Sissamba was born out of the desire of maestro Max Castlunger and a small group of friends to create an amateur Afro-Brazilian percussion orchestra in South Tyrol, which would allow anyone to approach music and experience it first-hand, even with a limited rhythmic knowledge.

Sissamba’s first steps date back to the fall of 2013, when Max offered an Afro-Brazilian percussion course in Bolzano, soon forming an ensemble of around 20 elements. In the course of the first two years, more and more people approached Sissamba; thus, in early 2015 the time was ripe to give the group a stable structure, leading to the foundation of the “Sissamba Music Association”, thanks to the efforts of the founding members Alessandro Salsi, Samir Amato, Cristina Cau, Erica Corbellini, Stefania Dente, Hilpold Firmian, Barbara Gelio, Inge Pichler, Monika Romen and Daniela Veronesi.

Since 2015 Sissamba has welcomed many percussion students from different backgrounds, languages and cultures – from South Tyrol with its Italian-, German- and Ladin-speaking communities, to Brazil, via Mexico, Morocco, Libya, Poland and Germany – with or without prior musical expertise. Over the years, we have learnt to enter into dialogue united by music and our passion for rhythm and have gradually expanded our repertoire, sharing it in public with joy and excitement.

We love to party – and we always like to play at carnival parades, music festivals and cultural and sporting events – but we also like to support socially committed initiatives: because for us music is fun, culture, sharing and, last but not least, solidarity!

Here some early footage (Vereine Vereinen – Rai Südtirol 2017)


Luca Filippin (president, assistant music director), Erica Corbellini (vice-president), Annamaria Anderlan (secretary, event co-manager), Mirna Broetto (treasurer, accounting, public funds), Flavia Nicolodi (new members’ host, reheasal room management, instrument supervision), Inge Pichler (internal communication), Silvia Ronzani (PR, social media), Thomas Rainer (event management), Daniela Veronesi (PR co-management, website, press).

Max Castlunger

Music and Art Director

Max Castlunger is a Ladin speaking South-Tyrolean musiciant, born in San Martino in Badia (Bz).
For over 10 years, he plays clarinet in his village marching band. As a teenager, Max starts to explore the never-ending ethnic percussion world and soon developes a real passion for it, which makes him research more in depth different sounds, cultural and structural differences of traditional instruments coming from all over the world. Consequently, he travels a lot and visits several countries, in every continent (Europe, Asia, Africa, Hawaii…), where he also plays with international musiciants. Max believes that music is a universal language!
Besides his intense live- performing activity, together with several bands and music projects (Herbert Pixner, JEMM Music Project; Savana Funk, Sissamba ect.), he also teaches music and leads music workshops for children and adults. In 2021 he creates the project “Upcycling Music”.