Carlo Aonzo is a worldwide known Italian mandolin performer . His recordings reflect his interests and skills relating to all different aspects of the mandolin repertoire: from the Paganini’s original works for mandolin (“Integrale per Amandorlino e Chitarra Francese”), to the Italian strings virtuosos of the turn of the century (“Serenata” with Beppe Gambetta and “Traversata” with the American Mandolin guru David Grisman).
A native of Savona, Italy, he grew up immersed in music, since his home itself hosted the music school of the “Circolo Mandolinistico G. Verdi”. Graduating with honors from the conservatory in Padua (1993), he has played for several prestigious institutions like the Philharmonic Orchestra of La Scala in Milan (Italy), the Nashville Chamber Orchestra (USA), the McGill Chamber Orchestra in Montreal (Canada), the Philharmonia of San Petersburg (Russia), the Minsk Chamber Soloist (Belarus), Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival (Germany).
Among his several awards are the first prize at the Concorso Internazionale “Pitzianti” in Venice (1993) including the “Vivaldi” special mention, and first prize at the Walnut Valley National Mandolin Contest in Winfield Kansas (1997).
Carlo’s deep interest in outreach activities focused on his instrument is witnessed by his countless collaborations with mandolin orchestras around the world, namely New York, Seattle, Portland, Providence, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Denver, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Montreal, Milan, Genoa, Lugano, Kochi, Nagoya, Osaka, Sendai, Wuppertal, Berlin, London, San Petersburg.
He is often invited as musical director and visiting faculty by the most important international mandolin institutions namely CMSA (Classical Mandolin Society of America), FAME (Federation of Australasian Mandolin Ensemble), EGMA (European Guitar and Mandolin Association) and called to judge in international music contests: Saigon Guitar Festival (Vietnam), Osaka Mandolin Competition (Japan), Yasuo-Kuwahara Competition Schweinfurt (Germany), Concorso Internazionale per Mandolino Solo in Modena (Italy).
He teaches seminars and workshops worldwide; since 2000 he has been leading the annual Manhattan Mandolin Workshop in New York (since 2017 in Milwaukee) and in 2006 he founded the International Italian Mandolin Accademia that he is still successfully directing and constantly expanding with new activities and camps (www.accademiamandolino.com).
In 2001 with his “Orchestra a Pizzico Ligure” he performed in Vatican city for the Pope Johannes Paul II. He later formed the plucked string instrument International Accademia’s Orchestra with which he toured USA for the releasing of the album “Mandolin Images” in 2011.
In duo with classical guitar, Carlo produced the albums “Paganini” (René Izquierdo) and “Kaze” (Katsumi Nagaoka).
In 2016 with the Carlo Aonzo Trio he released the album “A Mandolin Journey” on the international mandolin repertoire. With the baroque Ensemble “Il Falcone”, he recorded the complete Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons concertos for the first time ever performed on the mandolin.
For Mel Bay he has published the concert video “Carlo Aonzo: Classical Mandolin Virtuoso” and the book & cd collection “Northern Italian & Ticino Region Folk Songs for Mandolin”; while for Hal Leonard he has released the “Bach Two-Parts Inventions” and the “Classical Mandolin Solos”.
As a researcher, he has been working on the history of his instrument and collaborated with the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Furthermore he has given presentations on the iconography of the mandolin, in renowned institutions, including Dartmouth College, St. John’s University in New York, Boston University, New England Conservatory, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Vanderbilt College of Nashville, Vancouver Italian Cultural Centre, Berio Library in Genoa and National Instrument Museum in Rome.
He often appears in national Radio and TV programs and in December 2018 he performed at Carnegie Hall in New York.
The Growling Old Men don’t consider themselves old, nor do they growl very much. What they do is play acoustic music on mandolin, guitar, octave mandolin and vocals. Playing an eclectic mix of music including bluegrass, Americana, folk, swing, and original songs, these guys have made fans of their music everywhere they go.
Bluegrass — Folk — Americana
The sundogs are a Missoula duo featuring Laurie Banks on fiddle and bass, and Fred Lerch on acoustic guitar…you’ll hear a mix of Americana and folk-grass….originals mixed with covers of artists such as Mandolin Orange, Sarah Jarosz, Stringdusters, John Hiatt, and even Missoula’s own Little Smokies.
