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Entertainment Schedule

2018 Entertainment Schedule
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2018 Headliners:

Anthony Crivello

Anthony Crivello

Friday, July 20, Saturday, July 21, and Sunday, July 22 – 7:30 P.M. – Harley Stage

 

Festa is thrilled to once again host Milwaukee native and Tony Award winner Anthony Crivello throughout the entire weekend of Festa Italiana! Crivello is an award winning actor, singer and performer, having starred on Broadway in such regional productions as Golden Boy, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Evita, and Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular. He has written, produced and directed for theater, television, film and music. Crivello’s feature films and television series include Trade, Material Girls, Texas Rangers, Independence Day, Feud: Bette and Joan, One Life To Live, Another World, Guiding Light and The Bold and The Beautiful. He is a lifetime member of The Actors Studio in New York City and Los Angeles. Don’t miss this powerful Festa Italiana headliner perform Broadway hits from some of the most treasured musicals of our time!

 

For more on Anthony Crivello, visit: www.imdb.com/name/nm0188266/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

 

See Anthony Crivello perform “Old Black Magic” as Louis Prima: www.vimeo.com/124241307

Anthony Crivello Video

George Busateri’s Spider George and the Web

George Busateri’s Spider George and the Web

Friday, July 20 – 9 P.M. – Harley Stage

Saturday, July 21 – 9 P.M. and 10:45 P.M. – Harley Stage

Sunday, July 22 – 9 P.M. – Harley Stage

 

Festa Italiana is thrilled to announce that this year’s festival marks the return of one of the most recognized names in live entertainment in the Midwest. Not only has George Busateri taken the reins as Entertainment Director for the entire festival, but he will also perform with his band, Spider George & the Web! After a 12-year absence, Spider George & The Web will return to the entertainment lineup, and will perform each night of the three-day festival. From all the players in his talented Web, Busateri continues to carve out playing engagements for virtually any type of venue and accommodate requests for numerous musical styling. Spider George and the Web’s repertoire spans from dance music to Sinatra and Santana, from Big Band to swing, ‘60s Motown, R&B, funk, disco, rock, salsa and reggae. The highly anticipated return of Spider George and the Web aims to bring the party back to Festa Italiana, with the goal to have people dancing, clapping their hands, pumping their fists and singing along – just like the good old times! From dancing on picnic tables, to forming conga lines, Spider George and the Web is sure to bring the party!

 

Visit Official Website: http://www.georgebusateri.com/

 

Listen to a preview of Spider George and the Web! http://georgebusateri.com/audiofiles.htm

Louis Vanaria

Louis Vanaria

Friday, July 20, Saturday, July 21, and Sunday, July 22 – 3:30 P.M. – Miller Stage

 

Many may recognize this long-standing Italian actor from Law & Order and A Bronx Tale, among other TV shows, and he is coming to Festa this July to perform Italian classics and new songs from his recent album! Louis Vanaria is a true “Bronx Tale” born in the Bronx, New York. With a desire to be a singer/song writer, after hearing about an “open call” audition for the upcoming Robert DeNiro directorial debut film entitled A Bronx Tale, Vanaria landed his feature role. Soon after, he was cast in the CBS movie of the week, Young at Heart, starring Olympia Dukakis and his boyhood idol, Frank Sinatra. With his singing career put on hold, Vanaria relocated to Los Angeles after landing a weekly series sitcom on the WB Network in the show, Kirk, starring Kirk Cameron, where he played Eddie Balducci, Kirk’s best friend. Forty-three shows later, Vanaria returned to his first love, singing, and continued to sing in many upscale restaurants, as well as appearing in Foxwood with Jay Leno and Connie Francis. Vanaria will record his first album later this year. Just as the late Frank Sinatra called Tony Bennett the greatest singer of all time, Bennet, on “Regis” referenced Louis as “Dynamite.”

 

Visit Official Website: http://www.louisvanaria.com/index.html

 

Check out a variety of Louis’ live performances: https://www.facebook.com/louis.vanaria/videos?lst=818895192%3A1343954985%3A1523564665

The Sicilian Tenors

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

Friday, July 20, Saturday, July 21, and Sunday, July 22 – 5 P.M. – Miller Stage

 

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 will again “wow” Festa audiences 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.

