Historic Italian Culture Master Series of 2012

Italian Folk Music And Dance

The 2012 Master Series brought together the largest number of master Italian bagpipers (zampognari) in one place in the U.S! The Series began on Thursday night with a presentation on Italian Village Dancing with master teachers Celest DiPietropaolo and Marie DiCocco . Friday night included a fascinating preview of Saturday's presentations including.

The centerpiece of Saturday's daytime activities focused on Traditional Italian Folk Music and Dance. It featured presentations and demonstrations on the Zampogna (Italian Bagpipes) tradition, which originated in Southern Italy. One of the highlights of the Series will be the screening of a documentary "Zampogna - the Soul of Southern Italy" which will be at 10am Saturday and was followed by a presentation and Q&A with the filmmaker David Marker.

Zampogna Master Gianluca Zammarelli from Italy performed and helped lead associated workshops and informational sessions throughout the weekend about the history and tradition of the Zampogna. Six accomplished Zampogna players (zampognari) from various parts of the United States complemented the performances. The music professor and opera coach from the University of Iowa presented along with experts in traditional folk dance.



Fairfield, (Iowa) - Several of the leading experts on traditional Italian folk music and dance from throughout the U.S. and Italy will gather in Fairfield, Iowa in a public showcase of the roots of Italian culture. This unprecedented event will feature the largest confluence ever in North America of players and makers of the rare Italian bagpipe, or zampogna, (pronounced zam-pon-ya). This bigest and deepest-pitched of all bagpipes has been at the center of a recent revival of traditional folk music in Italy. As many as eight Italian pipers (called zampognari) will come to this small midwestern town to share their knowledge and enthusiasm at Fairfield's 7th Annual All Things Italian Street Festival, which is expected to attract over 5,000 people this year. A number of other traditional instruments such as the piffaro, organetto, chitarra, tamborine and the very rare Sardinian launeddas, the ancient mouth-blown predecessor to the bagpipes, as well as traditional Italian singing will be demonstrated and taught. The proceedings will also include the screening of a recent documentary Zampogna - the Soul of Southern Italy and a discussion afterwards with the filmmaker David Marker of Kansas City about his experiences conducting field recordings throughout the Italian countryside. A demonstration and discussion of the relationship of the zampogna and launeddas to the many bagpipes of the world will be led by musicologist and piper Sean Folsom of Carmel Valley, CA, producer of the "Bagpipes of the World" CD, zampognaro and traditional Italian puppeteer Lionel Botttari of Chicago, who has presented at the Smithsonian Institute, and zampognaro and internationally recognized bagpipe reedmaker Ted Anderson of Marshal, CA. One of the top players and makers of the zampogna, Gianluca Zammarelli of Rome. Celest DiPietropaolo and Marie DiCocco from Alexandria, VA will teach several participatory workshops in traditional regional Italian folk dance. Local musicians and dancers will be taught the regional dances and appropriate music, with the hope of creating an ongoing local community of enthusiasts.

Lionel Bottari remarks, "There are several annual zampogna festivals in Italy, but this is the first of its kind that I've heard of in the U.S."

"We hope to bring to public awareness the relevance of integrating the exquisite richness of traditional culture to our modern context." says Master Series director, internationally acclaimed Irish piper and pipemaker Tim Britton.

"We are absolutely thrilled to have these top experts come together and bring the knowledge of these beautiful cultural traditions to southeastern Iowa", said Dick DeAngelis, President of SOFIA, the local Italian-American group behind the Master Series and festival.

Master Series Presenters and Musicians

David Marker Kansas City, MO - Documentarian of Italian-American descent, Zampognaro from an early age, taught within the family.
His documentary, Zampogna - the Soul of Southern Italy (DVD included with grant application) has played: Kansas City film festival, John D. Calandra Italian American Institute , World Music and Independent Film Festival in Washington, DC. Here is an excerpt from a review of the film by The Universe of Bagpipes online magazine, http://www.hotpipes.com/main.html:

A feature length documentary film about Southern Italian culture told through its indigenous folk music. The film focuses on how these traditions are dealing with the rapid changes in local economy and the homogenizing effect globalization has on local culture… he meets a small group of old men (one of them is the one who makes zampogna) in a park and they improvise for him a sort of poetic jam session, following an ancient rhyming tradition, with articulate, polished, complex words and a back and forth between the verses, sometimes singing in duet. David also comments on how, through this poetry, they seem to be engaged in a Socratic dialogue, discussing love, music but also political and historical issues.

