Serenade in Sicily

Last night our musician friends Ettore and Alfredo invited us to witness a pre-wedding serenade they were asked to perform. 100 friends and family came to listen and surprise the bride-to-be. Not the traditional intimate moment that has existed for centuries, but still, a wonderful night to be part of! Of course, the ballad “Nicuzza”…

Folk It in Life

Folk festivals are a highlight of summer, and this weekend, the 20th Folklore Festival of the city of Vita offers listeners and folk artists from around the world an opportunity to unite through music and dance. Sicilian groups like the one pictured, Gruppo Folk Soluntum, host groups from Georgia, Greece, New Zealand, Taiwan, and Honduras. 

Monreale’s Bagpipe

In Sicilian mountain towns, playing and crafting zampogna, or bagpipes, was a part of life. There aren’t too many zampogna players left–just like there aren’t too many shepherds (the livelihood most closely tied to the mountains and zampogna) either. David Marker, an american of Italian heritage, has made it his mission to keep zampogna alive….

Alfio is Meraviglioso

Words cannot describe how emotional and engaging our visit with musician and artist Alfio Antico was this morning! We stayed at his home away from home, the agriturismo Borgo Nocchiara in the shadow of Mount Etna, where we spent a glorious three hours talking about music and the inspiration from Mother Earth.

Private Serenade

Last night, we enjoyed a private house concert by a trio of musicians from Casteldaccia who performed traditional Sicilian and Southern Italian folk songs for us on my cousin Evelina’s patio. Fiorenza, Raffaele, and Ettore were fabulous. They even were gracious enough to play three of my songs with me! As a group we enjoyed…

Bagherese Cart Drivers’ Songs

  The singer on this cart is performing a traditional cart driver’s song (for a contemporary celebration). This photo was taken in Santa Flavia, near Bagheria. Bagheria is not only renowned for its tradition of building intricately decorated carts, but also for the tradition of virtuosic singing employed by the cart drivers. The drivers’ songs…