 

Vincent Ricciardi is known for his rich, powerful vocals and his vocal versatility.  As a concert artist, he has thrilled audiences throughout the Northeast in the clubs of New York and the theatres of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, showcasing Opera, Neapolitan music, Jazz, Broadway and Opera/Pop crossover favorites.  Nino Pantano of the Italian voice stated that “Vincent Ricciardi’s lyric tenor is blessed with a smooth and easy top and gives the listener much to savor and a melancholic sob that adds that “special” ingredient that touches the heart.”  Vincent can be heard on numerous sound recordings from new musicals and songs by vibrant new songwriters.  His credits include work with composer Marco Sabiu on the concept album Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross and it’s follow up album Charlemagne:  The Omens of Death starring Christopher Lee.

 

Visit Official Website: www.siciliantenors.com/

Listen to the Sicilian Tenors perform a tribute to Luciano Pavarotti: www.siciliantenors.com/#Videos

 Agne

Agne

Friday, July 20, Saturday, July 21, and Sunday, July 22 – 5 P.M. – Miller Stage

 

Agne is a 16-year-old classical artist from Chicago. A rising talent in the classical community, Agne has performed across the United States and Europe. She has appeared on NBC television, as well as performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Agne has participated several competitions as well as won multiple performance awards, including the Baltic Voice 2013, ‘Audience Favorite’ in The Sinfonetta Bel Canto’s, NBC’s ‘The Voice’ competition, and American Protégé. Part of her prize at the prize of the American Protégé international music competition.

Tre Bella

Tre Bella

Friday, July 20, Saturday, July 21, and Sunday, July 22 – 6:30 P.M. – Miller Stage

 

Many festivalgoers will be excited for the return of Tre Bella to this year’s festival! Tre Bella is an internationally renowned trio consisting of JoAnn Robertozzi, Lorraine Ferro and Rosie De Sanctis. This one-of-a-kind act was born on the stage of Jimmy Kimmel Live! in Hollywood, showcasing their incomparable vocal harmonies and stage chemistry. Tre Bella has performed on many national televised morning and hit shows, including NBC’s The Voice. The trio’s success across the United States has led them to perform at special request for Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, honoring the late Geraldine Ferrara at the famous NELA GALA in Washington, D.C. Tre Bella’s hit single, “Kisses in the Dark,” charted Internet radio stations and is now available on iTunes.

 

Visit Official Website: http://trebella.us/

Listen to Tre Bella live in concert: www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYLvR9WS1qE

Joann Robertozzi Video

Cory Pesaturo

Cory Pesaturo

Saturday, July 21, and Sunday, July 22 – 1:30 P.M. – Harley 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 2018!

 

Cory’s Welcome to Festa video: https://youtu.be/9ANRgt8ENyk

 

Visit Official Website: www.corypesaturo.com

 

Listen to Cory Pesaturo play: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Y76psb3zYA

GRAZIANA LAZZARO

Saturday, July 21, and Sunday, July 22 – 1:30 P.M. – Harley Stage

 

Graziana Maria Lazzaro was born in Massafra, provincia di Taranto – located in the Puglia region of Italy. She began singing at eight years old and participated in several Italian singing competitions, such as Lo Zecchino D’oro, USA, L’accademia della Canzone di San Remo, Microfono D’oro, Cantamare Festival and Voce di Calabria. She has performed for various Sons of Italy events as well. Graziana graduated from Wagner College in New York, majoring in voice performance. She is known for bringing Italy to her audiences through her interpretations of the Italian, Neapolitan and American standards filled with heart, soul and passion. She has performed as the opening act for the Shirelles, the Duprees, the Drifters, the Platters, Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge, Al Martino, Don Cornell and Pat Cooper.

