At our September 21 social meeting, the Italian Cultural Society is pleased to present Paul Oorts (playing mandolin) and his Rigatoni “Brothers” Gina Faber (mandolin) and Jay Benforado (guitar). They are part of one of Paul’s projects which is to collect, play, and make available to the public music from the early to mid-20th century written for and by Italian immigrants and featuring two mandolins and a guitar. And what sorts of music do we have? There are waltzes, mazurkas, marches, tarantellas, tangos, and even schottisches and ragtime pieces. Of course, there are the familiar Neapolitan pieces that we all know and love, as well as opera pieces. From his research Paul will tell us the fascinating story of how Italian immigrants brought this music with them and merged it into the great flowing river of American music. And as that stream flows, these musical forms, like the immigrants’ culture itself, slowly melt and dissolve.
The Rigatoni Brothers will bring it all rushing back to life for you.
You won’t want to miss this meeting. Come, bring your friends and enjoy!
Below click on “La Tipica” to see a video snippet of one of their pieces, but first read about it here.
Here are some remarks about a Rigatoni Brothers performance for the Folklore Society of Greater Washington.
Our good friend R… F……. , whose father’s side of the family is very Italian (as the name indicates), heard the first couple of notes and immediately recognized the style of mandolin playing she remembered from her youth, even though the songs you played weren’t necessarily ones she recalled. You guys got the style exactly right! She was impressed with the great amount of knowledge you conveyed to the audience without being pedantic, and was crying tears of joy. (Charlie Baum FSGW President)
I am delighted that his performance was so well received — this sort of well-researched exploration of a little-known part of American musical history is exactly what FSGW should celebrate. (April Blum, Minifest Organizer-in-chief)
I have to comment here that the Rigatoni Brothers concert was an amazing success. The room was absolutely packed with standing room only. Nobody left their spaces once the music began. There was extraordinary buzz with excitement after the show. Everybody had connections and personal stories relative to the music. What a terrific theme this would be for a future event…Mother Country music… (?) At any rate The music was fabulous as well (S. Koppel, FSGW volunteer).
I have been hearing raves about the Rigatoni Bros. too– knowledge, virtuosity, style, understanding, passion for material combined with scholarship, charm, audience outreach. I wish I could have been there. (Elizabeth Null,)