Friday, February 5, 2010

Carnevale Festa at Trumpets Jazz Club!

On Sunday, January 31, 2010, Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair NJ played host to a wonderful Carnevale celebration. Complete with festive decorations, music, tarantella dance lessons, featured singers and a little Carnevale history, this event was the perfect antidote to a cold January day. The party was hosted by the Center for Italian and Italian American Culture ( in Cedar Grove.

The owners of Trumpets, Enrico Granafei and Kristine Massari, not only hosted the event and provided a wonderful menu, but they also joined in the musical entertainment. Enrico, Kristine, John La Barbera and I played mandolin and guitar to numerous tarantellas and other Italian folk songs.

Enrico Granafei is a classical, jazz and Italian folk guitarist, singer, songwriter, arranger and composer who tours the world. Born and raised in Calabria, Italy, his voice, storytelling and guitar style is infused with his Italian folk roots. His clear tenor voice soared as he sang and played Funiculi, Funicula, Dove sta Zaza`? and O' Surdato 'Nnammorato.

John La Barbera is a New York City-born composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist and mandolin virtuoso. His career is a celebration of Italian music, from classical to the revival and preservation of Southern Italian folk music, and beyond. The music we played as a group at the event was from John’s book, Southern Italian Mandolin and Fiddle Tunes.

Kristine Massari is a jazz vocalist, mandolinist, violinist and pianist. She has toured throughout Italy and also in Hungary and Finland. At the event, Kristine played mandolin with the group and sang La Spagnola. She entertained as well as informed, by explaining the origins of the Italian Carnevale celebration.

Jennifer Bowen played castanets, tambourine and danced a tarantella with Kristine. Jennifer also guided an impromptu tarantella dance lesson for the more intrepid guests! The Executive Director of the CIIAC, Rosanna Imbriano, welcomed everyone to the festivities and joined in the dancing and singing fun.

We were sorry to see the afternoon end, but we all went out into the blistering cold feeling warmer inside.

To learn more about ciiac activities, call 973 571 1995.

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