Born in 1951 in Ruvo di Puglia (southern Italy), Pino Minafra started his career playing trumpet in banda groups, pop bands, brass ensembles and symphony orchestras. He studied the instrument under Nino Rota at Bari Conservatory. At that time he also discovered jazz which he understands as a heritage of languages that include the blues as well as free music. The founder of the Italian Instabile Orchestra, Minafra started his own Sud Ensemble as a sextet some years ago. An amalgam of all his musical experiences, the Sud Ensemble melts holy music and banda tradition, classical and ethnic music, rock, jazz and more into a strong statement of its own kind. Says Minafra: "All these experiences take shape in a warm and generous sound, in which crying, melody, rhythm and irony coexist achieving a strange balance. It is a wholly southernly sound, drawing upon a real as well as an imaginary South."
Making best use of his powerful jazz octet (Sud Ensemble), the miraculous vocal quartet Faraualla, some spoken poetry and a large-scale festival orchestra including electric guitar and accordion (Meridiana Multijazz Orchestra, in the title track only), the music on "Terronia" reaches impressive heights of Mediterranean dramatism. Filled with the vitality and the melancholia of the South, "Terronia" includes sharp contrasts in which everything turns into something else continuously. A successful festival highlight, this colossal music comes along as a sequence of episodes that are fabulistically enchanting, sarcastic, lyrical, playful, sulphurous, carnival-like, cathartic, catastrophic, spiritual, and touching. An amazing homage to the great spirit of the South.
The Sud Ensemble brings together a wonderful mix of Italien musicians from all over the country. Minafra from Apulia can be credited for enhancing Jazz with the traditional music of his southern Italy roots. He is responsible for diverse projects such as the "Talos Festival", the "Instabile Orchestre" and the Banda revival. The Ensemble Sud is a mini brass orchestra combining the musical elements of Banda with Jazz.
Pino Minafra Sud Ensemble (Enj 9480 2)