2019 Entertainment Line-up:


2019 Headliners:


KC and the Sunshine Band

KC and the Sunshine Band

Saturday, July 20 at 9 PM – Harley-Davidson Roadhouse Stage

Festa is excited to welcome KC and the Sunshine Band to headline Saturday, July 20! With over 100 million records sold, three Grammy Awards and an American Music Award, Festa-goers can dust of their disco shoes and shake until they drop with one of music’s most iconic groups! Celebrating 40 years of getting people on the dance floor, KC and the Sunshine Band defined the sound of the 1970s and is hailed as one of the decade’s most progressive bands, creating a groove that still resonates in modern pop music. The unique fusion of R&B and funk, with a hint of Latin percussion, resulted in an impressive string of hits like “Get Down Tonight,” “That’s The Way (I Like It)” and “Shake Your Booty.”

KC and the Sunshine Band gave a voice to a generation, helped define an entire culture, and continues to make a lasting impact on music fans today. With over four decades of success, the group, led by Harry Wayne “KC” Casey, has been in a state of perpetual renewal as they are consistently introduced to new generations of fans – thanks in part to their music being featured in over 200 motion picture soundtracks, television shows and in national advertising campaigns. KC’s songs are always fun and truly makes all who hear it happy enough to dance!

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Phil Vassar

Phil Vassar

Sunday, July 21 at 9 PM – Harley-Davidson Roadhouse Stage

Festa is thrilled to welcome back Milwaukee favorite, award-winning singer/songwriter Phil Vassar, in his only Milwaukee summer performance Sunday, July 21 at 9 p.m. Vassar’s “Histeria Tour” celebrates 20 years of chart-topping hits including 10 number one singles and 26 Top 40 hits. Vassar is sure to have Festa-goers rocking out to his reign of signature songs, including “Carlene,” “Just Another Day in Paradise,” “Six-Pack Summer,” “When I Love You” and many more. Vassar was racking up hits on the radio long before he even began his own recording career, which has thus far resulted in the release of seven albums, two ASCAP Songwriter of the Year trophies, ACM’s Top New Male Vocalist, and sold-out shows across the country. Vassar always puts on a spectacular show and Festa-goers can look forward to enjoying all of Phil’s best in his only Milwaukee summer performance at Festa!

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Friday, July 19 at 9:30 PM – Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

The Femmes of Rock, starring Bella Electric Strings and led by rock violinist and arranger Nina DiGregorio, are ready to rock Festa 2019 with their blistering solos and unique arrangements – not to mention their beauty and charm. The Femmes of Rock have performed with some of the biggest names in the business, from Beyoncé to Shakira to Andrea Bocelli, and appeared on America’s Got Talent. Bella Electric Strings were also recently featured in a David Foster and Friends concert alongside the legendary songwriter and producer.

Performing the music of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Queen, Pink Floyd, The Eagles, Van Halen and more, Femmes of Rock takes Bella Strings to a whole new level. All-new arrangements, original material, a live rock band, video, lights, choreography, comedy and more are in store for this high-energy show that is sure to leave Festa-goers in awe. The only one of its kind in the world, there are no other similar string acts operating at this level of production.

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2019 Entertainers:

The Voices with Angelo Venuto

Friday, July 19 at 9 PM – Miller Lite Oasis

Born in Sicily and raised with six brothers and sisters, Angelo Venuto was always a fan of music and has dedicated his life to it. He even taught himself how to play guitar prior to moving to the United States at age 10 and growing up in the Italian community of Bensonhurst in Brooklyn. As he continued learningto play multiple instruments, his musical talents led him to perform at Carnegie Hall with legendary performers like Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin and Tony Bennett. Later, he and his brothers formed the band Caleps – whose name derives from the initials of each band member. Together, Angelo and his brothers played for the Jerry Lewis telethon at the Ed Sullivan Tehatre in New York City, as well as many other locations around the world, including the Caribbean and Europe. Today, Angelo performs with his band Voices, who share his love for Italian music and performing around the world. Festa-goers are in for an authentic Italian treat with the moving sounds of Angelo Venuto!