Chris Weist, Craig Patterson, Chris Zink, Aaron McCloskey, Taylor Shuck
Bluegrass has become a mainstay in Colorado. The music of the mountains speaks to us and we can feel it in our souls. When a band like Wood Belly comes along to channel it, the sky is the limit. Led by a pair of prolific songwriters, their songs are carefully and collectively crafted to ring out with honesty and passion.
Wood Belly blends traditional bluegrass with modern songwriting and whether you’re spinning your partner around or hanging on every word, the result is the same. You’re left smiling and wanting more. 2018 has been an exciting year as the group released their debut album, “Solid Ground” and won the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition.
Wood Belly was born when Chris Weist (Mandolin) met Craig Patterson (Guitar) and Chris Zink (Dobro) at the Rockygrass Festival in 2015. Within a year, they had teamed up with Aaron McCloskey (Banjo) and Taylor Shuck (Bass) and the music immediately fell into place. Since then the band has played at an ever-expanding list of great venues including the Mishawaka amphitheater, the Fox Theater (Boulder), and Cervantes (Denver). Their festival resume includes the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Rapidgrass, the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown, the Keystone Bluegrass and Beer Festival, The Wyoming State Bluegrass and BBQ festival, Snowygrass, Grapes and Grass, and more.
Christy Hays’ two recent EPs, O’ Montana and Caliche, reflect both the singer/songwriter’s complicated, dual nature and the sounds of the many places she’s called home. O’ Montana is a gorgeous folk and country-flavored solo collection and a natural progression from Hays’ 2012 album Drought. Caliche, on the other hand, is a band effort that indulges Hays’ occasional desire to plug-in and rock out. The result is an Americana rock and roll record with an occasional psychedelic flourish. Hays’ band, also called Caliche, came together after she met and formed a years-long partnership with the talented Lauren Gurgiolo of the Octopus Project (and a former guitarist with Okkervil River). Bassist Geena Spigarelli and drummer Andrew Gerfers bolster Caliche’s sound. Despite the difference in approach and musical styles, both EPs capture Hays’ distinctive artistic voice. Her songs resonate with a vulnerable rawness that exposes her emotional baggage and scar tissue, but never veer into self-pity. There is a sense of underlying optimism in her music and resiliency in her voice. Hays’ greatest source of inspiration is nature and wide-open spaces, themes often developed in her songs. The nomadic Hays, who arrived in Austin after an extended stint in Nashville, often tours her former stomping grounds of Alaska, where she lived for nearly five years doing a variety of odd jobs, including a couple summers working as a river guide and living in a cabin with no electricity or running water. A native of the small central Illinois town of Tuscola, Hays can also escape the faster pace of Austin and find a quiet space to write in Butte, Montana. She recently purchased a house that wasn’t actually for sale when she stumbled across it and bonded with its owner, a nationally-acclaimed writer. He negotiated a generous deal with Hays when she shared her vision of the house as an artists’ retreat. Hays has graced stages throughout the U.S. and toured internationally. She’s been an official performer at SXSW, and she’s worked with the likes of Bruce Robison and Hayes Carll. Hays has also collaborated with some of the top talent in Austin, including The Carper Family, Jonathan Terrell, Ali Holder, Brennen Leigh, and members of Wood and Wire. Hays grew up listening to ‘60s and ‘70s rock and country and ‘90s alternative, before being turned onto singer-songwriters like Patty Griffin, Kasey Chambers, and Kathleen Edwards. But from the beginning, she was inspired by her musician father Steve Hays, whose first guitar (“a lovely, vintage Gibson”) she still plays today. Fans of artists like Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, Joe Pug, the Old 97’s and Neil Young will find much to love in the music of Christy Hays. (The above written courtesy of Travis Truitt for ChristyHays.com.) The talented singer/songwriter has quickly made Southwest Montana her home away from home, performing at countless venues in her relatively short tenure under the Big Sky. In anticipation of a handful of more upcoming local shows, The Rolling Zone was able to get Christy on the phone during her trek north from her Texas base. Despite a quick loss of cell service, the itinerant musician shared some stories of life always on the road and how fully committing herself to the craft has shaped her future.
“Beautiful music, beautiful souls. These are the priceless experiences that hold true worth in this journey.”
