ITALY | 2021 PARTICIPANT
Fanfara Station is a trance-inducing celebration with a brass band, an entire North African rhythm section and pumping electro dance beats setting the pace – all created by just three musicians, thanks to some skillful use of loop stations and live overdubbing of an arsenal of instruments. Inspired by singer, composer, woodwind wielder and noted percussionist, Marzouk Mejri’s memories of his father’s brass band in Tunisia, the Naples and Florence based trio set out to build their own.
Kentucky-born trumpeter and trombonist Charles Ferris layers up the loops and drops glittering improvisational flourishes while master programmer Ghiaccioli & Branzini directs the dance-floor dynamics. Three international Italians, one based in Naples and the other two in Florence Tuscany, Fanfara Station pay tribute to the epic feats of the Mediterranean’s migrants, the musical cultures of the African diaspora and southern Europe’s ancient links to the Middle East, the Maghreb and the Americas. Marzouk Mejri moved from Tebourba – a town lying some thirty kilometres west of Tunis – to Naples in the 1990s, a music school diploma and a ten-day visa in hand. And he has never left.