Villa Palagonia has set out on the “Left Bank,” as we like to call our new home in Englewood, New Jersey. We are thrilled to join many of our friends on the west side of the Hudson, yet still remaining true to our New York City roots with frequent visits for work and play in the City.
As we settle in to our new headquarters, we are purposefully keeping our schedule less demanding for a few months, but we are certainly keeping our toes in the action. We have a few appearances in spring 2018, that we hope you’ll join us for!
March 4: On Hootenanny Cafe Radio Show on WTBQ with Jon Stein
In early March we’ll be on Hootenanny Cafe. You can tune in to hear a set of Villa Palagonia on the radio!
March 18: St. Joseph’s Day with Experience Sicily at Cacio e Vino
Mid-March, we’ll be getting you all singing for St. Joseph’s Day at Cacio e Vino with Experience Sicily. The afternoon, which features a traditional Saint Joseph’s Day Sicilian feast, will be great fun. Reserve your spot at Eventbrite!
April 8: Villa Palagonia Performs at the Sounding Board Coffeehouse
In April, we’ll be in northern Connecticut for a full concert at the Sounding Board Coffeehouse.
Open Jam and Song Swap at 2PM
Concert at 3PM (2 sets with a 20-minute intermission)
In cooperation with Winding Trails, Inc., this special afternoon will take place at
The Lodge at Winding Trails
50 Winding Trails Drive
Advanced tickets are available at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3325579
$15 for Sounding Board and Winding Trails members
$20 general public
May 1: A World of Women’s Voices Presented by the College Club of Northern New Jersey
A World of Women’s Voices
Woman’s Club of Ridgewood, 12 Noon
The Woman’s Club of Ridgewood
215 W. Ridgewood Ave.
Contact the College Club of Northern New Jersey about attending at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A World of Women’s Voices is a powerful, unique, collaborative performance featuring three artists — Sharon Goldman, Bev Grant and duo Villa Palagonia — who celebrate the power of women’s stories from around the world, from Italian folk tales and biblical stories to African women, New York immigrant history (including the Triangle Fire), personal/childhood narratives and labor movement anthems.
We are offered an enriching personal and community experience not only through the stories told in the songs — which the artists knit together by illustrating how, even with our different backgrounds, we all are essentially connected — but also through encouraging us to sing and, in some cases, dance along!
June 24: On Hootenanny Cafe Radio Show on WTBQ with Jon Stein
On Sunday, June 24 we’ll be live on Hootenanny Cafe. You can tune in to hear an entire broadcast co-hosted by Villa Palagonia with in-studio performances.
Hello Friends! Just in time for the NERFA Conference, we’re releasing our latest video “Mi Votu e Mirivotu (I Turn and Turn Again),” filmed by World One Video’s JB Nuttle.
Based on a beloved Sicilian folk song, we’ve arranged our own interpretation and written English lyrics in the spirit of the original song.
Meanwhile, Villa Palagonia will be showcasing “I Turn and Turn Again” at the NERFA (North East Region Folk Alliance) Conference on Thursday night in Stamford, CT. Please join us!
THURSDAY, NOV. 9
11:00 PM | Heart & Hope Showcase, Room 2100
11:45 PM | Around Robin Showcase, Room 2035
In the Round with Christopher Brown and Millpond Moon
Enjoy these two latest videos from Villa Palagonia!
Anna & Luca
Recorded by World One Video.
Posted by Allison Scola |
Villa Palagonia is a Baroque villa located in Bagheria, a town in Sicily, Italy near Palermo. The villa was built to be the country home of the fifth Prince of Palagonia, a baron under the realm of the King of Spain. In 1749, Ferdinando Gravina, the seventh Prince of Palagonia, commissioned over six hundred statues of monsters, fantastic characters, imaginary animals, knights, ladies, peasants, and musicians in order to decorate the outer walls and grounds of the estate. Goethe visited Villa Palagonia in 1787 and noted that it was remarkably unique, commenting that the statues were a menagerie of egos.
Today, only 72 of the peculiar statues remain. Each one seems to hold its own story or represents a caricature of someone we each may know.
As musicians, what fascinates me and guitarist Joe Ravo are, of course, the statues of musicians—specifically the instruments they are playing and the combinations of them. Not only do the players represented possess a lute-like mandola/bouzouki, a chitarra battente, a flute, and a tambourine—instruments common in Western European folk music of the 17th century, but they also hold a double bass-like violone, an early clarinet, some kind of eastern-Mediterranean bowed lyre, Persian and Asian drums, and maraca-like shakers—further-afield and rhythmic instruments that tell us that there was more to the parties the Prince hosted in the villa’s Hall of Mirrors than our history books lead us to believe.
My paternal grandmother, who immigrated to New York in the 1920s, grew up in the shadow of Villa Palagonia in Bagheria. It’s a place I’ve visited many times; a place that I find intriguing and inspirational. Bagheria is at the crossroads—between barons and peasants, between lemon orchards and fig orchards, between mountains and sea, between Europe and Africa, and between ancient mysteries and modern realities.
Eclectic, acoustic pop brushed with hues of Mediterranean folk is the avenue on which our new band Villa Palagonia perches—yet the side streets and dusty alleyways that we travel offer engaging timbres that are woven together by songs imparting tales of the old world and the new.
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 US Department of State. Percussionist and drummer Dave Mancuso has been heard throughout the US in The Lion King, in the orchestra of Broadway’s Spamalot, and as a member of various New York ensembles.
I’ve (Allison Scola) performed at venues as grand as Shea Stadium and as intimate as my cousin Evelina’s patio in Bagheria—a place where North, South, East, West and humanity collide.