We trace a path of cultures and traditiones. A path of peace, of nomadism and love for own roots that moves from North the Africa, rises through Turkey, Greece, the Balkans, Eastern Europe and finally reaches our country, along the coast bathed by Mediterranean that unites and alienates people. A path that begins from the ancient stones that recognized the three great religions, from the land that was crossed by the unifyng tribe of Abraham and that traces the path of the many attempts of conquest by the West. Today a path of new migrations.Let’s try to think of the music that runs through the hearts of people from those lands. Let’s try to understand them. We will discover that roots are not as far apart as believed.
Culture and traditions have much in common such as: flavors, sounds, rhythms. Let’s try to think of the urgent need to stop the spiral of war, to find a just and peaceful solution and a coexistence based on the recognition of everyone’s rights to exist, to creativity, to life. Culture and music mean plurality, confontation and mixture. These are the inspiring principles of the project that led to the establishment of the Orchestra Multietnica di Arezzo (Arezzo Multiethnic Orchestra).
History and Objectives
The Orchestra Multietnica di Arezzo (OMA – #omarezzo) was born in 2007 from a training course open to the participacion of Italian and foreign musicians. It is aimed at the knowledge and deepening of the basic structures of the traditional music of the Mediterranean areas, the intent is to bring them togheter and mix them with the Italian and European Tradition to create a repertoire based on contamination.
The activity of OMA has so far developed, giving rise to a professional production project, while maintaining the characteristics of the permanent laboratory, still open to new entries, especially with regard to foreign musicians.
The permanet laboratory, as well as the many other activities aimed at the world of the school (production laboratories in the Liceo Musicale and concerts lessons at primary and secondary schools of the first and second degree) which the musicians of OMA achieve during the year, offers a strong contribution to the creation of a cohesive local multicultural society where cultural differences are considered a value and mutual enrichment.
The historical group of the Orchestra Multietnica di Arezzo proposes a repertoire that moves from the Arab tradition to the Jewish tradicion, from the Mediterranean to Eastern Europe, To Bangladesh, offering the public a veritable feast of sounds and colors masterfully coordinated by Enrico Fink, a great expert on traditional Jewish music and word music in general.
In May 2009 was released the first CD of the OMA, Animaneticcia (Maxresearch/Officine della Cultura) distributed by Materali Sonori.
Also in 2009, a collaboration with Stefano “Cisco” Bellotti produced a new repertoire and series of concerts by the Orchestra togheter with the former voice of the “Modena City Ramblers”, from wich the tracks were inserted into the CDs “Cisco dal vivi volume 1 and volume 2”
In August 2010 OMA meets the great voice of Raiz, an eperimenter, already leader of Almamegretta. An extraordinary and against the tide protagonist in Italian music of the last Twenty years. Raiz has recently discoverd the millenary charm of the jewish, klezmer and Yiddish thanks also to the meeting with Enrico Fink director of the Orchestra and an important scholar of his own cultutal roots.
In 2010, MEI nad Amnesty International awarded the OMA with the Border Sounds award for the live activity.
In the summer of 2011 begins the collaboration with MONI OVADIA, that projected the orchestra towards new musical adventures. Ovadia: author, musician, singer, actor, great connoisseur and protagonist of Jewish culture; from the Mediterranean to Eastern Europe. The artist is a free spirit of our time, an interpreter of the contemporary social and cultural problems of our country, its cultural wealth and its miseries and contradictions.
Again in 2011 a small ensemble of twelve musicians from OMA (directed By Enrico Fink), constitute the musical part of the show Credoinunsolodio with Amanda Sandrelli.
The production is an original piece written by Stefano Massini specifically for OMA. The project defined by the same author “theatrical-musical event for actress and orchestra”, has been replicated during seasons 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14.
In August 2012 OMA writes a new orchestral arrangement of some of the most beautiful songs by Ivan Graziani, project realized in collaboration with Filippo Graziani, son of the singer who died in 1997, who sung the rennovated tracks.