Listen to Angelo Venuto and Voices: NEW YORK Italian American BAND VOICES MUSIC on YouTube

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Tony Spavone

Tony Spavone

Friday, July 19 at 5 PM – Miller Lite Oasis

Saturday, July 20 at 1 PM – Miller Lite Oasis

Sunday, July 21 at 3 PM – Miller Lite Oasis

Tony Spavone received classical music training at the Conservatory of Chicago under the instruction of Maestro Dino Florentino. Later, he returned to Italy for additional training to perfect his Neapolitan style of singing. After returning from Italy, he performed with many other Italian singers in the Chicago area, opening and performing with infamous entertainers like Paul Anka, Nancy Sinatra, The Four Lads, Vicki Carr, Sergio Franchi and Bobby Riddell. His style can be heard on his four self-produced albums, “Core N’ Grato,” “Canta Napoli,” “Neapolitan Classics” and “Smile.”

Listen Now: “The Godfather Theme” – Tony Spavone with BtW’s Guerinteed Band on YouTube

Joe Scalissi

Joe Scalissi

Friday, July 19 at 3 PM – Miller Lite Oasis

Saturday, July 20 at 7 PM – Miller Lite Oasis

Sunday, July 21 at 5 PM – Miller Lite Oasis

Festa-goers will think they’ve stepped back in time when they hear Joe Scalissi in this year’s entertainment lineup. Joe has been performing his tribute show, Joe Scalissi Sings Dean Martin for over 20 years, and has performed at the annual Dean Martin Celebration in Steubenville, Ohio more times than one can count. Festa is thrilled to host Joe at this year’s festival where his performance mannerisms, voice and quick wit are 100% Dino!

Listen Now: Dean Martin impersonator – Joe Scalissi on YouTube

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Jenna Esposito

Jenna Esposito

Friday, July 19 at 2:30 PM – Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

Friday, July 19 at 7 PM – Miller Lite Oasis

Saturday, July 20 at 11 PM – Miller Lite Oasis

Sunday, July 21 at 1 PM – Miller Lite Oasis

Vocalist Jenna Esposito has been delighting audiences across the country with her dynamic, high-energy, Italian-American shows since 2004. She is known for her tributes to “The Great Italian-American Songbook,” which celebrate the original songs of Italy, as well as songs made famous by fellow Italian-Americans. Jenna often sings tributes to Connie Francis and Dean Martin in addition to her passion for rock and pop music of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Festa is thrilled to have Jenna perform in celebration of Italian culture on Milwaukee’s lakefront!

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The Sicilian Tenors Featuring Aaron Caruso, Sam Vitale and Vincent Ricciardi

The Sicilian Tenors Featuring Aaron Caruso, Sam Vitale and Elio Scaccio

Friday, July 19 at 1 PM – Miller Lite Oasis – *Aaron Caruso solo performance

Saturday, July 20 at 5 PM – Miller Lite Oasis

Sunday, July 21 at 7 PM – Miller Lite Oasis

The Sicilian Tenors bring together three marvelous Tenor voices, each singing their own interpretation of the world’s best music in a recital format! The Sicilian Tenors return to Festa once again to “wow” festival-goers with a romantic journey from Hollywood to Broadway to Italy. Combined with light-hearted fun, this is a concert for all ages to enjoy!

Aaron Caruso has been performing on stage since the age of 6, and attended the world renowned “Interlochen Arts Academy” for high school. He earned his bachelor degree in Vocal Performance with an Italian Minor from the University of Michigan. He speaks four languages fluently, and can sing in Russian, Latin and German. He studied Opera abroad in Italy, and in New York City, with Maestro Luigi Veccia, a student of Marcello and Mario Del Monaco, for 8 years. Aaron specializes in Classic Neapolitan music.

