Opa Cupa

Opa Cupa


This powerful band fuses their own local music with the gypsy music of South Eastern Europe (with a strong emphasis on Albania and the Balkan brass brand traditions), ever conscious of the roots of the music but also open to an ever-expanding universe of jazz and popular music.


«Opa Cupa» (read: «opa tzupa»), is an urgent call to the dance of South-East European gypsies. This musical project got started in the south of Italy (Salento) and is directed towards the research of the repertoire of Balkan music. All the music and lyrics are written by Cesare Dell’Anna, who mixes vibrant jazz and typical traditional band music from South Italy, creating something new and original. Don’t call this project Balkan, because is it something more than that.

Musicians coming from different cultures (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Algeria, Bulgaria, Morocco, Romania and South Italy) gather around the leader: Cesare Dell’Anna (trumpeter), and creates a truly festive atmosphere. The irregular rhythms are strongly influenced by several styles, creating a vibrant kaleidoscope of sounds and brilliant moments of pure musical- and technical interpretation. Opa Cupa also incorporates ethnic experiences, resulting in a fusion and elaboration of fast and , with irregular and odd rhythms.

Moments of improvisation have been introduced into the popular structures where a jazz attitude takes advantage in the articulation of the phrase, clustering suddenly, situations dissonantly performed by the brass band.

The musical elaborations become the theme of the party, accompanied by ancient epic songs and slow ballads accelerated according to the gypsy style.

Opa Cupa’s latest record “Hotel Albania” (an 11/8 Records production) fully represents the style, element and sound changes that the Salento- Afro Balkan band has made since the release of their first record “Live in Contrada Tangano”. The new record feautures many guests. The tracks keep a strong liaison with the Balkan tradition, even if they are being enriched even more by a medley of Salentinian and African music traditional sounds, obtained by playing Salentinian bell tambourines, and Algerian karkabu and beendire.

In some tracks of the new Opa Cupa record, jazz patterns are unexpectedly mixed with traditional gypsy irregular tempo, while DJ Trinchetto harmonizes his bizarre tricks on the record player with the strong impact of woodwind and brass, which play some Balkan traditional pieces with “ska upon irregular tempo” arrangements.

“Opa Cupa” has played in: “Sziget Festival” – Budapest, “Mad in Salento” – Durazzo, “Alba dei Popoli” Otranto Festival, “Tirana Film Festival” - Tirana, “Milano Film Festival” - Milano, “Notte della Taranta” – Galatina (Lecce), “Ferrock Festival” – Vicenza, “Carpino Folk Festival”, “Carnevale di Venezia”, “Festival Negroamaro” – Cursi (Lecce); “La Notte della Taranta” Melpignano - Martano; “Popoli in Movimento” Villaggio Globale – Roma; “La Palma” Roma; “Kulturbeiz Neuhof” – Bachs (Belgio); “Amore e Rabbia” Verzino (Crotone); “Etnica musica dai mondi conosciuti” Bordighera; diretta su “Radio Popolare”; “Med Video Festival” Aschea Marina (Salerno).


“live in Contrada Tangano”
World Music/Sottosuono rec. – 2001

“ Hotel Albania”
11/8 Records 2005/Self distr. - 2005

Set List

Opa Cupa usually start with their famous song "Ligonziana" which is a up-tempo song that pulls the crowd right into their atmosphere. This is accompanied by a fire-blower if the platform allows for it. After three/four songs, the vocalist is introduced and she remains on stage for another couple of songs.. The duration of the show varies, but is usually 90 minutes.
Repertoir includes:
OPA CUPA (cover)