Monday, July 30, 2007
Ciao a tutti,
For years, like so many of you, I have had this strong admiration for the music of STYX, not to mention the amazing voice of Dennis DeYoung. Of course, I like the love songs, (written for his wife Suzanne by the way), and as a singer I like to sing them myself. But my admiration went so much further. Being a "word" man all my life I have always really listened to the words of songs. As a child I could listen to a song once and come away with many of the words and the melody.
Some specific songs of STYX really "stuck" to me, especially "Come Sail Away," and my all time favorite STYX song, "Show Me The Way."
To me the words of the song "Show Me The Way," ring even truer as the years pass and as I mature. It takes a special person to write a song like that and I have long wanted to meet and know that person. That person is Dennis DeYoung. Dennis not only sang the songs of STYX but he wrote most of them, words and music, at least the ones that really spoke, and still speak to me.
So, here I was checking into my hotel room before going to the Milwaukee Festa Italiana grounds for rehearsal and I see what looks like a fellow musician checking in right next to me. I asked him if he was going to be performing at the festival and if he was Italian. He said yes, he was Italian, and that he was the keyboardist for Dennis DeYoung. My eyes lit up. Dennis DeYoung was singing in Milwaukee at the same time I was here? I could actually perhaps meet him and even maybe interview him for my show? And here was my angle, I could interview Dennis DeYoung for the Filippo and the Chef Show because the keyboardist in his band is Italian.
I made up my mind that I was going to interview him and that was it. I was too busy with my own performances and other interviews to even think of contacting his management team to run it by them and to check his schedule etc. But late at night, back in the hotel when I was doing my research on all the interviews I was conducting I researched Dennis DeYoung.
Music itself has no nationality as far as I am concerned, though I say, I like an Italian song or a Spanish song, etc. So I never cared if there was any Italian connection to STYX, but now because of the show, it is fun to seek and find those connections, and find them I did. It turns out that STYX started out as "The Tradewinds," and two of the original members were Italian-Americans from Chicago, brothers in fact, John and Chuck Panozzo.
Now I had the current keyboardist being Italian, and the original members of the band having been Italian, what more did I need? So I marched myself up to the backstage area the evening of the concert. In fact, the concert had already started but it was the soonest I could get there because of my show etc. I walked up to a gate agent and told him who I was and what I was there to do and he told me no one was allowed backstage.
I bet you are wondering how that sat with me? So I proceeded to tell him again, politely of course, until he referred me to someone above him. That person told me the same thing. I racked my brain as to what I was going to tell these people to make sure I got in and did what I knew was my "God given" duty to do, he, he.
For some reason, I thought of Paul Ianelli. He is the man who must have booked Dennis DeYoung, he booked me and he likes me, he is one of the people running the festival, and so, there it is. So, I asked the gentleman if he could contact Paul Ianelli on his radio. He looked at me like, "we don't disturb Paul." In fact, his radio didn't even have the authority to dial into him so he had to contact someone above him to see if he would call Paul on my behalf.
That person looked at me as if to say, this better be good otherwise we are all going to be in trouble. Well, he dialed Paul and I heard the man destroy my name and I could hear Paul over the speaker say, "no, no one gets backstage." My heart sank and then I asked him to repeat my name only saying it slower, "Filippo." I heard Paul say, "who?" and I thought I thought it was over. And the guy repeated it in case Paul hadn't hear because of the static. And then Paul said the most beautiful words I have ever heard, "Oh, Filippo, yeah, anything he wants!"
It was like the sky opened and God's light shown down on me and the angels sang. But I didn't have time to listen to the angel's song because I was being escorted backstage to hear Dennis DeYoung sing and eventually interview him. And hear him I did, from the backstage, to the front of the stage right at the bottom in front of him, to the side of the stage. I just enjoyed every angle of the concert, all except being on stage with him myself.
But at one point, as I waited backstage I realized "God" had not spoken to Dennis' manager and I had another yet another hurdle. But the manager was really nice and said, Dennis is headed to the airport right after the concert but he would get the interview in if I kept it short. So here I was about to get my interview, but that wasn't enough for me. Before the manager left I just had to ask, "is there any chance that Dennis is Italian?" I don't know why I did that, but Dennis was joking about Italians on stage, and it was an Italian festival, and I thought it was a good question.