Sam Vitale is a graduate of the University of Michigan, School of Music, and continued his studies in New York City under the late Maestro Luigi Veccia. Sam has performed the lead tenor roles in Carmen, La Traviata, Rigoletto, The Phantom of the Opera, Don Giovanni and Pagliacci. Sam is a proud United States Air Force veteran of both Operations Desert Shield & Desert Storm. While in the Air Force, he won first place in the World Wide Tops In Blue Competition, Classical Division.

Elio Scaccio, a performing artist since early childhood, has been singing his entire life. In college, he focused special attention on studying jazz vo- cal technique and performance. He continued classical training at the renowned Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins. Since that time, he has trained under the supervision of several renowned opera tenors, but he has always maintained his unmis- takable pop essence. Elio is a “cross- over” performer, singing classical, pop standards, Italian ethnic, and oc- casionally, vintage rock.

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Ray Massa’s EuroRhythms

Ray Massa’s EuroRhythms

Saturday, July 20 at 3 PM – Miller Lite Oasis

Sunday, July 21 at 9 PM – Miller Lite Oasis

Get Ready for a Feast of Italian/American Musical Tributes, From the Classic of Naples, Traditional Italian to the Swing Sounds of Louie Prima, smooth vocals of Dean Martin, the Harmonies of the Jersey Boys to the Current Pop Sounds of Italian Rock!
One of the most consistently sought after Italian/American musical variety acts, Ray Massa’s Eurorhythms have been acclaimed for their ability to captivate the younger “Pop Culture” audiences while simultaneously thrilling established fans of Italian & Swing music.

Their professional musical talents are complimented with six vocalists including Ray Massa/Accordion (Parents from the Campania Region), Tony DiMelfi/Lead Vox and Guitar (Grandparents from the Basilicata Region), Gaetano Nicolosi/Drummer (Born and raised in Catania Sicily), Tommaso Davoli/Guitar & Keys (Grandparents from the Region of Calabria), David DePalma/Sax (Grandparents from the Campania Region), Jerry Parsons  Bass/Vox, David Miller/Trumpet and Scott Baker/Sound Engineer.

Ray Massa’s EuroRhythms are a Huge Hit at Italian Festivals and Concerts All over the US and even in Italy! They promise to keep you dancing in real Italian style!

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Frankie Moreno

Frankie Moreno

Saturday, July 20 at 9 PM – Miller Lite Oasis

Las Vegas’s three time Headliner of the Year – Frankie Moreno – brings his modern take on piano-pounding classic rock ‘n roll, expert songwriting and an electric stage presence that will have Festa-goers on their feet from start to finish! Having just hit the Billboard charts with his fourth new album, “This is Frankie Moreno,” he becomes the first artist in Billboard history to chart four new albums in less than one year.

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Noyz Boyz & Gyrlz

Noyz Boyz & Gyrlz

Friday, July 19 at 1 PM – Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

Friday, July 19 at 5 PM – U.S. Cellular

Saturday, July 20 at 1:30 PM – U.S. Cellular

Sunday, July 21 at 2 PM – U.S. Cellular

The Noyz Boyz & Gyrlz are a 10-piece horn band performing rockin’ rhythm & blues hits from the late ‘50s to today’s top hits. Three saxophones, two trumpets, one trombone and Piano/Bass/Guitar/Drums back up three fabulous vocalists pay homage to Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, Ray Charles, The Temptations, Pat Benatar, Joe Cocker, The Supremes and many more! For Festa-goers who love to dance, the Boyz Boyz & Gyrlz love to play and will keep your feet moving all night long.

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Breezy Rodio

Breezy Rodio

Friday, July 19 at 5:30 PM – Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

Saturday, July 20 at 1 PM – Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

Sunday, July 21 at 1 PM – Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

Breezy Rodio has become a globetrotting ambassador for Chicago blues serving up tough, uncompromising sounds wherever he performs. After releasing his first solo album, Playing My Game Too, in 2011, Breezy worked with a variety of Windy City legends for his next record. This included collaborating with guitarists Lurrie Bell and Carl Weathersby, harpist Billy Branch, and organist Chris Foreman – culminating in his second album release So Close To It, in 2015. This album earned Rodio rave reviews in blues magazines worldwide, and earned him the number two spot in the Chicago Blues category of the nationwide Roots Music Report. Breezy has toured South America, Europe, Japan, Mexico and Canada. He has played countless blues festivals and still plays many of Chicago’s local venues.

