Quel Mazzolin di Fiori: I Campagnoli and the Italian American Folk Revival

Oct 20, 2017 116

BY: MELISSA MARINARO

Musicologist Alan Lomax stated that “the first function of music, especially of folk music, is to produce a feeling of security for the listener by voicing the particular quality of a land and the life of its people.” Apropos that the Italian Sons and Daughters of America’s folk music and dance troupe would call themselves I Campagnoli, which translates to “of the people” in English. Beginning in the mid-1960s, Pittsburgh’s premiere Italian folk troupe traveled the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond and cultivated a following of thousands as they performed in the dialects of Northern, Central, and Southern Italy, as well as Sicily and Sardinia.

More than just purveyors of pure entertainment, the members of I Campagnoli recognized their role as the keepers of “at-risk” traditions; they were acutely aware of the loss of Italian language skills among the descendants of Italian immigrants and the loss of dialect and folk customs of Italy. Their canon embodies a pan-Italian sound that could have only formed in the Italian diaspora and their live performances offered an escape for their immigrant fans that longed for the sounds of their homeland.

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SOURCE: http://ciaostl.com

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