Mandolin and acoustic guitar to create “crossover” atmospheres, with arrangements joining together sounds from the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe rhythms. Aco Bocina, in concert this evening at the “Ciak” Theater, isn’t a purist. The way of musical contamination is the base of his style […]
A choice that has its thread in the mandolin, also used in contexts unusual for this instruments, from blues to flamenco. A folk patrimony, the one of Bocina, ranging from Andalusia to Arabian world with references to gypsy ensembles and traditional Croatian orchestras. […]
Live performances of “Rumba del Sol” and “Dance of the Spirits” (from the album “Aco Bocina”) are put in the middle of mandolin (and acoustic guitar) solos and fragments of flamenco as well as rock and blues. […]

Fabrizio Guglielmini
(Corriere della Sera)


Is called “son of the wind”, maybe for his quickness, the lightness, the cleanliness of his style at mandolin. […]
This evening Aco will be at the “Ciak” Theater accompanied by a quartet. The show will be recorded for an album and a DVD, for an ambitious project that will bring him soon overseas as well. “I’ve been already in the U.S., in 1999, in a contest for mandolinists at the Walnut Valley Festival, in Kansas. I brought there my Mediterranean Music, blended with European traditions, till the Hungarian Dance of Brahms and everyone liked the combination.” […]
Aco uses the Sicilian mandolin (“Italian ones are the best in the world, mine is by a marvelous artisan from Acireale”) with which offer a music that only for some influences is near to typical Balkan sonorities of his own roots[…]

Enzo Gentile
(la Repubblica)


[…] “My music”, he tells, “is a virtual journey through striking landscapes among Balkans, Andalusia, Greece and Arabic countries.” […]
Among the most surprising news about Aco Bocina activity is the production of a wonderful video clip shot in Marseille. […] There are also other news. Some of my pieces such as “Opop”, “Rumba del Sol” and “Emociòn” were selected for several compilation already published […] and as soundtrack in two different TV commercials. Last December 16th Aco has performed in an epic concert at the “Ciak” Theater in Milan with his new explosive formation.

Aldo Pedron (JAM)


[…]Aco Bocina had a great success last night at the "Smeraldo" Theater, an amazing mandolin and guitar virtuous with on open stage clapping and calls for an encore […]
[…] he practices his instruments with an incredible technical skill, so that he can transform his little mandolin into a whole orchestra […]
[…] from Balkans to Greece, to Middle East until Spain, musics in which he shows to be a new Paco De Lucia as well as his Trio can easily be compared to more famous "Gipsy Kings" […]

Vittorio Franchini ("Corriere della Sera")


[…] changes from mandolin to guitar showing the audience in rapture to be a clever minstrel, the Paganini of the mandolin. A total, absolute use of modern mandolin, almost an extension of his own body, he hugely can extend the meaningful horizon of that instrument, enriching it with unexpected audacity[…]
[…]But the virtuosity of Aco is not only technique: it is a profound speech that the artist expresses in a sort of ardent embrace with his instrument, out of any fundamental rule[…]

Giovanna Caggegi ("La Sicilia")


[…]The speed of execution is Bocina's tempting daemon. He moves his hands along the strings with an impressive quickness. The notes strikes audience like lashes. And the applause is literally wrung from hands[…]

Riccardo Cecchelin ("Il Giorno")


[…]He plays mandolin turning it upside-down and sliding strings onto the blue jeans. He rubs them onto the right thigh making them whisper, implore, cry, whimper, vibrate, talk, excite, move. He makes music (a lovely music) even so, besides playing in "classic" way (handling the instrument according to the Academy and the tradition)[…]
[…] He either drives mad young people or is popular among mature audience. […]

Antonio Soccol ("No Limits World")


[…]Bocina is very appreciated by the audience for his ductility and his creativity in approaching complicated pieces of Brahms and Mozart and for the free and easy manner in performing a vast tunes repertory, from Bob Dylan ballads to Eagles rock and to jazz improvisation[…]
[…]he is also a first-rate author able to carry the crowds with his scenic appearance and with his "numbers", whose more classic one is turning the mandolin upside-down and play it sliding string onto the blue jeans[…]

A.L. ("Il Giornale")