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Russo Brothers

Russo Brothers

Friday, July 19 at 7:30 PM – Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

Saturday, July 20 at 5 PM – Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

Sunday, July 21 at 3 PM – Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

One of Festa’s favorites returns to this year’s festival! Italian-American brothers Nick and Dominic Russo are highly energetic and entertaining, bringing modern, upbeat arrangements of classic Italian-American artists like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Louis Prima to Festa Italiana this year. The Russo brothers grew up right outside of Milwaukee and have performed at Festa Italiana for over 15 years! Their success has led them to perform at Italian festivals around the country. Nick plays the piano, sings and arranges their music, while Dominic sings, entertains and captivates the audience. With their unique band arrangements, remarkable harmonies and brotherly banter, the Russo Brothers put on a show that will surely put a big Italian smile on all Festa-goers’ faces!

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The Four C Notes

The Four C Notes

Saturday, July 20 at 3 PM – Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

Sunday, July 21 at 5 PM – Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

Created by John Michael Coppola, best known for his appearance in Chicago’s long running production of the Broadway smash hit JERSEY BOYS, the Four C Notes are the Midwest’s only tribute dedicated to recreating the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons! While they call Chicago home, they have been seen at private events, performing arts centers and outdoor festivals across the country! The Four C Notes will bring their melodic tribute of features to Festa this year, including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Workin’ My Way Back To You, (Babe),” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You,” “Let’s Hang On,” and many more…

Listen to the Four C Notes: The Four C Notes on YouTube

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Strange Magic

Strange Magic

Saturday, July 20 at 7 PM – Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

Strange Magic is the authentic re-creation of legendary ’70s rock band ELO (Electric Light Orchestra), a multimedia show featuring not only music but background imagery and film. A seven-piece group of multi-instrumentalists perform all of the sounds used in a real ELO show, including vintage keyboards, live cellos and intricate vocal arrangements. Strange Magic unleashes a span of ELO hits, including Living “Thing,” “Evil Woman,” “Strange Magic,” “Don’t Bring Me Down,” “Ma Ma Belle,” “Shine A Little Love,” and more! Get ready to time-travel back to the classic rock era of the ’70s! It doesn’t get any closer than this!

Listen to Strange Magic: Strange Magic on YouTube

Hotel California

Sunday, July 21 at 7 PM – Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

For almost three decades, Hotel California have been recreating the legendary sound of The Eagles and thrilling audiences all over the world. Since 1986, they’ve remained the industry leading substitute for The Eagles, playing to huge outdoor and arena audiences, sharing bills with some of rock’s legends, and going places no tribute band has gone before. With incredible lead vocal similarity, intensely accurate instrumental work, soaring harmonies, and top flight live performances, Hotel California is ready to rock Festa Italiana this year. With over a century of collective professional experience in the band today, they’re still going stronger than ever!

Listen to Hotel California: Hotel California on YouTube

Cory Pesaturo

Cory Pesaturo

Friday, July 19 at 4 PM – Harley-Davidson Roadhouse

Saturday, July 20 at 11 PM – U.S. Cellular Stage

Sunday, July 21 at 6 PM – Cucina Stage

Festa is honored to welcome back World Digital Accordion Champion and World Acoustic Accordion Champion Cory Pesaturo (“C Pez”) to this year’s festival. Pesaturo is one the foremost accordion players in the world, pushing the boundaries on multiple fronts of what is possible with the accordion. As the first musician to ever major and graduate in the accordion from the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA, Pesaturo’s main contribution is his visionary thinking of how the accordion should be used, played and presented in the modern music world. Longtime Festa performer and Accordion legend Dick Contino said when Cory was only 15 “Of all the accordionists I’ve seen over the years, Cory is the one to pass the torch to, the only one who has all the tools to bring the accordion back to its former glory.” Pesaturo is also a Guinness World Record Holder, having played the accordion for over 32 hours. Pesaturo’s resume also includes appearances at the White House for President and Mrs. Clinton. Festa is excited to bring Pesaturo’s wonderful talent to Festa Italiana in 2019!

