A World of Women’s Voices

This painting by Ettore De Maria Bergler, hangs in Palermo’s Palazzo dei Normanni, the house of the Sicilian Parliament. Titled, “The Ruins of the Temple of Jupiter in Syracuse,” or “I Ruderi del Tempio di Giove di Siracusa,” it was painted in 1891.  Please join me in Middletown, Connecticut this Saturday, June 10 as part…

Full Circle

Sieves, like the one shown, have been used for generations to aid the olive and almond harvests (just to name two examples of when it’s used) by straining dirt and other particles out from fruit that has fallen to the ground. When we see an antique sieve next to a tamburello, or Italian frame drum…

Summer Jazz in Sicily

This week in the piazza at the foot of Castelbuono’s medieval castle is the 18th annual Castelbuono Jazz Festival. Experience Sicily’s Evelina Buttitta attended the show on Monday night when jazz musicians under 30 years of age competed to win a trip to New York City. The festival was funded by the town of Castelbuono…

Give Me a Beat

Musicians can connect with other musicians immediately. We don’t need words, we just need song and rhythm. Here’s a shot of me (Photo credit: Joe Ravo) in the Mercato Antico in Ortigia singing “Cu ti lu dissi” with Marco and Tito at Casa del Pesce “Tito.” What a great time! And the fish was fantastic…

Bella Tarantella

Today, the tarantella (shown in this painting) is still alive and danced and played socially in many parts of southern Italy. In modern-day Sicily, however, it’s danced most often by organized folk music and dance ensembles at feasts and festivals. There remains a very strong folk music culture throughout the island, where you’ll find musicians…

Make Cous Cous Not…

The annual Cous Cous Fest in San Vito Lo Capo not only exemplifies cultural integration by way of dozens of cous cous recipes for all to enjoy, but it also plays host to Italy’s top musical talent. Here is a photo of Irene Grandi during her set on the outdoor stage the night Experience Sicily…

Go Out, Go Out Maria

When we met Fratelli Mancuso in September, they gave us a mini-concert right on a “stradina” (a little street) in Sutera, their hometown. It was absolutely divine! They sang and played for us their song “Nesci Maria” (pictured here). Some of the lyrics in Sicilian, then English, to give you a glimpse, are as follows:…

Mixing It Oud

Last year when I was in Palermo, my cousin Silvana and I came across a shop in the historic center filled with various instruments. It wasn’t a music store… maybe a tailor shop? Anyway, the gentleman proprietor played mandolin for us. I took pictures of him  and of all of the instruments I could. This…