His manager looked at me and smiled like he knew he was going to make my day and said, of course he's Italian, and so is his wife who's out there singing with him. All of a sudden I heard the angels sing again. Life is good. I am so dramatic, aren't I? I am having fun, in case you can't tell.
And the fun had just started, Dennis and his wife Suzanne walked off stage after an encore, and as promised, his manager directed them both to me so I could conduct my interview for the show. WOW! He was so great and so was his wife and I can't wait to share the interview with all of you on radio. We talked about Dennis' new CD and musical coming out, about The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I also learned about Suzanne's new book called "A Love Foretold," which includes a new song by Dennis written for the book. And I got to learn about their favorite Italian recipes.
Yes, they are both half Italian and they harold from Chicago and that's where STYX got started. But that is only where they got started they went all over from there and for Dennis, it looks like there is no end in sight.
Besides the successes of the former band, among other awards and records, STYX is the first band to have 4 consecutive albums certified Multi-Platinum, Dennis is now on his own setting records solo. His latest CD has hit #1 of the top 100 in Quebec, and it hasn't even come out in the U.S. yet. And his latest single sounds just as anthemic as the songs of his that I have liked all this time. Called "100 Years From Now," it has promise to be one of those that has more meaning as the years progress. May we progress along with those years and these songs.
Thanks Dennis for the foresight, inspiration and years of music and good feelings.
P.S. Speaking of interviews, here is an interview of Dennis I found on Youtube.com in which he talks about his songwriting process. Here is an insight into the mind of an artist. (In English)
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Ciao a tutti,
So here I was singing on stage at the Festa Italiana in Milwaukee when all of a sudden Carol Plantamura comes and sits down in the middle of the audience. Now you might ask, why is that important and who is Carol Plantamura.
Well, Carol was one of my singing teachers when I was a student at UCSD and she is a really cool lady, one who I haven't seen since I graduated years ago. So much has happened since those days at UCSD, and so much has changed, including my voice, after many other voice teachers and many more years of study, becoming a professional singer, recording, etc.
It was quite exciting to have Carol in the audience hearing me sing after all these years. So when I finished my song, I said to the audience that one of my former voice teachers was in the audience and she is Carol Plantamura.
Now, the Carol I knew would have been thrilled to be recognized and would have jumped up and said hello to the audience. Of course, Carol has had many years of performing 17th Century and 20th Century classical and Experimental music with six or so recordings under her belt. So, Carol is not shy around audiences.
But as the audience applauded, she just looked at me and smiled. And I decided to leave it alone. Maybe she had changed. I then finished the the show and was hoping to see her afterwards, but for some reason she wasn't there. So, I figured, maybe she had to leave or maybe she just wasn't Carol.
That night was the night I had been invited to the house of Al Rolandi. Al is a NIAF Area Coordinator for Milwaukee and we have been friendly over the years having seen each other at NIAF events in Washington and Chicago, and at Festivals and shows in Milwaukee and Racine, etc. I debated whether I wanted to go to a big party.
I had one more show to do the next day before the end of the Festival. I had been interviewing people, meeting people, talking with fans, etc. and felt like attending a big loud party was the last thing I wanted to do.
Al assured me that he hadn't invited very many people, only a handful of select friends, as he put it, and that it was going to be a lot of fun. He convinced me and I rode with him to his house. Being a jokster, the whole way there Al was telling me how a "few" people to him meant about a hundred and that he had a small apartment with an old '60's pink tiled bathroom, why that was funny, I don't know but it just was.
At that point I wasn't sure what to believe. All I knew is that we drove into in a beautiful area of Milwaukee and stopped in front of a beautiful home.
It was no small apartment and there was no pink tiled bathroom, I checked. And as for the people, well, Al was true, he hadn't invited very many people at all, literally just a handful of fellow entertainers and some close friends of his, including, of all people, the mystery lady, Carol Plantamura.
Upon seeing her, I rushed to her and said, are you not Carol? And she said, "No, I am Al's wife, Karen." Here she was my hostess for the evening all along, what are the coincidences? I asked her why she hadn't responded when I asked her if she was Carol from the stage, and why she didn't stay till the end.
She said that Al had told her I was a jokster like him and so she thought I was just playing a joke on her from the stage, like he does, ('60's style pink tiled bathroom, etc). She went on to say that she had to leave to get ready for the party and that's why she didn't stick around to meet me. Isn't that funny? We laughed the rest of the night about that.
