Costantino "Kosta" Ladisa


Costantino Ladisa was born in Bari, Italy, in 1965. His passion for music took him to study guitar and subsequently saxophone, which became his main instrument. Since 1994 he has been playing with his band Adika Pongo throughout Italy and abroad. He has been living in Rome since 1987.

Since the 80s and early 90s, he took part in a number of music projects in Italy, including live appearances on national television. In 1997, he mixed Adika Pongo’s first recordings at the prestigious GRP jazz studios in NYC, which saw a collaboration with the famous guitar player Steve Khan. In December 2000 he created and directed “Sound Around”, a TV program which was broadcast on eVision, a European satellite channel. The programme’s 13 episodes received considerable praise as the first European TV program on music and technology.

Subsequently, he became a contributor as writer and critic for the well-known “Acting News” movies magazine, as well as for the newly-created Jazz Magazine. Thanks to his in-depth knowledge of music, he also played a role as TV presenter and critic of a number of Jazz and Soul concerts broadcast on RaiSatShow, the satellite channel of the Italian national TV channel, RAI. He has also taught courses on “Television and Technology” under a Master’s program at La Sapienza University in Rome.

Also during early 2000, he supervised and monitored the artistic production for the Fingerprints, a then newly-established all-girls-band of young Italian singers. In 2003 he wrote and arranged the score for the documentary “Ne Pas Mourir”, winner of that year’s Roma Doc Fest. During that time, he also began to compose soundtracks for commercial adverts for a number of retail and consumer products in Italy, in collaboration with other musicians.

In the same year, with his band Adika Pongo, he performed in Sardinia with Lionel Richie, and in 2003 and 2004 he created and organised “The Big Party Live Show”: two extended musical tours sponsored by a major Italian insurer, with the participation of a number of Italian artists, performing throughout the best venues in Italy. Another summer tour, undertaken in 2004, was sponsored by a major Italian radio channel, RDS.

During 2004 he also created “Da Nu Jazz Quartet”, a band centred on Smooth Jazz which toured throughout Italy, performing numerous songs by Stevie Wonder, David Sanborn, Michael Jackson, Dave Grusin and many other artists linked to this genre. In 2005, together with Alessandro Benedetti, he wrote original score for the soundtrack of a nationally acclaimed Italian movie, “Nessun messaggio in segreteria”. Also in that year he began a collaboration with the original voices of the Chic, Norma Jean Wright and Luci Martin which brought the two artists to Italy for a number of concerts dedicated to Disco Music.

In October 2005 he took part in a seminar by the American sax player Eric Marienthal (Chick Corea, GRP Big Band). In March 2006 he recorded the score to an Italian short called “Non succede mai niente”, which took part in that year’s Venice Film Festival. While in November, he performed with his band, Adika Pongo, at the Pavillhao Atlantico in Lisbon, Portugal, as part of the Disco Fever 2006 Festival, to a crowd of ten thousand, alongside Kool and the Gang.

In 2008 he became the endorser for AKAI’s Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI) and in 2009 he successfully took part in the beta testing program of the French company ARTURIA, BRASS 2.0, as EWI expert. During 2010 he wrote and produced the musical score for the Italian documentary “U Megghie Paise”, broadcast in Italy and released on DVD. During the same year he performed with the 1984 Grammy Award winning American singer Robbie Dupree in two shows on Italian national radio and three live concerts (Blue Note-Milan, The Place-Rome, XRoads-Rome).

In 2012 he wrote some music for another documentary/fiction score called “Non cresce mai l’erba” (on MTV Channel - Italy) In 2013 he became also endorser of L. A. Ripamonti Saxophones and Drake Mouthpieces. He is also the Italian endorser for the well-known American Microphones AMT. Always in 2013 he performed in a concert with saxophonists Eric Marienthal and Rocco Ventrella and bassist Tom Kennedy at Teatro Forma in Bari, Italy for a “Smooth Jazz Festival”.

His passion for football has been crowned by being invited to be a member of the new-born amateur football team of Italian National Jazz Players, of which he is very proud. In late July 2011 Adika Pongo’s first CD was published by the prestigious and renowned British label “Expansion Records”, reaching the 5th place in the UK SOUL CHART and on chart for 8 weeks. He is currently busy on a number of projects, namely a new CD record with his band Adika Pongo which will be published by the same label.

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