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Listen to Cory Pesaturo: Cory Pesaturo Highlights – Revolutionizing the Accordion – “CPEZ” on YouTube

Keith Pulvermacher

Keith Pulvermacher

Friday, July 19 at 7 PM – U.S. Cellular

Milwaukee heartland artist, guitarist, writer and producer Keith Pulvermacher embraces rock, blues and folk, while transcending all genres. A true activist, Keith’s music goes beyond politics, religion and race. He raises funds through artistry and charity, fulfilling needs through his website Following his 2014 collection, “Midwestern,” which focuses on acoustic-driven songs about hometown roots, reflection and homecoming, he recently released the Nashville masterpiece, “45 Story,” a collection of songs written to inspire and unite us all.

Listen to Keith Pulvermacher: Keith Pulvermacher Band Summerfest 2016 Go Down To The River on YouTube

Liam Ford Band

Liam Ford Band

Saturday, July 20 at 9 PM – U.S. Cellular

The Liam Ford Band is a three-time WAMI award-winning quartet that has been regularly performing in the Midwest for over thirteen plus years. They are best described as an energetic, virtuosic ensemble fitting into the Americana genre and beyond. They are currently completing a new LP of exciting original material, which will be available early this summer!

Front man Liam Ford is no stranger to local music scenes in both the Milwaukee area and in Los Angeles, where he spent the last 10 years making a name for himself in and around southern California. During the 80s, he earned local recognition as the hard-rockin’ leader of the band Big Bang Theory, as well as other regional bands. Besides his dynamic vocals, Liam also delivers a high-energy guitar performance and on-stage moves that are sure to get Festa attendees up on their feet, dancing or singing along at every show.

Andy Pagel, WAMI nominated drummer, is well known to area audiences and musicians. His multi-year stint with the popular band, Western Box Turtles, earned him widespread recognition as a respected drummer. Andy also doubles on smooth background vocals.

Frank Calarco, WAMI nominated guitarist, has been a local guitar legend with a characteristic style that has him constantly playing since the 1980s. Fans remember his unique contribution to The Lazarus Effect from 1989-1992. When Frank solos, everyone cheers.

Jeff Hoormann, aka “Jeff the Bassman”, also shares vocals and has spent nearly three decades playing with bands in both the South and the Midwest, including Diamond Alley, award-winning UXB, WAMI winner Sig Snopek, Big Bang, Lynn Roginske, The Amigos and currently, The All American Jazz Orchestra. Put together, these hard-drivin’, experienced talents make the most exciting top-notch performance package to hit the stage and take Festa-goers for a musical ride.

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The Flat Cats with Amanda Wolff & Myles Hayes

The Flat Cats with Amanda Wolff & Myles Hayes

Friday, July 19 at 9 PM – U.S. Cellular

Based in Chicago, Amanda Wolff & the Flat Cats play a range of vintage and modern music rooted in the hottest swinging jazz and blues, contemporary classics and timeless standards. Whether you choose to listen, tap your foot, or cut a rug on the dance floor, Festa-goers will be entertained all weekend long! The group is comprised of six talented musicians with years of performing, arranging and composing experience. For this very special performance, Myles Hayes will join the band and share his care-free charisma that personifies the legacy of his jazz predecessors.

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Jayne Taylor

Jayne Taylor

Saturday, July 20 at 3 PM – U.S. Cellular

Jayne Taylor, a multi-award winning singer/songwriter/recording artist, has been captivating audiences at major theaters across Wisconsin. Performing at festivals like Summerfest, Taylor sings a variety of music ranging from retro pop to retro country. In addition to singing at notable music venues, she has also sung at Miller Park stadium to a crowd of 35,000 people. Ready to show Festa Italiana her melodic chops, Taylor also sings in several foreign languages, including Italian, French, Spanish and English. She even recorded songs in Italian, Spanish, French, and English on her  last CD. Taylor has also hosted and produced her own weekly TV show, “The Jayne Taylor Show,” and is currently working on her third CD.


