Update: If you missed the live broadcast, listen to the archived show until 26 February 2016 at:
This Friday, February 19 during the 2-hour broadcast that starts at 11:04 AM New York time/17:04 Italy time, we’ll be on New York, New York a program on Radio Amica with host Sal Palmeri. You can hear it streaming at one of the following links:
We hope you’ll tune in to hear our interview and live performance!
We’re very much looking forward to sharing On Your Radar with John Platt of WFUV with Sonya Heller and Jay Hitt! We hope you’ll come along for the ride with us!
In July, Villa Palagonia, the music duo, visited Villa Palagonia, the estate in Bagheria, Palermo Province, in Sicily. Allison’s cousin, Filippo Buttitta took some beautiful photos of us being inspired by the “Villa of the Monsters.” As we finish our debut album, “Rhythms & Roots,” we were thrilled to have had the opportunity to return to the place that represents the roots of our musical concepts. There are more photos where these came from! These are just two of many that we’re ready to share right now.
Join us on the journey to complete “Rhythms & Roots.” We’ll be launching a pre-sale campaign in the weeks ahead. Sign our mailing list on the Contact page.
Here’s another photo, from the interior of Villa Palagonia.
I was listening to what I hope are the final mixes if Rhythms & Roots today, and I am very excited about the results of six months of work on this recording. Next stop: the mastering engineer will make it all sound shiny! Meanwhile, we’re creating a pre-sale campaign on PlegeMusic.com while we get the whole package ready for release. More on that soon!
Please join our community! We have are so excited to get this music out to you!
At the beginning of my favorite season–Summer, we’re playing some shows: We recently played the Positively 8th Street Festival in Greenwich Village, and on June 21 we’ll be at Pera Soho for Make Music New York. At the end of July/beginning of August, we’ll be at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival hanging with our peeps up in the camp grounds. Come find us in the Budgie Dome (http://budgiedome.org) for sure! On June 20, I’ll be in Danbury, CT on the Danbury Green for the World of Colors Celebration, where I’ll be teaching the tarantella. Because of that, I’m thinking of how I can do a mini-tarantella workshop in the fields of the farm at Falcon Ridge! Who is in?
At the end of June and beginning of July, Joe will be touring Belarus with the Johnny Rodgers Band on a cultural diplomacy tour for the U.S. State Department. I will be in Sicily soaking up ideas for our next songs until Joe joins me for a few days… and then, we’ll get inspired together as we tour the southeast part of the island and hopefully write a couple new tunes! We’ll see. We’re pretty particular about writing, but like last summer in Tuscany, I know we’ll be inspired by something along the way.
I am thrilled about all we have coming up and getting you involved in the music. We’ll hatch Rhythms & Roots soooon!
Ciao! All winter we’ve been recording and mixing our debut album, Rhythms and Roots. We are very much looking forward to getting this out to you. We’ve got a campaign in the planning and a introduction video to boot. If you haven’t heard us live yet, you’re in for a treat. Our objective is to entertain you and get you singing and dancing with us. So, stand by for more news about Rhythms & Roots coming soon!
We’re currently working on some performance dates. We’ll be out and about almost every weekend in June 2015 in New York City and Connecticut–all daytime and kid-friendly! Check out Events for details. And we’re starting to book shows for summer, fall, and winter. We just gotta get this record done! Let us know if you’d like us to bring our brand of acoustic world folk to a festival, stage, or house concert near you! Looking forward to seeing you in person really soon!
Pera Mediterranean in NY (September 12), NYC’s Feast of San Gennaro (September 14), Tappan, NY’s Italian Fest (September 14), Caffe’ Vivaldi (October 28), and more are on Villa Palagonia’s calendar for fall 2014. Furthermore, we’ve schedule a big photo shoot with photographer John Saponara (who photographed the cover of the best selling memoir Eat, Prey, Love), and we’ll be going into the studio to lay down tracks for our forthcoming album.
So after a marvelous two weeks writing new songs and rehearsing at La Chiara di Prumiano agriturismo in Tuscany, Italy in July, big things are afoot! Lots to do as we look forward to February 2015 when we’ll be featured on Chicago’s WFMT Folk Stage with Rich Warren and we release our debut record!
Stay tuned for details on all of the above on the Events page.
Villa Palagonia recently completed a successful tour of the mid-Western United States as part of Chicks with Dip’s” Joni Mitchell’s Blue: A Celebration.” We performed for wonderful, robust audiences at The Ark in Ann Arbor, MI, The Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, MI, and Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, IL (a sell-out!!). The highlight of the tour was a two-hour, live radio broadcast of “Blue” on WFMT’s Folk Stage hosted by Richard Warren.
Currently, Allison and Joe are writing new songs for a Villa Palagonia record to be released some time in 2015. Additionally, the band will be performing in the New York area in May, June, and July. (And perhaps in Sicily in August? …TBD!) See “Events” for details.
We hope you’ll join us!
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.