[…] considered among the best mandolin players in the world; in his repertory: rock, classic, jazz and country styles, attended with an incredible confidence. If it's not enough, always in his concerts: Gipsy melancholy, Arabian rhythms, Slavonic nostalgia and Berber percussion. He has published some pieces composed at the age between 12 and 15 in his first album "Modern Mandolin" as a real enfante prodige[…]
[…] Already awarded with the international and cultural musical prize "San Valentino d'Oro", Aco has collaborated with personages such as Paco De Lucia and the great Irish group "Chieftains" […]

Aldo Pedron ("La Prealpina")


[…]Considered the best mandolin player in the world, with Croatian origin, Aco is capable to attract an all aged audience with his Tzigane rhythms. Graduated in classical guitar, he plays modern mandolin with a revolutionary and unique style[…]

Tiberio Fusco ("Il Giorno")


[…]Aco (as could be hear in his album "Rumba Tzigana") blends his Slavonic origins with Mediterranean rhythms and links a certain gipsy attitude to some classical rock remakes (like "Hotel California"). The result: a music full of acrobatic dartings that recalls the Gipsy King's latin adventures[…]

Ezio Guaitamacchi ("Jam")


Eclectic Croatian musician that plays guitar like gipsies and mandolin better than Neapolitans people, Aco Bocina will perform this evening at "Scimmie", with a repertoire that goes from Flamenco to Balkan rhytms, from rock to Bach.

"Corriere della Sera"


Interview with Aco Bocina "my mandolin gifts emotions"

Aco Bocina, born in Split […] is considered the greatest mandolin player of the world by critics. Graduated in classical guitar, he plays modern mandolin with polished technique, virtuosity and a revolutionary way to interpret jazz, pop, rock, classical music. Actually engaged in a series of concerts in the major Italian cathedrals, found also the time to give his polish contribution, together with Fabio Concato and Grazia Di Michele, to the album "Oracoli" of Pierangelo Bertoli. "Today the taste of simplicity has been lost, all is excited, even bad - says Bocina dropped down into a 'Ca' Bianca Club' armchair, where he'll come back to exhibit this month - there are too many false myths and few real professionalism. Mandolin is an undervalued instrument - smiling pleasantly - in Italy and abroad it is considered just like pizza and spaghetti, but it isn't so. It's a solar and expressive instrument which gives great emotions" […] What do you suggest to a today's boy? "To make only the things in which he believes. To refuse drug and false prophets and to believe in those eternal values such as family, friendship and human relationships".

Riccardo Cecchelin ("Il Giorno")


Aco Bocina, the "son of the wind"

[…]A dream centred on the Mediterranean, but capable to fly to every latitude, in search of sounds to approach, to synthesize[…]
[…]Aco Bocina put his hands on the string, bringing what he got hidden under the skin: gipsy and balcanic sonorities from his croatian and dalmatian origins, the love for people and cultures facing the Mediterranean, course of ideas and sounds[…]

Ferruccio Gattuso
("Il Giornale")


Here’s the mandolin acrobat

[…]With his mandolin performs incrdible acrobatics: hi play turning it upside down and leaning it on the jeans, he rub it on the thigh, making it quiver with mastery[…]
[…]His music range from Balkans to Greece, from Andalucia to Mideast, and mix together arabian rythms and berber percussions, gipsy melancholy and slavonic and greek melodies[…]

Roberto Mutti
("La Repubblica")



Aco Bocina has produced a disc of mostly stunning Nuevo flamenco. A superb guitarist — just listen to his work on the second half on “Emocion" to get an idea of his skills — he's also one to pull together disparate strands of the Gypsy experience, working with Balkan brass ensemble Fanfare Ciocarlia on four tracks of this album. It's a deadly combination as they work off each other, pushing the tension higher, especially on “Dance Of The Spirits," which simply spirals higher and higher before releasing the tension. At the other end of the spectrum is “Split My Love," as saccharine a piece of new flamenco as you're likely to find anywhere. However, the rest of the album displays plenty of strengths, and Bocina redeems himself with the muscular “Oltremare" before closing with a spirited “Vagabundo." So with the exception of a single track that shows a lapse of taste, this is a fine, fine record indeed.