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Buffalo Gospel

Buffalo Gospel

Saturday, July 20 at 5 PM – U.S. Cellular

Buffalo Gospel delivers heartfelt and heartbreaking timeless Country/Western and Americana arrangements. Bleary, haggard, emotion shines through in the raw lyrical honesty set against a tapestry of powerful minimalism. In a genre plagued by carbon copy insincerity, Buffalo Gospel’s breathtaking honesty and wildcat live performances take listeners to a dusty, forlorn, but strangely familiar place that simply gets sweeter with time.

Listen to Buffalo Gospel: Buffalo Gospels YouTube Channel

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FBI & the Untouchable Horns

FBI & the Untouchable Horns

Saturday, July 20 at 7 PM – U.S. Cellular

Funk Band Incorporated (F.B.I.) & the Untouchable Horns is the Fox Valley’s premier horn band. Composed of 10 ensemble members, this local group plays all the greatest horn hits from the past four decades. They are a classic horn band with songs featuring, Bruno Mars, Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool & the Gang, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Tower of Power and more.

Listen to FBI & the Untouchable Horns: FBI & The Untouchable Horns on YouTube

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Mic Over Matter

Mic Over Matter

Sunday, July 21 at 3:30 PM – U.S. Cellular

Mic Over Matter, Milwaukee’s premier acoustic cover band, plays a wide variety of covers and originals from the hits of the ‘60s to today’s chart-toppers. Their diverse set list transcends genres and styles, spans decades, and can engage any crowd – perfect for celebrating Festa Italiana! Featuring two wailing acoustic guitars, a silky-smooth piano, heavenly violins and a heart-pounding cajón, this five-piece ensemble gives cover songs a new attitude and is sure to spice up this year’s festival.

Listen to Mic Over Matter: Ants Marching (cover) – Mic Over Matter on YouTube

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Sunday, July 21 at 5 PM- (U.S. Cellular

WheelHouse is a nationally touring Americana and rockgrass string band hailing from Madison. Featuring three and four part harmonies, fiddle and guitar leads, and driving rhythm of the upright bass WheelHouse brings an energy and attitude unique to themselves.

Listen to WheelHouse: WheelHouse – Come Back In (Dive Bar Anthem) on YouTube
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Fort Frances

Fort Frances

Sunday, July 21 at 7 PM – U.S. Cellular

Hailing from the Windy City, Fort Frances’ carefree cover of DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince’s “Summertime” led to a surprise international breakthrough in 2015. They then released their sophomore LP Alio, spent considerable time touring across the country and into Europe, and had their best year as band. For Fort Frances, not knowing is part of the journey and the only way to take a step in the right direction is to acknowledge that.

Following the biggest high of the band’s career, the future of Fort Frances was in doubt and the band’s leader stopped writing songs. However, after the band’s return to writing and composing, the crunchy guitar-monies layered behind the falsetto phrasing of “Take the Wheel,” the marimba-sub synth combo of “Everything is Starting to Make Sense,” and the frantic pacing of “The Light Years” put the spotlight on a band that continues to have fans entranced in its unique sound.

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Tre Principesse

Tre Principesse

Friday, July 19 at 7 PM – Cucina

Saturday, July 20 at 6:30 PM – Cucina

Sunday, July 21 at 7 PM – Cucina

Tre Principesse is a Billboard charting women’s music group that has been called “the female version of The Three Tenors.” Dressing in ball gowns and performing music from many genres, with Italian classics serving as one of their most requested styles, Tre Principesse is perhaps the classiest group of young women entertainers in the country. The senior group members are Anastasia Lee, who performed with Josh Groban; and Tatiana Marie, who sang a duet with Elvis Presley on his European exclusive Christmas CD.

