entitled “Venti di folk”, will be an important milestone for the Award which will be celebrated in the name of great Italian folk music. Alongside the celebrations, the festival will dedicate an evening to the 70th anniversary of the ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax's trip to Italy with an original production that traces the incredible anthology of Italian musical tradition compiled by the American scholar. On stage, some of the protagonists of the two decades of the Award will be called to bear witness to the legacy of that fundamental research through their music.

«It will be a special edition» explains the artistic director Jacopo Tomatis «It will be an opportunity to celebrate a milestone that cannot be taken for granted in these times – that of the twenty years of the Prize – but also to take stock of two decades of activity and to reflect on the boundaries and meaning of “traditional music” in the world of 2024″.

«From this point of view» continues Tomatis, «the victory of a singer-songwriter like Peppe Voltarelli confirms both the liveliness of the contemporary production of songs in minority languages ​​and the proudly cosmopolitan vocation of “Italian-rooted” music, as it always is state. The same goes for Hiram Salsano, a young singer from Campania rooted in today, but whose artistic journey goes in the direction of rediscovering his roots. Celebrating tradition does not mean focusing on the past, but above all it means telling the present; it doesn't mean closing oneself within one's own boundaries, but opening oneself up to listening to what is “outside””.

Peppe Voltarelli is a singer, songwriter, writer and actor. Active since 1990 as the voice of Parto delle Nuvole Pesanti, a cult band of new Italian folk, he has released seven solo albums, winning the Targa Tenco three times. In his career he has always been attentive to the music of his Calabria – for example in the album “Voltarelli canta Profazio”, from 2016 – as well as to the sounds of international folk-rock. He has performed in over 23 countries and has released his own records in Europe, Argentina, Canada and the United States.

The great race towards Lupionòpolis, whose title originates from a small town in Paranà, Brazil, is an invitation to discover new places. Recorded in New York by Marc Urselli (collaborator of Nick Cave and Lou Reed) in Manhattan's EastSide Sound and produced by the Los Angeles-based Italian pianist Simone Giuliani (to his credit productions with Andrea Bocelli and the London Symphony Orchestra), it contains ten original songs of which eight in Calabrian dialect (and one in Italian, plus an instrumental waltz). Among the musicians involved are Davin Hoff (double bass), Jake Owen (guitar), Stephane San Juan (drums), Mauro Refosco (percussion) and the participation of Eleanor Norton (cello), Dough Wieselman (saxophone and clarinet) and Amy Denio (vocals ).

Hiram Salsano, born in Campania in 1988, lives on the slopes of the Alburni mountains, in a small village in Cilento. He trained as a performer in Basel, and at the same time deepened his study of the traditional dances and music of Southern Italy, performing as a soloist and in various groups and carrying out independent research in Campania.

“Bucolica” – his first album – is a story in music that starts from the countryside and the oral tradition of Southern Italy, through archaic songs, to arrive at the contemporary. Recorded in the company of Catello Gargiulo (accordionist and multi-instrumentalist), Gianluca Zammarelli (swing guitar, bagpipe, shawm), Peppe Frana (oud) and Mario Pivetta (drums), with herself on vocals, percussion and loop, the album was included among the top ten records of the Transglobal World Music Chart and among the top twenty of the World Music Charts Europe.

The City of Loano Award for Traditional Italian Music was born twenty years ago as a permanent laboratory on folk music, and promotes and enhances the contemporary production of traditional music with Italian roots through the involvement of artists, record labels, journalists and cultural operators. It is organized by the Compagnia dei Curiosi Association in collaboration with the Department of Tourism and Culture of the Municipality of Loano, with the contribution of the A. De Mari Foundation and with the patronage of ANCI. The artistic direction is by Jacopo Tomatis, with the collaboration of Ciro De Rosa, Enrico de Angelis, Lucia Campana, Annalisa Scarsellini and Davide Valfrè. Partner of the Loano Prize: Andrea Parodi Prize, Folkest.

The ranking of the Best Album Award 2023

1st place

The great race towards Lupionòpolis (Visage) Peppe Voltarelli

2nd place

Raiz sings Sergio Bruni (Visage) Raiz

3rd place

The right distance (Visage) Riccardo Tesi

4th place

Bucolica (self-production) Hiram Salsano

5th place

Passengers. Musical notebook of an extraordinary journey (Visage) Corrado Corradi, Rachele Colombo, Roberto Tombesi

Lira Sona Sona (Nota Records) Ettore Castagna

Nodi (Moonlight Records) Mesudì

8th place

La Meison (self-production) Lou Dalfin

Concerto d'amore (Dischi Bervisti) Marco Rovelli & Paolo Monti

10th place

Italy folksongs (Visage) Daniele di Bonaventura Band'Union & Ilaria Pilar Patassini

Raixe (S'ard Music) Matteo Leone