Yes. Peppe Voltarelli is Back!
Born in Italy's troubled Calabria region, the 43 year old Voltarelli's work is a modern Italian's musical take on the diaspora of tightly linked Calabrian immigrant communities that continue to thrive throughout Europe and the Americas, and their common experience in a land plagued by criminality and constant political and economic crisis.
At Barbes and Drom Voltarelli will perform a set drawn from "Il viaggio, I padri, l'appartenenza" (the Voyage, the Fathers, the Belonging), a one-man musical monologue in which the artist recounts his own journey from the South to North of Italy and on to Germany, Argentina and America. Combining his own songs with works from influences such as Pier Paolo Pasolini, Roberto Saviano and Domenico Modugno, Voltarelli accompanies himself on guitar and accordion in a tour de force of new "Canzone Italiana" offering a satirical social commentary on Italian identity in today's world.
Continuing a collaboration with Calabrian film director Giuseppe Gagliardi, Voltarelli recently wrote the score for the film "Tatanka" which was adapted from the novel by Roberto Saviano (Gomorra). New York filmgoers have already had the opportunity to see Peppe Voltarelli in a leading role in Gagliardi's 2006 mockumentary feature "La Vera Leggenda di Tony Villar" (The Real Legend of Tony Villar), which showed in official selection at the 2007 TriBeCa Film Festival. The semi-biographical plot follows the path of a contemporary Italian singer (Voltarelli), on the trail of a crooner from his Calabrian village (Villar), who found fame and fortune in 1960's Argentina and eventually disappeared into anonymity in the Bronx's Italian community along Arthur Avenue. Voltarelli and Gagliardi first collaborated on "Doichlanda", a 2003 documentary about Italian immigration to Germany -- their ongoing music and film relationship producing numerous award winning video clips.
Peppe Voltarelli is a founding member of "Il Parto delle Nuvole Pesanti" (The Birth of the Heavy Clouds) one of Italy's seminal bands of the 1990's, whose style is a mix of rock and Calabrian folk traditions. Voltarelli's path as a touring musician has lead him to collaborations with other cutting edge Italian artists exploring similar mixes of old world and new world sounds, such as the German-born Italian raised Vinicio Capossela, Sicilian Roy Paci (Manu Chao) and Neopolitan Daniele Sepe.
Voltarelli has also contributed music and text to Italy's theatrical stage with a 2001 work on the life of Domenico Modugno, the multiple Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter who penned one of the most well known Italian popular songs in the world, 1958's San Remo Festival winning "Nel blu dipinto di blu", more commonly know as "Volare". Along with the Florence-based Krypton troupe, Voltarelli composed the original music for "Roccu u Stortu" (Rocco the Crooked), the anti-war saga of a Calabrian soldier's desertion in WWI. An active pacifist, Voltarelli traveled to Iraq in 2003 to participate in a peace concert held in Bagdad's Palestine Hotel, an account of which can be seen in the documentary "Sotto il cielo di Baghdad" (Under the Baghdad Sky).
Voltarelli is also a published author with a collection poetry and songs in Calabrian dialect with English translation.
Saturdays, November 10, 17, 24, December 1 at 7pm
376 9th Street, Brooklyn, NY
Saturday, December 8 at 9pm
85 Avenue A, New York, NY