Friday, July 19th(9:30 PM – ticket 40 euros – single unnumbered seat) in Piazza San Giorgio in Melpignano with the concert of Rufus Wainwright the SEI Festival ‘s 18th edition of CoolClubofficially kicks off, characterized by the claim“Lose Yourself to Find Yourself.” Defined by Sir Elton John as “the greatest living singer-songwriter” , the naturalized Canadian U.S. artist, in fact, returns to Italy for two unique and special dates. In the Griko Municipality and the day before in Fiesole, the singer-songwriter will present a piano and voice show in which the audience can be carried away by melodies steeped in folk tones and flashes of traditional American song. Exclusive live show’s pre-sales, organized in collaboration with Melpignano’s Municipality, are available at Dice and TicketMaster circuits.

Praised by the New York Times for his “genuine originality,” Rufus Wainwright has distinguished himself in the music scene as one of the finest vocalists, songwriters and composers of his generation. Each concert takes on the appearance of a small sonic treasure chest from which sounds emerge that embrace more classical sounds, blending with scenes from the folk and pop traditions. A versatile minstrel who juggles the facets of his soul with passion and honesty, highlighting melodramatic overtones as well as assertive sounds through an amiable and refined fusion of different musical genres. 2023 was the year in which Wainwright, the son of folk artists, embarked on a journey to rediscover his family’s musical roots, resulting in the album Folkocracy, which also features numerous folk duets with artists like Chaka Khan, John Legend, Anohni and others. Born in New York and grown in Montreal, Rufus Wainwright has released ten studio albums, three DVDs and three live albums to date , including the Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall, GRAMMY® – nominated. He collaborated with Elton John, Burt Bacharach, David Byrne, Boy George, Joni Mitchell and many others. He wrote two operas and numerous songs for film and television. A few months ago he made his debut with his first musical“Opening Night” based on the John Cassavetes ‘s movie with Gena Rowlands and directed by Ivo van Hove.

Following the June 21st Welcome Party with Bassolino, until August 30th , the festival will offer its musical journey around Salento. Since 2006, in fact, SEI (acronym for Sud Est indipendente) has been bringing the most interesting sounds of the Italian and international scene in the whole province of Lecce, offering the public a wide and varied overview of music from punk to singer-songwriter, rock to ska, folk to upbeat rhythms, electronic to the new Italian scene.

Anticipation grows for the unmissable return to Melpignano(Friday, August 9th) of the CCCP – Fedeli alla linea. Among the stops on the most eagerly awaited summer’s tour started in Bologna, absolutely could not miss the small Griko town to which the band is deeply attached because of the incredible story of the tour in the Soviet Union told in the recent movie “Kissing Gorbachev” by Andrea Paco Mariani and Luigi D’Alife. Forty years after the first EP, “Orthodoxy,” Giovanni Lindo Ferretti, Massimo Zamboni, Annarella Giudici and Danilo Fatur will take the stage at the AMelpignano arena in Antonio Avantaggiato Square.

In theAmphitheater of the Archaeological Park of Rudiae in Lecce, a city that was first Messapian and then Roman, well known for being the birthplace of the father of Latin literature Quintus Ennio, the following will perform are Dardust, an Italian musician and producer who is among the most listened to and appreciated in the world, with a solo piano concert(Saturday, August 3rd) and the singer-songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Massimo Silverio, who writes and sings in Cjarniel, a minority language of the Carnic Alps(Sunday, August 11th). As every year, many are the events hosted among the terraces, atrium and moat of the Castello Volante of Corigliano d’Otranto, which this year will host two international evenings between indie rock and post-punk, funk and traditional Asian music, cumbia and afrobeat with the Beach Fossils U.S. band and the anglo|italian trio Bar Italia(August 12th), Parbleu, an excursion of equatorial groove, and the quartet Yīn Yīn, which lives artistically on a tropical island between Europe and Southeast Asia(Tuesday, August 13th). In the ancient fortress also Emma Nolde, La musica di Forte and Santamarea (July 20th), Nebula (July 21st), Maladé (July 26th), the ska and rocksteady’s masters The Bluebeaters, in an evening promoted in collaboration with Bluebeat, with Crazy Roll Band, Saimon and Mimmo from R&D vibes (July 27th), the Florentine indie singer-songwriter Postino and Katanino (July 28th), the French Dov’è Liana and Coca Puma (July 31st), the return of the La Crus with the opening assigned to the project Ninotchka (Augst 7th), Ninfa Giannuzzi and Valerio Daniele (August 8th), Cristiano Metrangolo and Sheebaba (Thursday, August 22th ), Agnese Contini and Vipera(Thursday, August 29th). To celebrate Ferragosto, the SEI will move to Specchia with I Hate my Village and Materazi future club. The pianist Thomas Umbacawill also perform in Chiostro degli Agostignani in Lecce on August 30. The program will be further enriched by other concerts, book presentations and meetings.

Designed, produced and promoted by Coolclub, with the artistic direction of Cesare Liaci, the SEI Festival is realized with the support of the Culture Ministry, the Apulia Region and the New Imaie, the sponsorship of the Lecce Province and the municipalities of Lecce, Corigliano d’Otranto, Melpignano and Specchia, of the Creative Apulia Productive District and of Assomusica with the support of Vini Garofano and Justweed and in collaboration with Castello Volante, TicketMaster, A.R.Va srl., Razmataz Live and other public and private entities.