Pino Minafra & la Banda

Panoramica 3

The Banda RuvoMusica of Ruvo di Puglia, today called Pino Minafra & La Banda, was founded in 1993 owing to an idea of Pino Minafra. The aim of this project is to document on CD the classical musical tradition of the banda and, at the same time, to launch it out into the contemporary sound scape, entering in comparison with the most innovating musical language.
Regarded as a museum piece, ignored and dismissed by music critics, composers and managers (in other words, by the whole musical establishment and intelligence), nowadays the ‘banda’ survives only in the simple and secondary role of folkloristic support for religious feasts and national anniversaries.
For more than 200 years the ‘banda’ has been a big workshop and a training place for dozens of music conductors and composers and hundreds of notable wind — instrument players in the most important national orchestras. In the course of this period the ‘banda’ has developed a definite identity and dignity as well as an artistic and social function of its own.
One of its biggest merits consists in having widely spread the musical culture of symphonies and operas all over the country, particularly among the poorest and most isolated people (in a difficult period without radio, television and big mass media). In fact, owing to the scarcity of theatres in the middle and south of Italy, and to the social and economic discrimination which kept thousands of people away from the world of the great opera — houses, the ‘banda’ took literally the place of the world of the ‘bel canto’ (that is to say, the opera), carrying out a thorough musical revolution and creating a unique and original ‘sound’.
The violins of the orchestra were replaced in the ‘banda’ by the clarinets, and the voices of soprano, contralto, tenor and baritone were substituted by the small sopranino flugelhorn, the soprano, tenor and baritone flugelhorn respectively. Such a change proved to be audacious (since it is impossible to take the place of words and humans voices) yet effective, so that it gave origin to a current of only instrumental music inspired from the Opera, which has lived on up to the present day.


CDs released from the Banda:

  • 1993 PASSIONE E MORTE, RuvoMusica Association;
  • 1996 PASSIONE E MORTE, Musicaimmagine Records, Rome;
  • 1997 LA BANDA, Enja, Germany;
  • 2000 SUONI DI BANDE, World Music EDT, Rome;

Video tapes:

  • 1993 PASSIONE E MORTE: SOUNDS AND IMAGINES DURING THE HOLY WEEK IN RUVO. Directed by Franco di Palo released by the Association Ruvomusica;
  • 1998 PARTENZA PER BANDA. Directed by Bruno Testori, Rome;
  • 2000 LA BANDA DI RUVO. Directed by Chloé Glotin, Paris – France.