To me she looks just like I remember Carol looking. So, in the picture just above here are Karen and I, and then below is a head shot of Carol Plantamura I just found on the Internet. Come on, it's pretty close, especially if you're standing on a stage looking down on an audience member far away, it's an even closer resemblance.
Karen wasn't the only surprise at the party. Al had rented an electric keyboard so those of us who wanted to could sing, since he probably felt that we hadn't been singing enough over the past week at the festival. But the ever so talented Aaron Caruso put fingers to the keys and started entertaining as if he were doing an old Vegas Lounge act.
It was interesting after having just seen him sing such beautiful opera arias on stage at the festival and some classical pieces etc., to see him sing Standards, and old traditional Italian songs, and tell jokes and basically show people a really good time. He is an all around entertainer, that's for sure, and now I know, a really nice guy too.
We had met a couple times before but hadn't really gotten to know each other, so this was a welcome opportunity. Aaron got his friend, fellow performer, Cory Pesaturo, accordionist extraordinare, to play piano for him so he could sing and do his shtick. That's not to say that he wasn't singing and doing shtick while he was playing at the piano, but it was good for a change of pace.
That's Aaron leaning back selling a song with Cory Pesaturo at the keyboards in a picture above. Basically, the first and third picture is of Al Rolandi and myself. The second one is of Aaron Caruso and I. Then the fourth picture above is of Soprano, and fellow entertainer, Christina Luna and myself on one of Al's collectibles, a bicycle built for two.
Christina was another singer I had met but never have had an opportunity to know, so this time around, we actually got to know each other by riding this bicycle, singing a duet, and dancing to Corey's and Aaron's Italian Polka's.
You should hear Cory on the accordion, he really is something else. The great thing about him too is that he not only plays the pieces you would expect him to play on an accordion, but he plays jazz and all kinds of styles that you have never heard on that instrument before, bringing the instrument into this Century in a unique way.
Actually, I could speak volumes about these artists, and hopefully someday I will have the opportunity to do so. In the meantime, back to the party.
Now that you know the players, the rest of the pictures are self explanatory. All except maybe this one above, which includes yet another singer, Joe Girard in between Aaron and I.
I don't remember exactly what we were singing at this point but I know it was fun. Joe is a Standards singer, singing the Great American Songbook, so he knows so many of those songs that crooners like me love to sing and listen too.
Along with being a performer Joe is an executive who has worked in TV, radio and in the music Industry, so he was such a wealth of information, fascinating to talk to and interesting to have met. And none of this would have happened if Al hadn't thrown a party, or better yet, if he hadn't persuaded me to come.
At the end of the night, a night which would have gone on forever for sure had more than a few of us not had to perform the next day, Al, the classy guy that he is, called us a Limousine service to make sure we all got back to our respective hotels safely and in style. What a guy, what a guy. And Karen, or Carol, no, Karen, what a hostess. Grazie!
Al, here's to the next party!
P.S. Earlier in the post I mentioned how you should hear Cory Pesaturo play accordion. Well, I thought I would check Youtube.com to see if there happened to be a video of him on there and low and behold there was. Well, this is not a video but more of a montage of pictures taken at the recording studio while he recorded his Jazz CD "Change In The Weather." Enjoy (Not Spoken)
Monday, July 23, 2007
Ciao a tutti,
I mentioned towards the end of two of the shows at Festa that I would post pictures of anyone fans who wanted to be on my blog. I had never done anything like this before and I thought it would be fun. And sure enough, people came up to take pictures to post on my blog.
Having never done this, I didn't think to get names and E-mail addresses so I could know who they were, post their names and inform them when I posted their pictures etc. Oh well, lets see what kind of E-mails I get about this post.
If it is something that people like, then next time I do it, I will do it differently, but for now it is like this. If you are looking at the blog and recognize anyone pictured here, do let them know so they can see themselves.
The pictures start with me in the audience singing to people as I walk on the benches and mingle with the crowd. The second picture is on me and one of my biggest fans, Mary Lou who traveled from Connecticut to see me. Or were you in Florida at this time?
Thanks for being there Mary Lou Consolo, it is always good to see you.
Mary Lou is the one in the red. Pictured here are her cousin Nancy Ferra, then Mary Lou, her cousin Shirley Frasia, me and her cousin Carol Saele.
Are they all Italian-American or what? Good to have you all there, and see you again.
