Experience Sicily with Villa Palagonia
Tues., Aug. 30 at 6:30 PM
Italian American Museum
155 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10013
Join multifaceted guitarist Joe Ravo and multi-instrumentalist and singer Allison Scola—the music duo Villa Palagonia—for a concert-presentation featuring songs from their debut world-folk album “Rhythms & Roots” and a discussion about travels in Sicily and growing up in The Bronx.
“You don’t have to speak Italian to appreciate Villa Palagonia. You just have to give yourself over to Allison Scola’s lovely voice (and stage presence) and Joe Ravo’s jazz-inflected guitar playing. It’s an irresistible combination.”
- John Platt, host of WFUV’s Sunday Supper
Eclectic acoustic brushed with hues from Mediterranean folk is the avenue on which the ensemble Villa Palagonia perches—yet the side streets and dusty alleyways that these musicians travel offer engaging timbres that are woven together by songs imparting tales of the old world and the new. “Rhythms & Roots” is a mix of original music performed in English and Italian alongside time-tested Sicilian folk songs.
Founded in 2013 by multifaceted guitarist Joe Ravo and multi-instrumentalist and singer Allison Scola, Villa Palagonia calls upon its core members’ southern Italian roots and American know-how to create original music peppered with elements from traditional Sicilian and Italian folk songs. Joe Ravo is a versatile guitarist who has performed alongside the likes of Dave Brubeck and Stanley Turrentine and traveled around the world as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. Department of State. Allison Scola is most familiar to Little Italy audiences because of her tarantella workshops during the annual Marco Polo Festival and Feast of San Gennaro. As a solo artist, she has released a number of recordings and performed at venues as grand as Shea Stadium, as kitschy as CBS Morning News’ Living Room Live, and as intimate as her cousin’s patio in Bagheria, Sicily where the world-renowned estate Villa Palagonia exists.
Allison’s paternal grandmother, who immigrated to New York in the 1920s, grew up in Bagheria, Sicily in the shadow of Villa Palagonia. It is a place she and Joe have visited many times—and the villa itself is a site that they find intriguing and inspirational because of the remaining 72 odd and fantastic monster-statues that line the estate’s grounds. Bagheria is at the crossroads—between barons and peasants, between lemon orchards and jasmine vines, between mountains and sea, between Europe and Africa, and between ancient mysteries and modern realities. Both the historic site and the ensemble called Villa Palagonia capture a unique essence—capture a place: where north, south, east, west, and humanity collide.
Allison’s passion for Sicily will engage your senses—through her enchanting boutique tours of the Mediterranean island and every day via her Experience Sicily posts on social media. Joe’s virtuosic guitar playing and stories of growing up in The Bronx will inspire you to get up and dance. As well you should, because the duo will be playing a tarantella or two to get our audience moving!