The second CD of OMA titled Portosantagostino (Officine della Cultura/ Associated Sound Materials, distributed by Materiali Sonori) was producted and launched in 2013. During the same year OMA meets the Bandabardò. Erriquez and Finaz, the two historical leaders of Bandabardò, are on stage together with the Orchestra Multietnica to sing and play some songs chosen among the most representative of the Banda’s extensive repertoire, arranged for the Orchestra by Enrico Fink: exceptional events of the Music Festival and of The Orientoccidente Festival.
In the summer of 2014 was born a new precious collaboration with Shel Shapiro, the leading voice of a decade of Italian music (The Rockes) and now a versatile artist and producer. The production has been replicated in the years 2016 and 2017 with a tour in some historical theaters of the Tuscany region by Fondazione Toscana Spettacolo and an event meeting in the Prison District of Prato.
In 2015, OMA once again dedicates to study and in-depht analisis, creating a workshop with Frank London, trumpeter and composer of New York, leader of the group Klezmatics. The Klezmer soul laboratory ended with a concert on the big stage of the Cortona Mix Festival, one of the most important festivals of the Val di Chiana Tuscany.
In 2017 OMA celebrates its 10 years of activity by inaugurating the Music Festival with one of the main voices of the Italian Indie music scene: Dario Brunori, an ironic but never cynical narrator of comtemporary disagreements.
During 2017, after the experience with Credoinunsolodio, the Arezzo Multiethnic Orchestra came back to theater with a special project in company of Ottavia Piccolo on a text by Stefano Massini: Occident Express (haifa was born to stand still) ( co-production Teatro Stabile dell’ Umbria and Officine della Cultura)
2018 was for OMA an important year that completes and confirm the collaboration with Dario Brunori – a project of narration of disagreements of the contemporary time – wich saw scheduled events within the billboards of the Teatro Verdi of Monte San Savino (AR) and of the Auditorium Le Fornaci Terranuova Braccioline (AR), participation in the transmission BrunoriSa on Rai3 (de 13’15”), special project “Culture against fear” in collaboraction with CoopCulture between Agrigento and Palermo. Through the same year begins also a research path on popular music with an exceptional trio: Ginevra Di Marco, Francesco Magnelli and Andrea Salvadori. The concert debuted with a full house on the XXIV edition of the Music Festival. Last but not least OMA participated in the final evening of the XXIV edition of the Ciampi Prize, at the Goldini Theater in Livorno, togheter with Paolo Benvegnu, Dente and Isabella Ragonese, as well Ginevra di Marco.
2019 is a key year, it’s time to make a choice: the project Culture contro la paura (culture against fear) becomes a wider path, a tour #culturecontrolapaura – that see the partecipation of OMA to Festa della Musica Arezzo, Cacciucco Pride Livorno, Pistoia Teatro Festival, Balagan Cafè Firenze – and it becomes also a CD with the omonymus title the OMA’s 4th. It hosts in itself not only the traces of many artistic collaboration of last ten years but offers also a space to new dialogues welcoming a new othe voice: Alessandro Fiori.
Within the effort for the production of the CD, OMA carries on the collaboration with Stefano Massini, participating to some episode of Piazza Pulita live on LA7 (Se non riesco a chiederti aiuto, Non chiamarmi mai illuso, Il cervello più grosso chi ce l’ha, I pellerossa alla Casa del Popolo).