David will speak on "Zampogna, the Soul of Southern Italy", show his film, moderate a discussion and answer questions Friday evening at Café Paradiso and Saturday morning at the Icon Gallery.
Sean Folsom Carmel Valley, CA - Musicologist and piper, music historian, restorer and replicator of ancient instruments, reed-maker, educator. "Bagpipes of the World" CD.Studied with Francesco Lucido at the Academy of Music in Monterrey, CA Pioneer in the ethnic music revival for forty years, learning by independent research and travel. As an educator Sean seeks to bring to life the history of his instruments and the culture behind them. He owns and plays thirty different bagpipes and an array of wind, string and percussion instruments, from the prehistoric to the modern, as well as costumes to go with them. For a complete list of his credits as educator, performer, film music writer and historian please see:http://www.hotpipes.com/acredit.html .
Sean speaks at the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit on Saturday, "Bagpipes of the World and Their Survival in a Changing Landscape," explaining about and demonstrating his extensive collection, the society in which they evolved, and how they survived to occupy the place they now serve.
Shari Rhoads Iowa City, IA - B.A. in music from University of California. M.A in opera from USC. Vocal faculty University of Iowa, 2000 to present. Assistant conductor for two years at Gran Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona. Assistant to Chorus Master Romano Gandolfi, La Scala and at Teatro de la Zarazuela, Madrid. Assistant conductor to Garcia Navarro. Assistant to Generalmusikdirektor Hans Drewanz at Staatstheater Darmstadt, Germany. In 1991, Kapellmeister at Luzernertheater, Luzern Switzerland. Professor at Luzern Musikhochschule and Conservatoire de Lausanne, 1991-2000. Co-founder and clinician of "Mozart und Szenische Gestaltung."
Shari will speak at the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit on Saturday, "The Relationship of Italian Opera and Folk Music Traditions."
Celest DiPietropaolo, Alexandria, VA - B.S. Mathematic, Loyola University, M.S Theoretical Mathematics, DePaul University, M.S. Applied Linguistics, Georgetown University. Performed at the Smithsonian Institution, Folklore Society of Washington, Italian Embassy. Taught Italian traditional dance since 1984 all over the United States, including Florida Folk Dance Camp, Friends of International Folk Dance Weekend in New Orleans, Annual Mendocino Folklore Camp, Annual Chicago Festival of Folk Dance, and Folklore Village Farm. Founded the Italian Folklore Group of Washington, D.C. (IFGW) 1976. Founder of the Italian Folk Art Federation of America and served as its chairman of folk dance for many years.
Celeste opens the series at Café Paradiso on Thursday with a lecture/demonstration, "Regional Italian Folk Dances and Village Life," followed by instruction, and again on Saturday.
Gianluca Zammarelli Cilento, Italy - Considered to be one of the top zampogna makers and players in Italy. Director, Etnomalìa School of Music, Established 2004, Cilento, Italy, www.etnomalia.com: Providing traditional concerts, music schools, cultural events, productions, crafts: etnomalìa-doc (audio documentaries on folk culture) etnomalìa-folk (Monographs on the traditional Italian musicians) etnomalìa-lowcost (record productions at low cost) 15 years concerts, theatre, festivals in Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain Directed reed making workshops in "Festival Della Zampogna di Scapoli". Published 5 CDs. "1° festival of Battente guitar," Rofrano, Italy. Folk Voice, Cilento singing and improvised "Stornelli." Mr. Zammarelli speaks about the zampogna and its relationship to the people in the small towns of Italy as well as comments and adds a unique perspective at several of the other zampogna talks. He will participate in most of the lecture/demonstrations in Italian with a translator.
Lionel Botttari Chicago, IL - B.A. Roosevelt University, English Literature. Minor in Romance languages, Spanish, French and Italian. Zampognaro, traditional Italian puppeteer, and street performer. Presented at the Smithsonian Institute, Southern Illinois University, Art Institute of Chicago, and the Italian Folk Arts Federation Convention. Founder of the Italian American Theater of Chicago. Contributor to "Fra Noi" and "Primo" magazines, the Scapoli "Circolo della Zampogna". Performed on zampogna with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Recipient of two Illinois Arts Council Fellowships. Lionel speaks at the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit on Saturday, "The Geographic, Cultural and Linguistic Regions of Italy"
Musicians: All musicians and lecturer/musicians will play during the dances, the singing and the Zampogna demonstrations, and will also participate in Q &A sessions and discussions.
Charles Rutan Philadelphia, PA - B.A. Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts Summa cum laude in Music, 1992. Piping Centre in Glasgow, Scotland 1998. Please see for extensive credits: http://www.charlierutan.com/
Jean Parisi Chicago, IL - Artist, performer, director, and clown. MFA in Performance and a BFA in Sculpture. She has developed arts-integrated curricula, conducted visual and performing arts residencies including extensive work with special populations.
Ted Anderson Marshal, CA - Zampognaro and internationally recognized bagpipe reed maker, presenting at countless bagpipe related events throughout North America for over thirty years, including Drone Magic, Cumann na bPiobairi Tionols in Seattle and San Francisco
Dominic Porco NYC - Calabrian organetto player, singer, guitarist and zampognaro. Studied Calabrian/ southern Italian folk music from 2005—present.
Marie DiCocco Alexandria, VA - Traditional Italian dance instructor. Organetto, guitar, tambourine. Marie will be contributing to the dance lectures and the music for the dancing.
Tim Britton Fairfield, IA – Director of the Master Series II. Renowned on the Irish Uillean pipes, tin whistle and wooden flute. Appears on over 40 records. Recipient of eight Arts Council Apprenticeship grants as master. Performed, lectured and taught extensively for over 35 years, including at the Augusta Heritage Arts Workshop, the Swannanoa Gathering, and numerous festivals and piping conventions. Pipe maker for 38 years. Authored a book on reed making. Please see: http://www.uilleanpipes.com . Tim will act as host and moderator.