Chris Nickson (All Music Guide -

Aco Bocina Mediterranean style

“If I really have to define the musical genre which what I play belongs to, I can’t do without calling it Mediterranean”: in this way Aco Bocina […] answers to the usual cataloguing question. […]
Mediterranean music, mandolin and brasses, Arabian-like melodies, African percussions and gipsy guitars, every track of this record inexorably refer to a geographical region or maybe, most likely, to that melting pot that are now the nations (and the music) of the countries overlooking the “mare nostrum”. […]
It’s impossible to remain unmoved at the pressing tzigane rhythmics of “Opop”, at the gipsy “Rom Party” or at the sweetness of “Split my Love”: Aco plays with heart and adds technique and execution quickness. […]
And again, together with Bregovic, who could be liken at least for the musical spirit, a country tortured by war and violence as the former Yugoslavia offers to the world another example of great sound mixture and artistic professionalism. […]
An example of how the music can give back life to a man (and to a nation) that from his birth is filter of endless traditions, now summarized in 10 tracks printed on a simple CD. The power of (good) music. […]

Luca Campana
(Soprattutto - supplement of Il Giorno)


Aco Bocina, gipsy Soul

[…]Bocina’s music is winding, warm, emotionally attractive. With the string instruments, the croatian musician intercept and makes quiver the balcanic soul, raises the saharian sands with arabic and berber rythms, explore the gipsy heart[…]
[…]it’s a album to be listened entirely, thanks to the various sounding and "ethnic" shades: from slavonic athmosferes of "Balkan Express" brasses, to the guitar of "Vagabundo", reminding Paco de Lucia, to moments that sounds like the "music of the desert" trend[…]

Matteo Speroni
("Corriere della Sera")


[…]ten tunes, five recorded together with the Romanian brass-band Ciocãrlia, and one, the single "Rumba del Sol" boasting the remix of the famous dj Morales, filtering sounds coming from different Mediterranean cultures[…]
[…]native to Split in Dalmatia, he seems to be in possession of the different souls of peoples and folk: balcans, gipsies, arabics, spanish, greeks and italians. And the not undervaluable taste for Rock and Classical Music. In fact some of his idols are Goran Bregovic, Paco de Lucia, Gipsy Kings, Knopfler, Queen, Rod Stewart and Brahms[…]

Sonia Anselmo
("Il Secolo d'Italia")


Aco Bocina and the Brass-band

[…]simply entitled “Aco Bocina, the new album, produced with the “Ponderosa Music&Art” label, nonchalantly range between many genres[…]
[…]Aco is accompanied in a good five tunes by romanian brass-band Ciocãrlia[…]

("Tutto Milano - La Repubblica")


Aco Bocina

[…]Aco Bocina[…]is a fine guitarist that loves comparing himself with the various expressions of Mediterranean culture, blinding different traditions[…]
[…]from Bregovic onwards the curiosity for the popular traditions of eastern Europe increased, also Aco Bocina doesn’t fail to be an album involving and with great impact where the guitar leads also when many other sound suggestions are moving around it[…]

SL ("Musica & Dischi")


[…]In five of the ten album’s tune appears the Romanian brass band Ciocarlia, a group with an extraordinary rhythmic impact that shares to give further strength to the album. The guitar virtuosity in these cases leads to make often use of flamenco as dominant expressive form and than blending it with other structurally additional; it follows an armonic and absorbing notes explosion which is part of the secret of this album’s success.[…]

Roberto Caselli ("JAM")


From Lucio Dalla to Rosana, all the Mediterranean flavors

[…]Aco Bocina begins more or less where the Gipsy Kings stops. The fascinating CD Aco Bocina in fact, starts from Spain to wander later on through different corner of the Mediterranean: most of all the Balkans, thanks to the wild Fanfare Ciocarlia.[…]




[…]Bulgarian voices, Arabic percussions, klezmer violins, flamenco guitars, a Rumanian brass band (Fanfare Ciocarlia). All kept thanks to the strength of this militant Mediterranean gypsy.[…]

("Sette" – supplement of “Corriere della Sera”)


[…]besides the incredible ability and expressiveness reached with guitar and mandolin, simple and very original melodies still remain, radically different from what is heard usually and absolutely fascinating. If you are guitar purist you’ll love the last track, “Vagabundo”, a tune containing not more than the sound of the six strings and Aco murmuring. A little kind of magic, crystalline and touching.[…]

Marco Auletta ("The Games Machine")


[…]The virtuous Bocina confirm to be an authentic equilibrist of the stringed instruments. Suspended between nostalgia and joy explosions, Bocina could count also on the collaboration with the Fanfare Ciocarlia, directly from Romania.[…]

L.T. ("Superclassifica" – supplement of “TV Sorrisi e Canzoni”)

Photos by: Roberto Cifarelli - Franco Abbondanza - Manuel Auletta - Silvia Vizzotto

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