Graziana has shared the stage with other Italian American entertainers, including Festa 2018 performers Moreno Fruzzetti, Aaron Caruso and The Sicilian Tenors. She has also performed with Pat Capuzzi, Gene Ferrari, Tony Spavone, Paul London, Dick Contino, Alto and Mantia, Espresso 5, Gianni Russo, Mauro Caputo, Carmello Zapulla, Maria Nazionale, Ciro Giorgio, Uncle Floyd Vivino and Marcantonio Pezzano. She has had the honor of singing the National Anthem at Shea Stadium twice. She currently has three albums entitled, “Destino,” “Dedicato a Voi” and “Arcobaleno.” Graziana currently resides in New Jersey.

 

Listen to Graziana Lazzaro: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcyhXGTRVznmBwEdFl8BnnQ 

FLEMT

FLEMT

Friday, July 20, Saturday, July 21, and Sunday, July 22 – 9:30 P.M. & 10:45 P.M. – Miller Stage

 

For the first time ever, Festa Italiana will welcome FLEMT, a rock band from Senigallia, Italy. Co-founded by Alessandro “Frank” Lapini and Michele Trillini in 2006, the duo came together in 2011 when they and drummer Diego Romagnoli competed together for the opportunity to open for Bon Jovi. FLEMT won the contest and opened before 40,000 fans. In 2013, FLEMT released its first album, The Time Has Come, in Italy. Three years later, FLEMT debuted its music in the U.S. rock scene, drawing on their success in Italy. FLEMT continues to write new music as the band concludes a U.S. tour with performances along the east coast. The band’s music is known in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan. Band members include Patrik Pambianco (lead singer), Michele Trillini (guitarist), Alessandro Lapini (bass guitar) and Diego Romagnoli (drums).

 

Visit Official Website: www.flemt.net

 

Listen to FLEMT perform their single “In My Dreams”: www.flemt.net/video

Moreno Fruzzetti

Moreno Fruzzetti

Friday, July 20, Saturday, July 21, and Sunday, July 22 – 3 P.M. – Harley Stage

 

A longtime Festa favorite is returning in 2018! Moreno Fruzzetti will once again amaze festivalgoers with his beautiful voice. Fruzzetti, a native of Pisa, Italy has been capturing the ears and hearts of fans worldwide for over 30 years with a combination of his powerful tenor sound, captivating onstage presence, and a variety of operatic arias, pop music and American classics. Fruzzetti’s sound and style have evolved over the years, with 18 unique and diverse albums recorded to date. Whether it’s his interaction with audiences or pure enjoyment of entertaining, it is no wonder why each show is personable and memorable!

 

Visit Official Website: https://www.morenofruzzetti.com/

 

Listen to Moreno’s recent music: https://www.morenofruzzetti.com/music

Rat Pack Reprise

Rat Pack Reprise

Friday, July 20, Saturday, July 21, and Sunday, July 22 – 4:30 P.M. – Harley Stage

 

Step back in time with the ultimate trio of cool, The Ratpack Reprise. Led by Joe Scalissi, an internationally recognized entertainer best known for his tribute to Dean Martin, this trio of impersonators captures the spirit of Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra. The trio has performed at numerous events across the United States.

 

Visit Official Website: http://www.joescalissi.com/

 

Listen to the Rat Pack Reprise tribute: http://www.joescalissi.com/listen.html

Ray Massa’s EuroRhythms

Ray Massa’s Eurorhythms

Friday, July 20, Saturday, July 21, and Sunday, July 22 – 8 P.M. – Miller Stage

 

Get Ready for a Feast of Italian/American Musical Tributes, from 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! Ray Massa’s EuroRhythms are a huge hit at Italian festivals and concerts nationwide and in Italy! They promise to keep Festa fans – young and old – dancing in real Italian style!

