I recently went to a show at Johnny D’s in Somerville, Massachusetts. Taken from the website “On any given night you may see Cajun fiddle masters from Louisiana, British folk stars, or some of Boston’s finest rockers.” I knew enough about Johnny D’s to know that it’s a hip indie music spot…but never did I imagine seeing the group CANZONIERE GRECANICO SALENTINO there. I was pleasantly surprised!
This group is comprised of young adults from Puglia, Italy. They are a pizzica music and dance ensemble. Coined as “Italy’s fascinating dichotomy of tradition and modernity. The seven piece band and dancer are the leading exponents in a new wave of young performers re-inventing Southern Italy’s Pizzica musical and dance traditions for today’s global audience.”
I appear to be digressing but I promise you there is a point.
The music performed by this group is traditional. It’s the music I remember my grandfather playing and dancing to and my parents as well. It’s fun, upbeat and even promises to cure your ailments. (I was doing a silent meditation opening myself to the positive energy they emitted).
Since this blog focuses on Italian American traditions I found the correlation between my goal in keeping these traditions alive along with Canzoniere’s mission interesting. My parents and Aunt and Uncle joined us, younger generation and to all it was a great night. Including my friend who had no idea what she was going to. She loved it.
So to my point. We got to the venue early and I struck up a conversation with a very nice staffer at Johnny D’s. He asked me “Who’s the winemaker at your table?” I said “How do you know?”.
He said, “That guy is drinking a Seven and Seven which he calls a High Ball.”
“Yup, exactly how my father ordered it.”
“He would never drink wine other than homemade and never outside of the home. He’s the winemaker.”
His observation impressed me.
I introduced him to my father and they started talking. He is also a winemaker and that really impressed my father, as they swapped stories.
I really enjoyed the night. To see a young group keeping ancient traditions alive and a young winemaker in the crowd made me feel very proud to be Italian. So a salute to the winemaker, my father Vincenzo.
It’s off season but I thought to share a photo or two could help get us through the winter until we welcome La Vendemmia next Fall !
Enjoy and Buone Salute!