Harry Partch, Gustavo Romero, Diamanda Galas, Pacific Strings, inside the opera, best organs, best pianos, the composer, the concertmaster, the piano tuner, the tenor, the symphony player’s wife
Various Authors 6:22 p.m., Sept. 24
Sound description: Sounds a lot like Italy.
RIYL: Italian music
Influences: Alfredo Casella, Domenico Modugno, Ildebrando Pizzetti, Aldo Clementi, Marco Tutino, Lorenzo Ferrero, Franco Alfano, Gian Francesco Malipiero
You might think you’ve stumbled onto a scene from La Dolce Vita when Roman Holiday appears at festivals and other events around the country. They specialize in Italian music, lively Italian dances, popular Italian-American songs that span the decades, and a touch of Italian opera.
According to Tony DiBona, the band’s organizer, the group was initially formed to preserve the rich musical heritage brought to this country by Italian Americans. “At the time,” he says, “I headed up a variety dance band, performing everything from swing to R&B to rock and roll. But more and more, people from the Italian community kept on asking for the songs they remembered from their childhood, and we knew we had to do our part in keeping that rich heritage alive.”
The band’s setlists include everything from “Funiculi Funicula” to the Godfather theme, from “That’s Amore” to “O Marie,” and a special tribute to the hot Italian sounds of Louie Prima. The band was seen and heard in the grape festival scene of the 20th Century Fox film, A Walk in the Clouds, starring Keanu Reeves and Anthony Quinn. The film’s soundtrack, which features one of the group’s songs, received a Golden Globe Award.
The band’s album The Italian Wedding CD features lively and passionate music traditionally heard at an Italian wedding reception, including songs such as “Grand March,” “First Dance,” “Tarantella,” and “Money Dance.”
In addition to the song selections (produced in a state-of-the-art studio with up to 20 vocalists and musicians), the CD also features a “How To” booklet that guides the planner through each step of orchestrating an Italian wedding reception.