 

Ray Massa’s EuroRhythms are comprised of six vocalists including Ray Massa, (parents from the Campania Region), Tony DiMelfi (grandparents from the Basilicata Region), Marco Capoccia, (born and raised in the region of Frosinone, Italy), Gaetano Nicolosi (born and raised in Catania Sicily), Giovanni Caproni (grandparents from the Trentino Region) and Jay Miglia (grandparents from the Campania Region). They are credited with bridging the gap between American and Italian venues for festival entertainment by revitalizing the mystique and romantic excitement of Italian music. The group’s dynamic and energetic style attracts audiences of all ages and nationality. The Eurorhythms’ popularity is attributed to their unique arrangements of songs from Italy’s current Pop Charts like, “Vespa” and “Femmina” by Paolo Belli, to great Italian hits of all styles from the 80’s to the 50’s like, “A Chi” or “Tu Vuo Fa L’Americano” and their own Italian version of “Hang On Sloopy”. These great songs are intertwined with the ever popular Italian/American favorites like, Louie Prima’s swinging “Zooma Zooma Baccala”, to the great hits from the Jersey Boys and Dion!

 

Visit Official Website: http://www.eurorhythms.com/

 

Listen to Ray Massa’s EuroRhythms’ Italian serenades: http://www.eurorhythms.com/ourmusic.htm

Rick D’Amore

Rick D’Amore

Friday, July 20, Saturday, July 21, and Sunday, July 22 – 6 P.M. – Harley Stage

 

After performing for the first 28 years of Festa Italiana, Rick D’Amore is returning this year for all three nights! His show includes vintage rock, standards, and a sprinkling of Italian favorites. Rick’s band is made up of his sons, Philip on drums, and Peter on guitar, along with Rob Chalifaux on bass and Mike “Guido” Sturino on keyboard. From Frank Sinatra, to Neil Diamond, to Elvis Presley, Rick’s show will deliver an exciting performance for Festa-goers!

Listen to Rick D’Amore perform: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QIgMLxkFDY

 

Swing Explosion

Swing Explosion

Saturday, July 21 – 12 P.M. – Miller Stage

 

The mid-west’s premier big band, Swing Explosion is the big band that can do it all! Comprised of the finest musicians from southeastern Wisconsin and the incomparable Pete Sorce, Swing Explosion adds an air of excitement, prestige and sophistication to any occasion. Although a big band, Swing Explosion excels at all styles of music. Led by one of the country’s finest arrangers – Jeff La Barge – Swing Explosion pays tribute to a myriad of musicians like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Brian Setzer, Barry Manilow, Lionel Ritchie and more.

 

Visit Official Website: http://www.swingexplosion.com/

 

Listen to the Swing Explosion perform “That’s All” live: http://www.swingexplosion.com/videos.php

Tom Sorce Band with Sandra Mandella

Tom Sorce Band with Sandra Mandella

Friday, July 20 – 10:45 P.M. – Harley Stage

Saturday, July 21 – 12 P.M. – Harley Stage

 

The Tom Sorce Band will once again return to Festa and be joined by vocalist Sandra Mandella, Tom Sorce, Tom Sorce II, Mike Miller and Jeff Stoll. Father and Son form a powerful and driving rhythm section while Mike and Jeff share the leads. Tom Sorce has been performing for well over 50 years, with a background in jazz, R&B, rock, country and back to blues. With so much history festivalgoers can expect exactly that. What the Tom Sorce band does, they do very well. The local group has been performing together for over 40 years, playing at a variety of events like Festa Italiana, the Italian Community Center, the Wisconsin State Fair and several church festivals.

Vince Carone

Vince Carone

Friday, July 20 – 5:30 P.M., 7 P.M., and 8:30 P.M. – Harley Stage

Saturday, July 21 – 6 P.M., 7:30 P.M., and 9 P.M. – Miller Stage

Sunday, July 22 – 5:30 P.M., 7 P.M., and 8:30 P.M. – Harley Stage

 

Vince Carone has been performing since 2001 and is no stranger to the comedy scene. Represented by Bonkerz entertainment, he has become known for his fast-talking, quick-witted, over-the-top rants, combined with a dominating stage presence. His ability to rattle off more material in one show than most could do in a weekend is what keeps the crowd engaged during his verbal assault. Carone refuses to relent until he steps off the stage. Based out of Chicago, Carone has described himself growing up as an outside of the box, quasi jock, class clown who never quite fit in. At 17 years-old, Carone knew his passion was in stand-up comedy, a place where being unique would find success. With three albums to his name, Carone continues to deliver a must see performance on the comedy circuit.