That was fun, thank you all.
P.S. I mentioned in my last post that I didn't know who Julius La Rosa was referring to when he talked the Arthur Godfrey Show. Well, I decided to do a little research and lo and behold I found this video on Youtube.com of Julius La Rosa on the Arthur Godfrey Show singing "This Is Heaven." Now I know who Arthur Godfrey is and I got hear and see Julius when he was much younger. (In English).
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Ciao a tutti,
Where would you guess the largest Italian Festival in the nation is? New York? Chicago? Philly? No, it's Milwaukee. Well, that's what I've been told and I have seen it with my own eyes.
I had sung at the Festa Italiana in Milwaukee for two years in a row a few years back and then I stopped doing the Festivals. After three years of taking a break from the Italian festival circuit, when Milwaukee came a calling, I said no. In fact, I said no several times. But thanks to the Entertainment Director there, Paul Iannelli, who insisted and persisted, I finally said yes, and I am so glad I did.
What a way to start getting back into festivals, by starting with the biggest one. I was so happy to be there amongst so many friends and acquaintances who are also on the festival circuit as singers, comedians, dancers, accordionists, you name it. And the attendance, from 300,000 to 400,000 strong.
So many people remembered me from years ago and I actually remembered some of them. I told a few of them if we took pictures together I would put them on my blog, so in my next post I will post those pictures.
In this post I will post the pictures of a few of the performers, many of whom I interviewed for our Filippo and the Chef radio and Internet Podcast Show. I cannot tell you what a treat it was to interview some of these people who's songs I either grew up with or have been singing all my life.
I had so much in common with them, and had so many questions, the interviews could have gone on for hours. I can't wait for us to air them.
That's a picture of Paul Iannelli and I at the top of the post, the man that made it all possible. In fact he didn't just hire me, he wanted Chef Richard too and had Chef Richard on a main stage of his own as the Celebrity Chef in the Headliner time.
Since Chef Richard and I were both headlining on different stages, we never saw each other's shows. We were already asked to come back next year, only next year, I think we are going to do the "Filippo and the Chef" show live, not just in Milwaukee, but all over. That's the plan.
If you don't recognize the young lady in the second picture, it's Deidre Contino, the beautiful and talented daughter of Dick Contino the famous accordion player. She has such a pretty voice and really knows how to use it. This picture was taken immediately after her show on stage with the wind practically blowing us away, how she sang through it, I'll never know.
In the picture below Deidre and I is one of two traditional music groups directly from Southern Italy. One of the groups was QuartAumentata, and the other one Nando Citarella's group "Tamburi del Vesuvio." The music of these groups together caught my attention from afar.
I had stopped to buy myself a BBQ'd corn on the cob, and I heard this music start that was so authentically Southern Italian, and yet had a modern feel to it, I just had to go and find out what it was all about.
When I finally approached the tent full of people enjoying the music I just stood and enjoyed right along with them all, the rhythms, sound, songs, and even the dancing, as you can see in this picture below the one with me in it.
It was interesting to learn later that QuartAumentata considers themselves a pop ethnic band, and by the way, they are proudly from Calabria. They gave me a copy of their first single which is called "U Mundu Balla," (The World Dances), and it sure would if they heard this song. You can find more info on them and the CD at their website www.CDClubEntertainment.com.
After the opening ceremonies, I took pictures with several of the dignitaries and delegates of Italy at the Festival. Among them was the Honorevole Senatore della Repubblica Italiana, Renato G. Turano.
Senatore Turano has a very interesting history, he is Italian-American and now an Italian Senator. He also has accomplished much here in the U.S. and is head of Industry. We talked about him cooking with us on the "Filippo and the Chef" show, and he said he would be more than happy to do that.
I would have enjoyed talking to him more but I was up next on stage after they cleared the stage of the chairs used for the opening ceremonies, and had to go change and meet with the band. But I have a feeling he will indeed be on our show and then we can all learn more about his interesting life.
Before one of my shows, while hanging around the front of the stage watching another act, this man approached me. I immediately recognized him from the cover of his CDs, it was Vito DiSalvo. I had known Vito and his wife Lana for years from when they started selling my CDs on the Internet under their then Mifflin Hills Label. now MHN Productions.
Then they sent me a couple of Vito's CDs with the We Three band and I felt like I had gotten to know them even more. I like Vito's original compositions for accordion so well, that I was even playing them at a party I had just a couple weeks ago, and friends were commenting on how much they were enjoying the music. It was Vito DiSalvo, and I finally got to meet him.
