While in Italy last year I had the great opportunity to not only learn about the Italian culture and language, but some of the folk music that gives Italy a distinctive musical voice. I had previously met Bruno Spagna in St. Louis when he was in America for a frame drum festival. Bruno not only plays the tamburello (the italian word for tambourine) but he also makes and sells them. He is extremely knowledgable of many of the techniques and different regional styles of Italian folk music. I made an effort to go study with him at his beautiful house in the mountains of Caiazzo whenever possible!
Here is a little audio clip from one of our lessons. Here, Bruno is demonstrating one of the common folk songs in Italy.
Hannah and I also had some fun crashing a folk music festival in a small village near where we were staying in Formia. Below is a picture that Hannah took of me watching and playing some tamburello in one of the group jam sessions.
Here is a great video of Bruno describing the different styles and techniques of the folk music in Italy!
I felt such a special connection with this music ever since I first heard it a few years back on some Alan Lomax field recordings. Our time in Italy was probably one of the most incredible experiences either of us has had in life so far. Very thankful for that opportunity and looking forward to showing you guys some tamburello music sometime soon. 🙂