Kantilena are a band from Malta playing contemporary folk music.
Kantilena’s debut single X'Ubidù?! was released over the Internet on the 31st of January 2012 through their Facebook page.
The band was set up in 2009 by Alessandro Lia (piano / vocals / percussion), Drinu Camilleri (guitar / vocals / percussion) and James Baldacchino (violin / viola / double-bass) in an attempt to bring together their shared interest in music and the Maltese language, reflected also by their choice of name. Albert Garzia joined the line-up permanently (accordion / guitar) in 2012.
The original Il-Kantilena is, in fact, the oldest known poem in Maltese, thought to have been written to be put to music.
L-Għanja tal-Poplu 2012
Kantilena, with their song Baħħâr, were announced among fifteen finalists to the 36th edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a popular Maltese song festival organized since 1973. They placed third in the contest and Drinu Camilleri was awarded the Best Singer-Songwriter award.
Kantilena's debut album, Senduq, was recorded between 2013 and 2014 at Temple Studios, Malta.
Senduq was released on the 31st of May 2014 with a launch concert held at the Greek Theatre in San Ġorġ Preca College, Blata l-Bajda.
- James Baldacchino - violin
- Drinu Camilleri - guitar, voice
- Albert Garzia - accordion
- Alessandro Lia - piano, voice
Kantilena has frequently collaborated with other local musicians on different roles to achieve their required musical style, both live and during recording of their debut album.
Collaborators have included:
- Debbie Axisa Farrell - Voice (2011 - 2013)
- Bertu Grima - Drums (2011)
- Manuel Pulis - Drums (2011-2014)
- Alan Portelli - Bass Guitar (2014)
- Aurelio Belli - Euphonium, Trombone (2014)
- Mark Farrugia - Trumpet (2014)
- Lucie Kucharova - Cello (2014)
- Godfrey Mifsud - Clarinet (2014)
- Dean Montanaro - Bass Guitar (2014)
- Keith Fenech - Bass Guitar (2014)
- Kevin Mizzi - Euphonium (2014)
- Jonathan Abela - Trombone (2014)
- Desiree Quintano - Cello (2014)
- Diane Chircop - Violin (2014)
- 5 November, 2011: Coach & Horses, Msida
- 18 March, 2012: Velo Lounge at Lo Squero, Floriana, together with Nisġa Project and Kizum Klof.
- 12 May, 2012: Worldfest, Upper Barrakka Gardens, Valletta
- 3 June, 2012: Taverna Sugu, il-Birgu.
- 19 September, 2012: Ġnien il-Gardjola, L-Isla.
- 9 October, 2012: Zion, Wied il-Għajn.
- 19 October, 2012: On air, Rockna, Radio 101.
- 28 October, 2012: Festa tal-Qargħa Aħmar, Manikata.
- 3 November, 2012: "Id-Dar ta' Kantilena", Coach & Horses, Msida
- 21 April, 2013: live with Stalko at Bottegin Palazzo Xara, , Rabat
- 4 June 2013: Live at Zion, Marsascala, Acoustic Sessions
- 12 September 2013: Maritime Senglea International Festival 2013
Among their influences Kantilena cite traditional Maltese music and folklore, as well as artists like New Cuorey, Tom Waits, Beirut, Nick Drake, Greg Laswell, Gogol Bordello, Anouar Brahem, and Luigi Tenco.