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The mystical-erotic trance rituals of southern Italy ... haunting prayers to the Black Madonna and the Goddess of the Mediterranean ... the breathtaking love songs of its storied islands - from the dawn of Italy's magical-spiritual song tradition comes Alessandra Belloni's new release, Tarantata: Dance of the Ancient Spider. With her soaring mezzo-soprano and mesmerizing tambourine rhythms, Alessandra casts a spellbinding web of sensuality spun from the tarantella - the ecstatic rites used to cure young women of a mysterious affliction known as "the bite of the ancient spider." From The New York Times to Rhythm magazine, Alessandra Belloni's performances have been praised for their "nonstop theatrical and musical energy" and masterful improvisation. Now, with a stunning cast of musicians, Alessandra brings together the passion of Italy's early mystical roots with distinctive influences from Brazil, North Africa, and Latin America - to ignite the healing power of magical curative folk music for a new generation of listeners. With Glen Velez on frame drums; Steve Gorn on bansuri flute; John La Barbera on chitarra battente, mandoloncello, cuatro, oud, classical guitar, and viola caipira; Charlie Giordano on accordion; and Joe Deninzon on violins. Alessandra Belloni ... is a singer, percussionist, dancer, and actress who stands as one of the most important voices of traditional southern Italian music and dance today. For her mastery of musical styles - both at home and abroad - she has been acclaimed as one of the greatest living female percussionists in the world. She has performed in solo concerts and festivals across the globe. With John La Barbera, Alessandra Belloni founded I Giullari di Piazza music and theater company, and she is currently an artist in residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. She has written, directed, and performed in many critically acclaimed folk operas and other theatrical works.
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