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…

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.

Stealing from Old Men in the Village

Calling upon the traditional work songs and sacred music they heard growing up in the small town of Sutera in the province of Caltanissetta, Lorenzo and Enzo Mancuso create “new-traditional” Sicilian roots music. Known internationally as Fratelli Mancuso, the duo mixes elements from Gregorian chant, Christian liturgical laments, Arabic and Byzantine lyrical prayers, and the…

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…