Arrived at this point OMA’s journeys feels like suspended as in a limbo. 2020 had the merit of make born a big and precious project of union, a registration of a new CD “Romanò Simchà – Festa ebraica rom” with the Alexian Group; but unfortunately it also interrupted the studies of the Arezzo orchestra due to the ban – born during the pandemic – of bringin together more people in an indoor space. With the arrival of summer OMA saw the sunlight again, it played outdoor in occasion of Festival delle Musiche with an original duet with Stefano Massini. In the meantime lands at the 77° Mostra del cinema di Venezia the movie “Occident Express” by Simone Marcelli: a new chapter on big screen of the theatrical show that join OMA and Ottavia Piccolo but that never became materialized. The originality of the OMA’s project was used to realize three videoclip made by the record production company of the musicians: Dos Zekele mit Koylen / Bella ciao, Todo Cambia in collaboration with the ONG Mediterranea e Cerchi nell’acqua with the partecipation of the songwriter Paolo Benvegnù. At the end of 2020, on the 19th Dicember, OMA was hosted by RAI3 for the trasmission “Ricomincio da Raitre” lead by Stefano Massini and Andrea Delogu.
In 2020 was born, also with the partecipation of OMA, the international contest and festival of short movies Officine Social Movie, dedicated to social issues and civic engagement but also devoted to spread contents that promote values like solidarity, hospitality, social inclusion, cultural diversity and rights.
2021 started with the partecipation of OMA to one of the most waited spring’s musical event: the Primo Maggio concert promoted by CGIL, CISL e UIL live on RAI3 and Radio2. On stage OMA duets for the first time with the actress and siger Margherita Vicario with an original song arrangement of Abauè (Morte di un trap boy). The meeting, in sinergy between Argot Produzioni, Officine della Cultura and Progetto Goldstein gives birth to the show “Storie della Buonanotte per Bambine Ribelli” on tour in 2021 directed by Francesco Frangipane.
After a summer rich of events, 2021 ends with two precious news. On the October 9th OMA wins the Premio Sangiorgino 2021 assigned by Centro Culturale I Ragazzi di San Giorgio di Prato with this motivation: “Volunteering association that works to promote the meeting between culture and generations through music, it collaborates with important voices in the musical and cultural italian scene, it’s present in schools with laboratories involving children and teenagers in musical and playful activities; it counts further 30 musicians from all over the world”. On November 3rd, after a presentation on RAI£ on september for the transmission “Ricomincio da Raitre“, debuts “Cosa Nostra spiegata ai bambini“ written by Stefano Massini in first national at the Teatro Verdi of Monte San Savino, a new production with I solisti dell’OMA with Ottavia Piccolo.
2022 starts with two news that pushes OMA beyond its own instruments: the first sees OMA, with Fondazione Guido d’Arezzo and Officine della Cultura, collaborate for the formation of the Coro Multiculturale della Fondazione Guido d’Arezzo, a new ensemble where singer and musicians, professional and amateurs, Italians and foreigner, could create an artistic and human path dedicated to inclusion and cultural growth of its own people and city. The second one, in collaboration with Officine della Cultura, Associazione Ritmi e Circolo Culturale Primo Maggio di Assisi, sees OMA becomes part of organizzation of the Premio Letterario Ritmi e Parole.
OMA ‘s Summer 2022 starts from Piazza Giusti in Monsummano TErme (PT). with a event for the 50° anniversary from the launch of the monumental album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie. We find on stage on the side of OMA: Finaz and Nuto – Bandabardò, Paolo Benvegnù, Andrea Chimenti, Dana Gillespie, Modena City Ramblers, Piqued Jacks and Motus.
Follows at Piccolo Teatro di Milano the debut of “Quando sarò capace di amare. Massini racconta a Gaber“, on the side of Stefano Massini. Clicking on the title you can follow all the tournèe that will end on spring 2023.
In 2023 OMA starts collaborating with the Arezzo songwriter Matteo Croce in the original song arrangement Baraye di Shervin Hajipour considered the iranian’s people hymn of protests began on semptember 2022 after the dead of youg woman Mahsa Amini. The event is realized in collaboration with Officine della Cultura and Radio Fly.
The current formation of the OMA consists of about 35 musicians from Albania, Palestine, Lebanon, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Argentina, Colombia, Bangladesh, Japan, Romania, Switzerland, and most varied Italian regions.