A week before going to Milwaukee I was visiting with my family, and my sister put on a CD that she new that my nieces liked. In fact, my nieces immediately started dancing to the song. I recognized the song and marveled at how the music of the Gaylords had crossed generations from my parents generation and generations before, to mine and my sisters, to now our nieces.
This was the first thing I told Burt Holiday, of The Gaylords, when I saw him at the Festival. Burt and I at least twice before, had met before but this was the first time we not only got to have a conversation but I also got to interview him and Ronnie Gaylord, Jr. Look for that interview on our website at www.FilippoandtheChef.com.
There is so much I could say about all these artists and I am realizing as I write and write that this blog might be getting a little long and I have so many more people I want to chat about. I interviewed most of them and maybe I should let the interviews speak for themselves, because they were so full of information. It was wonderful how everyone got into it and wanted to share their story with our audiences.
Let me see if I can be brief so I can get everyone in. This next artist, so many of the generation before me probably fell in love to his music, like "Precious and Few." He is Sonny Geraci himself and he still gots it. He rocks and rolls and then he croons and back again. Now his son and daughter sing too entertaining a whole other generation.
This guy above is John Truncali, celebrity impersonator, singer, and Vegas entertainer. It's interesting how we all know what we mean by Vegas entertainer, a guy who can really entertain using various media like singing, playing an instrument, telling jokes, etc. And yet, there are very few of these guys left in Vegas. But it's not a dying art, not when you see John's show.
Speaking of dying arts, now here is a dying art, someone who actually is Italian and sings in Italian at an Italian Festival. So few Italian Festivals have Italian singers or singers that sing in Italian these days, except maybe for Opera singers.
Is it because the festival promoters think that American songs will draw more crowds, are we getting so far removed, have people stopped listening to Italian music at home where in they wouldn't recognize any of the songs if they heard them at festivals? Are there not enough Italian singers to go around? I don't know, but I have my theories, but that's for another time.
Of course I am one of them and I do know there are many others, and they are all so different with different voices, styles, songs, arrangements. There is room for all of them. And if you are looking for an authentic Italian singer for your festival, who not only sings in Italian but speaks English with an Italian accent, here is one, Moreno Fruzzetti.
This next gentleman is too much. He is Julius La Rosa. And he had me laughing so hard at one point during the interview by speaking to me in Sicilian and saying things I haven't heard said since my Nonna was around to say them.
Speaking again of dying arts, here's a performer, that even in the heat of the day in Milwaukee he would wear a tuxedo and a crisp white tuxedo shirt every performance. And why was he on during the day you might ask? Well, he wants it that way so he can see his audience. That's the kind of performer he is.
This too was an interview that was really pleasurable. In fact, they all are, each in their way. Julius talked about the Arthur Godfrey television show. I really liked that because I had no idea who Arthur Godfrey was and that made me feel really young.
Of course, I knew everyone else he spoke about and that was a real treat because he gave us the inside scoop on how he got on the Johnny Carson Late Night television show, how he got himself uninvited for years, and how he finally got back on. Interesting story, that we will save for the interview.
In case you don't recognize him, that's Chef Richard of the "Filippo and the Chef" Show, with Julius.
Speaking of interviewing artists. This next artist is the beautiful Giada Valenti. All the while I was talking to her and watching her perform etc. I was thinking how I had already interviewed her in one of our first shows.
It wasn't until after the festival that I remembered I had never interviewed her, I had asked her a couple questions, off the air, that I then shared with the audience on the air, before playing one of her original songs.
I can't believe I missed my opportunity. Well, I know I will see her again soon since our paths do cross often. In fact, at one point we were even going to share a stage together. Actually, we did share a stage once, but not at the same time.
Nevertheless, this is Giada Valenti, and the song we played on one our first episodes is "Italian Signorina," off her first CD. If I understand correctly, she has a new one coming out real soon. Brava Giada, I can't wait to buy it.
These next two artists with whom I am pictured are very related, in fact they are related to the first artist mentioned on this post too. That was Deidre Contino and this is her brother Pete Contino and her father the famous accordionist Dick Contino.
