Those who’ve seen Disney’s 1967 animated movie, The Jungle Book, will recognize Louis Prima’s husky, elastic voice, even if they’re not remotely familiar with his name or face. Then 57, Prima was cast as the zany orangutan, King Louie, who delivered one of the movie’s most memorable songs in the shape of “I Wanna Be Like You.” Given his long histor...

Louis Prima (1910-1978) represents, for me, the epitome of the joyful fun side of jazz and swing. If Prima and the other musicians in the band weren’t so accomplished and the standard of musicianship wasn’t so high then many of these arrangements would risk sounding seriously cheesy. Because the actual sound and swing of these guys is so huge, the...

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...

This interview with Charles Marsala, who is bringing great news to the world of the Italian American community in New Orleans and throughout the South East, was done right before the coronavirus pandemic broke out in Italy, and then a couple of weeks before it also arrived in the United States. It is therefore a picture of the world before the coro...

Saturday at 11:30am in conjunction with the Italian American Sports Banquet we are dedicating the first of two Sicilian Heritage Markers. This marker celebrates Sicilian contributions to Music in Jazz, Swing, and Rock 'n Roll. It mentions Nick LaRocca, Louis Prima, and Cosimo Matassa.  It contains a QR link to  a free tour app of Sicilian Heritage...

During this past summer, I attended my friend’s bachelor party in New Orleans. Prior to visiting the Crescent City, I had made preliminary arrangements to mix some business with pleasure and schedule an interview with Lena Prima, daughter of Louis Prima, the irrepressible, jazz trumpeter, singer and just a gigolo New Orleanian showman from the1930s...

If you’re of a certain age, you know Louis Prima's songs and wild on-stage antics from TV or Las Vegas.  If you’re younger, you know his songs recorded by younger artists like David Lee Roth and Brian Setzer or in TV commercials. Others know him as the singin’, swingin’ voice of King Louie in Disney’s animated film The Jungle Book. One thing’s for...

While the African American impact on jazz is recognized and well established, the contribution of Italian immigrants on jazz is not. Italians arrived in America playing mandolin, violin, guitar and piano. They brought traditions of Southern-Italian marching bands, opera and folk histories. Whether Neapolitan, Sicilian or Calabrese, they understood...

Rows upon rows of hills laced with vines intermingle with the curves of the G-clef: the history that has developed in Salaparuta is one-of-a-kind. With just under two thousand inhabitants, this municipality of Trapani is the symbol of the 1968 earthquake that occurred along the river Belice and destroyed the town’s historic center; but only a few p...

IN THE MOOD IN OUR OWN WAY: a documentary written, produced, directed and narrated by LUCA MARTERA, edited by CARLA BRANDOLINI, linguistic consultant and additional voice narration FRANK PISATURO. A Sexual Radar Production, 2018 https://vimeo.com/296585302 From the ancient Italian tradition of the Great Opera Houses to the Neapolitan melodies of 20...