Italian song legend at Festival 2018

Feb 20, 2018 1174

MUSIC. It’s a big part of the heart and soul of Italy, and it’s always a big part of the NM Italian Film & Culture Festival. The festival has long emphasized local Italian music talent, and this year will be no different. Opening night features a trio from Chamber Music Campania – an upbeat, audience-engaging organization on a mission to dispel the myth that opera and classical music are stuffy or elite.

Il gran finale closing event brings back, by popular demand, Erskine Maytorena and Kimberly Robinson with opera aria favorites to accompany dinner at Scalo Northern Italian Grill. And it wouldn’t be an Italian celebration without the Italian music vibe of Absolutely Evergreen’s sweethearts, Donatella and Ennio, who will perform during the Friday evening event, Michela’s Café.

But the big news is that there will be a bitter-sweet musical moment at Festival 2018 when Italian song legend John Zito takes hold of the microphone for his last public appearance. Once part of The Valentino’s – a late 60’s/early 70’s sensation in the New York City area – Zito has performed for the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, and has appeared on the same program with stars like Sammy Davis Jr., Connie Francis, Jerry Vale, and Sergio Franchi. No one can put over a Neapolitan love song like John Zito. After his move to Albuquerque, he continued to perform at Summerfests, on UNM Radio, and for numerous Italian-themed celebrations in New Mexico. At the festival’s Friday evening event, Zito, now in his late 70’s, will be joined by his old trio partner, Valentino Lo Sauro, coming in from Florida to play accordion and commemorate Zito’s retirement.

Enjoy these YouTube memories and then get your tickets to Michela’s Café (before they sell out). Friday, March 16 at the Hiland Theater, Albuquerque and join in a final round of applause for Italian song legend, John Zito!


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