Pete has his own band and show in Las Vegas, and so though I had met him before I didn't know him very well. His father on the other hand, I finally got to interview and tell him the story of how we had first met. I had just started doing weddings and I was still a little new at it, but I certainly gave it my all and I never had any complaints. On the contrary, I had lots of referral business.
But one of these first weddings while I was still a little shaky and new, the bride's mother came up to me and excitedly asked if her cousin could play with my band a song or two.
I was prepared for "some thing" like this could happen because I had been to enough Italian weddings growing up that someone in the family always has to sing or play something. I figured, sure, how bad could he be and even if he is bad, it's what they want.
Then she said, my cousin is Dick Contino, and I nervously asked, "are you sure he's here?" as if perhaps to say, are you sure that he would come to this small wedding in Fresno, California. And she answered, "of course, he's my cousin, come with me let me introduce you." I was a little nervous at the time, to say the least. But there was no need, Dick was a gentleman and a professional and he entertained and it all went well.
Then Dick impressed me yet again by saying the most amazing things I thought I would ever hear coming out of an accordion player of his generation. I am not sure what I mean by that either, but I mean it, I was so impressed. You'll just have to wait for the interview to come out on radio to know what I mean.
One day I finally made it over to Richard's cooking stage and boy did I wish I hadn't. First of all his stage was decorated all nice and Italian and all. Then there was food everywhere, backstage, on the stage, everywhere.
The last straw was when he said, "Filippo, would you take a picture of me with all my volunteer helpers."
And all of a sudden people came from everywhere to be in this picture with Chef Richard.
I thought to myself, "What is wrong with this picture?" What was going on? Over at my stage all I had was the stage manager, and the band of course.
But this was so awesome, and they loved him. It was so good to see that they had been having such a great time over the period of the five or so days they had been working together. "Working," okay, it's work, but they are making delicious food and getting to eat it, that's got to be fun.
Well, from the looks on their faces they were having fun indeed. And if Marie, the stage manager, pictured with us below, has anything to say about it, next year I am going to be on that stage with my whole band and we are going to show Milwaukee how "Filippo and the Chef," rock the cooking world.
And by the way, those sandwiches you see in the picture, are one of Chef Richard's specialties, Mozzarella in Carrozza, or as he likes to call them, "Italian French Toast." That's a crazy name for them, but by any name would be just as delicious. We have a show with that recipe, and you just gotta try them.
In the meantime, we all enjoyed Chef Nick Stellino's show. As a matter of fact, come to think of it, I wasn't the only one that complained about all the attention Chef Richard was getting. While watching Nick Stellino on stage, who came on right after Chef Richard, I heard him say something that I understood too well. At one point he called out the assistant and asked her where all the, something were? I don't remember what ingredient he was looking for.
The assistant them brought him out just a little of what he asked for. He then said, that he needed more for his dish, and then turned to Chef Richard who was in the audience at that point and said, "He's why I don't have what I need for my show, you gave all the good stuff to Chef Richard." The audience laughed and soon afterwards, plenty of what he wanted appeared.
I had to laugh, everyone loves Chef Richard and yes, Nick, I know what you mean. Sometimes people give him all of something and there's none left for me either. Above is a picture of Chef Richard, Nick Stellino and I.
And speaking of laughing, I leave you with two more pictures of men who leave you laughing. The first one is Bill Acosta, singer, impressionist, comic and man of 1001 voices.
The second one is Pete Barbutti, who I also got to interview. He has such great stories about the many times he toured with Nat King Cole and performing with Frank Sinatra.
It's stories like these and interviews like the one with Pete, or any of the ones I conducted at the Festival, that make what I do so important. I love the fact that I am getting some of these stories recorded because I would hate for them to be lost, especially for those people like me who love this kind of thing. I hope soon that I will be able to video these interviews and that there will be people interested in this kind of entertainment for generations to come.
In the meantime, there are enough people interested to put on an Italian festival, come to an Italian festival, and entertain at an Italian festival, so that everyone can have fun and celebrate all the good things that are Italian.
P.S. I was so happy to see that at the Festival they had children who had learned and danced traditional Italian dances, and children who sang traditional Italian songs. This is part of the reason for doing these festivals, I hope and trust, is to keep these traditions alive for all generations and for all to enjoy. Here is a video I was happy to find on Youtube.com of a fine example of what I am writing about and this is from this years Festa Italian in Milwaukee. It is a group of children doing a traditional Italian dance in traditional Italian dress. (Music Background Only)