UPDATE: In an effort to limit the transmission of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), “Songs of Sicily: Michela Musolino and Rosa Tatuata” has been POSTPONED. St. Nicks Alliance, Conselyea Street Block Association, and the Swinging Sixties Senior Center take health concerns very seriously and out of an abundance of caution, we felt this was the right thing to do for our clients, guests and community. Please check back in a few weeks for the rescheduled date for the ninth installment of this Michele Giannattasio Lecture series.
By Joseph Sciorra, Ph.D.,
Director, Academic and Cultural Programs John D. Calandra Italian American Institute
Why listen to folk music in the twenty-first century? What do we get out of hearing the unfamiliar cadences and offbeat lyrics sung by peasants and rural workers from long ago? Singer Michela Musolino sets out to answer these questions through her vibrant performance of Sicilian lullabies, hymns, work songs, and courting tunes.
Michela grew up in a Sicilian American household in New Jersey and became intrigued by Sicilian culture, and in particular popular music, on trips to Sicily. She began collecting recordings of the island’s folk songs and in time trained with artists in Italy and the United States familiar with the vast repertoire of its music. Now a seasoned performer, Michela plays concerts at folk festivals, ethnic fairs, and music clubs in both countries.
Michela has performed with a host of musicians using traditional instruments such as the scacciapensieri (jaw’s harp), friscalettu (cane flute), tamburello (frame drum), organetto (button accordion), and zampogna (bagpipes), as well as the more common guitar and clarinet. She has released two CDs to date: Songs of Trinacria: A Collection of Sicilian Folk Music (2003) and Sotto le Stelle/Under the Stars (2019) with Rosa Tatuata, the exhilarating ensemble she leads.
The haunting vocals and rousing tarantellas that Michela Musolino and Rosa Tatuata offer their audiences are exquisite reinterpretations of the rich legacy of Sicilian folk music, a welcomed interlude for our modern ears and hearts.
The ninth installment of the Michele Giannattasio Lecture Series, “Michela Musolino and Rosa Tatuata” will be emceed by Joseph Sciorra, Ph.D. (Calandra Institute at Queens College) on Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 7 p.m. at 211 Ainslie Street. There will be a Q & A following the performance. You can RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/songs-of-sicily-michela-musolino-and-rosa-tatuata-tickets-97015876097