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Koch Marshall Trio

Sunday, July 21 at 9 PM – U.S. Cellular

Mascot/Players Club recording artists The Koch Marshall Trio (fronted by internationally revered, genre-melding, guitar fiend Greg Koch) combine their powerful, organ fueled, power trio sound with the elegant, guitar eloquence of Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall and Bonnie Raitt alumni and Vizztone recording artist, Rick Vito for a performance that is not to be missed.

To visit Greg Koch’s website, click here.

Rick Vito

Sunday, July 21 at 9 PM – U.S. Cellular

Rick plays as a trio with Toby Lee Marshall on Hammond Organ and Dylan Koch on drums, playing a set of infectious, groove infested songs from his recent release release “Soulshaker” followed by Greg Koch fronting the Koch Marshall Trio, playing new selections as well as tunes from their current release “Toby Arrives.” Then Rick and Greg, brandishing their new signature Reverend Guitars, engage in a convivial guitar summit over a funky, bluesy soundscape.

To Visit Rick Vito’s website, click here.

The Sicilian Serenaders

The Sicilian Serenaders – Peter Balistrieri and Tom and Ted Pappalardo – will play Italian and Sicilian music as they stroll across the festival grounds. While you are relaxing at a table or enjoying a meal from any of the Festa food vendors, you might find these gentlemen serenading you.

If you attended the Italian Community Center’s “A Taste of Italy” this past April, you probably had an opportunity to hear the Sicilian Serenaders play. The trio has been a regular in the lineup for both Festa and the Taste of Italy.

Balistrieri (on guitar) and the Pappalardo brothers – Ted (mandolin) and Tom (accordion) – are carrying on the strolling musician tradition started by their fathers in the late 1940s.

Festa Regional Dancers

Look for the Festa Regional Dancers performing in the area around the Mid Gate and other open spaces on the grounds. The Festa Regional & Renaissance Dancers are a group of 12 girls who take pride in their Italian heritage. All of them are of Italian descent. The dancers’ costumes represent the various regions of their ancestors. They perform exclusively at Festa every year in an open area near the Mid Gate.

Most of the girls have performed for more than five years now and are keeping the traditional dances alive and fun-spirited through various routines, tambourines and audience tarantella. “Everyone loves to participate,” the dancers told The Italian Times.

Festival Strings

Festival Strings began in 2013, with a small group of Elementary and Middle School string students from the Milwaukee area, primarily Milwaukee Public Schools students. We have grown to almost 30 regular participants. Our ages range from 5 to age 18. We perform folk songs, familiar tunes and some classical music as well. We have played at retirement communities, Germanfest, the UWM Panther Arena and other festivals. We are very excited to be performing at our 6th Festa Italiana!

Eric “Diamond”

Eric “Diamond” has been performing as Neil Diamond for the last 17 years and has been Wisconsin’s Favorite Neil Diamond Tribute Artist since 2009. He has been told on countless occasions that he “sounds more like Neil than Neil Diamond does”. Primarily focusing his solo shows around his home base of southeastern Wisconsin, for the last nine years Eric has toured the casinos, theaters and festivals of the Midwest as a headliner with the Ultimate Legends show.

In the beginning, Eric worked with several other entertainers and Tribute Artists as part of a duo to provide an energetic evening filled with variety, good music and great times. Eventually going solo and taking his one-man “Neil & Nostalgia” show on the road, Eric has been wowing crowds not only with his spot-on vocal performance of Neil Diamond’s biggest hits, but also with his tributes to artists like Johnny Cash, John Cougar Mellencamp and the nostalgic “one-hit wonders” of the 60s and 70s.

Over the last several years, Eric has been showcased on WITI Fox 6’s Wake Up and Real Milwaukee shows, as well as CBS 58 Sunday Morning’s “Diamond in the Rough” feature story. He is always a favorite at Summerfest, Milwaukee County Zoo a la Carte and the Wisconsin State Fair, and recently returned home from a small tour of the American Legion Posts of Central Kentucky. Over the past year, Eric has also performed for sold out crowds at historic Wisconsin theaters such as Manitowoc’s Civic Center, Racine’s Memorial Hall and Sentry Theater in Stevens Point.

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