On 26 May, Justin Adams and Mauro Durante will be performing at Brewery Arts following their win at the Songlines Music Award earlier this month in the ‘Fusion’ category.
Published 17 May 2022
We spoke with the duo ahead of their Kendal show and discussed how their collaboration came about, what the performance holds, and why you should come along to the show.
“To be honest I wasn’t expecting to be musically knocked out like I was in the south of Italy,” said Justin Adams describing his first encounter with Mauro Durante.
The two artists met at the ‘La Notte della Taranta’ (The Night of the Taranta) festival in the Salento region of southern Italy which celebrates the popular folk music and dances of Pizzica.
“The final night can gather over 100,000 people,” said Mauro. “It went from being a local and marginal phenomenon to something which is recognised all over Italy”.
“I didn’t really know anything about the music down there,” said Justin. “But what I heard was that it had something to do with trance and healing which immediately resonated with these other forms of music that I’m into”.
Justin Adams is well known for collaborating with Robert Plant in his band the Sensational Spaceshifters, but he has been prolific when it comes to global and trance music collaborations working with artists like Tinariwen, Rachid Taha and his award-winning project with Gambian maestro Juldeh Camara.
“When [Mauro and I] started to play together it felt natural. We come from playing in big bands and found that there was something nice about just playing our own personal style, just the two of us.”
Mauro leads the Pizzica music ensemble Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, who have played festivals all over the world and even featured in their own concert at the BBC Proms.
“We are excited to meet people and see what their reaction is going to be like to the music,” said Mauro. “I’m looking forward to spending some time on the road with Justin in his home country and experimenting again with new music.”
The duo’s last album, Still Moving, which won them the Songlines Award, combines elements of blues and rock from Justin’s background with the traditional folk elements from Mauro’s, and as they explained, the goal was to strip the music back to the essentials.
“We’ve both had the experience of playing with six other musicians, and it’s a struggle sometimes to make it sound like those big rounded great sounds,” said Justin. “But if you get things right you can be making something which sounds enormous.”
“I wouldn’t say there are any other bands like us,” continued Justin. “It’s raw and it’s emotional.”
“It’s music that you can immediately feel within your body and immediately want to start moving to,” added Mauro. “Every show is different because our dialogues with the instruments are free to go wherever they want to.”
Both artists agree that each performance is varied, while Justin explains to Mauro (who has never played in Cumbria), how Kendal is a ‘really special part of the world associated with the romantic poets’.
“For me, an arts centre, like Brewery Arts where there are people you can trust with a high level of curatorship, that’s crucial,” added Justin.
Justin Adams and Mauro Durante play the Theatre stage with doors at 7.30pm.
“If you’re interested in real cutting edge music you should come and check it out,” concluded Justin.
26 May | Doors 7.30pm | Theatre