Terry Robb is hailed as one of the finest acoustic guitarists on the international scene and a virtuoso of acoustic blues guitar. His signature fingerpicking style landed him in the Oregon Music Hall of Fame and earned him international acclaim from worldwide audiences, esteemed music critics and his distinguished peers. In his latest album Confessin My Dues, Robb draws on his deep knowledge of Delta blues, ragtime and swing in 13 original compositions ranging from blistering instrumental blues and stunning ragtime fingerpicking to soulful singing backed by a powerhouse rhythm section. From country blues to Coltrane, ragtime to Hendrix, Americana to American Primitivism, Confessin’ My Dues will captivate listeners with its melodic and rhythmic invention and musical virtuosity. “Confessin’ My Dues is yet another example of Terry Robb doing what he does best – leaving us with a sense of awe and joy with every note he plays. It’s a winning formula that continues to lead the pack.” – Cascade Blues Association
HIGH-RES PHOTOS: http://bit.ly/TerryRobbPromoPhotos
- Solo Medley: “How A Free Man Feels” (acoustic guitar and vocals) & “Butch Holler Stomp” (instrumental acoustic guitar): http://bit.ly/ConfessinMyDuesSoloMedley
- “Judge Boushay Blues” (slide guitar and vocals): http://bit.ly/TR-JudgeBoushayBlues
“Cool On The Bloom” exclusive for Vintage Guitar Magazine (instrumental acoustic guitar): http://bit.ly/TerryRobbVintageGuitarVideo
A new and enchanting sound has emerged from the hotbed of the Colorado roots music scene. Masontown, a young band with a concept as timeless as the Rocky Mountains, has alighted onto a bluegrass community that has already produced some of the best that the acoustic music world has to offer. But Colorado, and the wider world of modern music, hasn’t quite heard this yet.
A lauded fiddle champion and classical violinist. A veteran bluegrass mandolin player and composer. One of Colorado’s jazz guitar greats reborn as a flatpicking sensation. An upright bassist with roots running deep in the classical and jazz traditions. These are the individual elements that come together to create Masontown.
Masontown’s sound is a exciting take on the American acoustic tradition. At once fresh and familiar, the group unites the sounds of bluegrass, old-time, folk, and new acoustic music into a sonic melting pot that hearkens back to our deep musical traditions while remaining defiantly modern in conception. Echoes of the poignant exploration of the Matt Flinner Trio blend with the fierce drive of Bill Monroe and the plaintive song-craft of Cahalen Morrison and Eli West. It’s no surprise that the members of Masontown have shared the stage with many of these musical icons that their sound evokes.
The listening halls and dance floors of Colorado have already begun to hail the arrival of this new force in the acoustic music community. Masontown is a band on the move, driven to delight the ears, touch the hearts, and move the feet of generations of music lovers in Colorado and far beyond.
Soon after arriving in Seattle, Jason McCue was ready to quit performing music for good.
After exploring Philadelphia’s voluminous DIY scene while studying for a year at Drexel University, the alt-folk songwriter moved across the country and enrolled at Seattle University. Armed with a guitar and a batch of quirky acoustic numbers, a not-so-confident McCue tepidly set out to break into Seattle’s house-show circuit. It didn’t go so well.
The young transplant, who grew up in a small Pennsylvania town, landed spots on two “huge” house shows in front of about 90 people. While larger more up-tempo bands got the ready-to-party crowd moving, they were largely indifferent to his spindly solo folk songs.
“I went into it thinking, ‘Yeah cool, so many people will see me!’ ” recalls the 21-year-old, bellied up at a Cherry Street Coffee House near campus. “But it was really 10 people who were watching me and then 80 people who were partying.”
However, since those rocky first Seattle gigs, McCue has been on a creative tear, releasing four albums in the past two years, including his new “PANGAEA” LP due Friday, March 9, via Portland’s Fluff & Gravy Records. He plays a release show Friday in Washington Hall’s Lodge Room, a venue chosen in part because he’s still getting comfortable playing Seattle’s more raucous bar scene.
The more friends the self-described introvert made, the more he explored his new city, and with subsequent shows found pockets of the Seattle scene more his speed. Eventually, McCue hooked up with a loose collective of creative Seattle University students called Friends and Friends of Friends, which threw house shows and other “artsy events where people could be themselves.”