Brothers Jean-François and Alain Bernardini were born in Corsica, in the village of Tagliu-Isulacciu in Castagniccia, which is located less than an hour drive south of Bastia, just past Folelli. Their father, the carpenter Ghjuliu Bernardini, was a famous poet and singer on the island, taught them the technique of polyphonic singing, and let them debut in 1970 at the “Foire du Niolu”. The three of them recorded two singles, but their joint career came to an abrupt end when Ghjuliu Bernardini died unexpectedly in 1977. Jean-François and Alain continued together under the name “I Muvrini”, named after the Corsican sheep hiding in the mountains. In 1978 their first album, “I Muvrini Ti Ringrazianu” (“I Muvrini thank you”) was released, which opened with a tribute to their father called “Addiu à Ghjuliu”.
Two years later, they released the album “Anu da Vultà” (“They will come back”). The title refers to the Corsican political prisoners imprisoned on the mainland, and who will come back to the island. With this title, I Muvrini expressed their commitment to Corsica, which sometimes caused public servants to forbid concerts, fearing public order would be disturbed. This is all history now. For years, I Muvrini are touring the heavily crowded Corsican island in the month of August. These concerts are attended by approximately 1000 visitors every night. But the group still sings in the Corsican language, a language that is derived from the ancient Tuscan and therefore sounds more Italian than French.
The release of the album “È Campà quì” (“Living Here”) in 1984 means the serious breakthrough. The rise in popularity extends from Corsica to the mainland, to Switzerland, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. A milestone in this development was the 1984 creation of their own company, AGFB, an acronym of the first names and surname of the brothers. Furthermore, in 1995, their record “Curagiu” went Gold, and in 1999 they signed a contract with the British label EMI. The recordings for the new album took place in London and Paris, and later that year resulted in the release of the album “Leia”. A few British musicians participated in this project, the most notably Sting, whose “Fields of Gold” was translated into “Terre d’oru”. This song is also included on the compilation album “A Strada” released in 2000
From the very beginning, I Muvrini had always opened their door to the outside world, incorporating influences into their own frameworks. They moved further and further away from their homeland, incorporating sounds from Afghanistan, Spain, and Africa on albums “Umani” (2002) and “Alma”(2005).
In 2002, the Associu pè di una Fundazione di Corsica (Association for the Corsican Foundation, AFC) was established, whose president is Jean-François Bernardini. The foundation has a broad objective: to bring together human resources of moral and material conditions to serve the “Umani”, humans, umanity.” The foundation develops many initiatives, but is bound by French law which states that they “can only undertake activities, if there is at least 1 million in cash.” In January of 2010, there will be an auction of paintings created by a number of painters for the AFC (under the heading “I Culori d’umani”) must bring this goal significantly closer
The in 2006 live released CD/DVD, called “I Muvrini Live”, reaffirms the band’s reputation of giving an outstanding live performance. This is the last one with the EMI label, which later was exchanged for Sony. In 2007, the group published their 17th studio album, “I Muvrini et les 500 Choristes”. The Choristes form an amateur choir whose members all live in Lorraine, France. By adding Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia” and the hit single “Tu Quieres Volver”, a collaboration with Sarah Brightman, give the impression of an international movement. The album went double gold in France, bringing the group to New York, Washington and Quebec, and a full house in Bercy (Paris), where the band sang with 12,000 Choristes in front of them and 500 behind them.
…..les frères vous viennent tôt ou tard
on ne marche jamais en vain….
brothers will come sooner or later
we never walk in vain…
The lines are written on the booklet of “Umani”, the CD with which the brothers Jean-François and Alain Bernardini emphatically looked beyond the Corsican, French and Mediterranean maritime borders. Actually they reflect the way in which they have always moved uninhibitedly in this world, from their native village to the Niolu, and from there to the mainland, strode along the ways to all quarters of the world, visiting countries like America, Canada, Tunisia and Poland. They always walk towards their audience with an open mind and warm-heartedly, both charming and enchanting. Two brothers continue their road into the second decade of the 21 century with a new album and a tour, next spring, which will bring them to Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium and ultimately to the Zénith.