Puccio Castrogiovanni was born in Catania in 1962 from a family of artists and musicians. Since his childhood he studied the piano and played the marranzano (Jew’s harp) and the guitar with some folk music bands of Catania and Acireale. He can easily plays varied ethnic instruments: from keyboards to plectrums, from winds to percussions. Keen on the art of making lutes, he owns a varied collection of traditional instruments.
He is one of the founder of the group LAUTARI, with whom he has collaborated for 20 years realizing concerts and a wide discography. Lautari carry out a study in popular traditions and its renewal through a project about research and remaking of Sicilian songs, but also the composition of unpublished songs, always respecting their traditional tunes and forms. The members of the group are multi-instrumentalists and expert singers, their approach to music is essentially acoustic, focusing on the sound of traditional instruments : mandolin, mandola, mandoloncello, classic guitar, acoustic guitar, contrabass, accordion, barrel organ, bagpipe, flutes and percussions. Starting from the strong ties with the origins and the Sicilian cultivated and popular tradition, Lautari went beyond the cultural heritage of their own land, exploring varied ethno-musical identities of the world, going out from an autochthonous perspective and gladly comparing themselves with several traditional instruments coming from different parts of the world (Europe, South America, Africa and Middle East).
The musical and cultural value of the artistic project of Lautari allowed them to take part in some theatre plays of famous artists and directors, like Pino Micol, Gabriele Lavia, Giorgio Albertazzi, Armando Pugliese, Peppe Barra, and in some prestigious exhibitions such as Club Tenco and ArezzoWave, which recognized their talent as authors. Besides the group participated in the making of some films, among them "La lupa" by Gabriele Lavia and "Storia di una capinera"by Franco Zeffirelli. In 2004 Lautari began to collaborate with Due Parole – Narciso Records, a Catania’s label founded by Carmen Consoli. Afterwards they realized “Anima Antica”, an album summing up an important part of their musical path. The flattering success coming from the album and the numerous comments published in the most important music magazines paved the way for live concerts throughout Italy and Europe and participations in important international festivals.
In 2006 they participated in the making of Carmen Consoli’s album “Eva Contro Eva”, adding to the sounds of the album the peculiar sounds, style and instruments of the group, focused on the Mediterranean landscape. At the same time of the going out of the album, in May 2006, they took part in Carmen Consoli’s promotional tour “Dal Simeto al Tamigi”.
On 15th July 2006 Lautari succesfully participated in “Womad” (World Of Music Art and Dance), the international travelling festival created by Peter Gabriel.
The new album by Goran Bregovic, Karmen (With a happy end), published at the end of April, contains a song written by Lautari : “Focu di raggia”.
In 2007 Puccio Castrogiovanni with Lautari began his collaboration with Roberto Zappalà and compagnia zappalà danza on the occasion of “Instrument 1 <scoprire l’invisibile>”, a performance by Roberto Zappalà, realized within Etnafest Arte, in which he carries out an interesting study about the marranzano.
Afterwards Castrogiovanni signed the music of “A.semu tutti devoti tutti”, a Roberto Zappalà’s production, which has been awarded the prize Danza&Danza for the best Italian show of 2009.