Award-winning singer Lena Prima is the youngest daughter of music icon Louis Prima and his singing sidekick (and fifth wife), Gia Maione. A Las Vegas native, Lena spent much of her childhood in her father’s hometown of New Orleans, where she now resides and performs regularly. With seven albums to her credit, her sixth and seventh on Basin Street R...

They've been a tradition since the late 1800s, when Sicilian immigrants settled in New Orleans, and they're still going on, pandemic aside. Elaborate St. Joseph's Altars are unveiled every March 19, as Catholics mark the feast day of the saint who provided relief during a famine in Sicily. There are some changes: Fewer meals will be served, and mas...

On Oct. 15, 1890, New Orleans police chief David Hennessey was shot as he was walking home late at night. Hennessey returned fire, but was mortally wounded. When police captain William O’Connor asked him, “Who gave it to you, Dave?” Hennessey whispered “dagoes,” a racist term for Italians. “ASSASSINATED,” read the front-page headline on the New Orl...

The Italian American St. Joseph Society parade and gala are canceled this year, as mass gatherings are prohibited under coronavirus regulations, the society announced this week. It's the second year the events have been called off due to the pandemic. The 51-year-old organization plans the parade through the French Quarter every year, and follows i...

Volpi Foods announces a new website and packaging for the 119-year-old St. Louis-based, 4th-generation family-owned and operated producer of specialty cured meats. Volpi’s new look brings to life the family cured and crafted brand, highlighting the company’s heritage and dedication to quality. Customers will begin to find the bold, updated branding...

Throughout his long career, Louis Prima was a New Orleans-based trumpeter, a good-humored singer, and a lovable personality. While his wide-ranging career can easily be divided into three periods, Prima’s image was always consistent. He both celebrated and made fun of his Italian heritage, displayed the influence of Louis Armstrong in both his sing...

On this week’s episode of the Italian American Podcast, we’re going back to the Big Easy to chat with our friends Lena Prima and Charles Marsala to get an inside look at their new web-TV series, “Buona Sera Louisiana,” a weekly show about the Italian culture of the Pelican State and beyond! These two Italian American champions are no strangers to o...

Being born into a loving Sicilian-Louisiana family, nurtured within the heart of New Orleans’ multicultural mélange of fabulous food, music, art and celebrations, gave me a perspective that I now acknowledge as truly extraordinary! Earliest memories are sensuous–fresh-baked schicciata, earthy pan bread pressed to perfection by loving hands, pungent...

Tucked into Decatur Street in the middle of New Orleans’ French Quarter, Central Grocery and Deli is a third generation, old-fashioned grocery store founded in 1906 by Salvatore Lupo, a Sicilian immigrant who was famous for creating the muffuletta. The 115-year-old shop hasn’t changed, and the muffuletta has been sliced and carved the exact same wa...

In 1806, less than a dozen homes existed upriver in New Orleans in what is now the Garden District. In that year, City Planner Barthelemy Lafon designed Place du Tivoli which was surrounded by Tivoli Circle as the street. Tivoli comes from Tivoli Gardens near Rome. Numerous cities around the world have named places after Tivoli. New Orleans has the...