 

Visit Official Website: www.vincecarone.com

 

Watch Vince’s stand-up routine on technology: www.youtube.com/watch?v=llt2Qho2Do0

Carmen Vallone

Carmen Vallone

Friday, July 20 – 6 P.M., 7:30 P.M., and 9 P.M. – Miller Stage

Saturday, July 21 – 5:30 P.M., 7 P.M., and 8:30 P.M. – Harley Stage

Sunday, July 22 – 6 P.M., 7:30 P.M., and 9 P.M. – Miller Stage

 

In his tweleve years of comedy, Carmen Vallone has travelled to and performed on many stages throughout the United States and has been a contestant on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, CBS’s Comedy Night School and Jamie Kennedy’s film, Heckler. With his enthusiastic smile, and happily twisted vision of everyday life, Carmen guides the audience through a night of entertainment as he talks about being from Upstate New York, living in Florida, and what life is like on the road. Never one to attack the audience, Carmen makes you feel right at home, and you’ll never be scared to sit in the front row.As a well-known hilarious stand-up comedian, Vallone is also the host and producer of A Joke Off ! ! !™, a nationally touring comedy competition currently in development for national television.

 

Visit Official Website: www.carmenvallone.com

 

Watch Carmen Vallone’s stand-up comedy: www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLxltEIYxFI

Evero

Opera: ÈVERO featuring R. Stuart Mitchell

FRIDAY, JULY 20, SATURDAY, JULY 21, AND SUNDAY, JULY 22 – 5:30 P.M. – CUCINA STAGE

 

ÈVERO featuring R. Stuart Mitchell is comprised of four superb musicians – Susan Johnson, Erica Breitbarth, Jonathan Landis and R. Stuart Mitchell – that are sure to entertain the Festa Italiana community through the collaborative sounds of piano, keyboard, pop and operatic lyric soprano vocals, violin and guitar. Performing on this year’s Cucina Stage, the band will be accompanied by Robert Stuart Mitchell, whose singing repertoire and performances encompass Concert Oratorio, Modern Sacred & Worship music, Opera, and Celtic Folk & Traditional. Mitchell has appeared as a solo artist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Bel Canto Chorus, Wisconsin Philharmonic Orchestra, Bach Chamber Choir & Orchestra, MAMCCO (MKE), Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, Racine Symphony Orchestra, and many other symphonic artistic organizations. He has also sung with the Florentine Opera, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, La Musica Lirica Opera, Windfall Theatre, Cornerstone University, Music by the Lake, Concord Chamber Orchestra, and South Shore Chorale. With a substantial repertoire in modern, inspirational Christian worship music, Mitchell is a compelling, dynamic performer, and his solo appearances are uplifting and memorable.

 

For more on R. Stuart Mitchell, visit: http://rstuartmitchell.com/

 

Listen to R. Stuart Mitchell perform: http://rstuartmitchell.com/discography__downloads

Enzo Scarano

Enzo Scarano

FRIDAY, JULY 20, SATURDAY, JULY 21, AND SUNDAY, JULY 22 – 6:45 P.M. – CUCINA STAGE

 

Festa Italiana is thrilled to welcome Enzo Scarano back as a performer on this year’s Cucina Stage. Scarano’s musical career spans 30 plus years. Born in Salerno, Italy, Enzo began his musical career at the age of 15. Inspired by his brother an accomplished guitarist, in 1983 he formed the band “Manhattan Road” and realized a great level of success performing in many “piazzas” town squares throughout Italy. In the late 80’s he formed a production company and collaborated with Walt Disney in a traveling production of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Disney classic. Mr. Scarano released an album in honor of this Disney favorite.

 

In 1987 he began a long career of musical collaboration and consultation for various Italian television programs and large-scale theatrical events. He worked for the Mediaset Corporation a well-known Italian television network. In 1993 he was awarded the “Telegatto” for music he wrote for a popular television program, “Sabato Al Circo.” The “Telegatto” is the equivalent of the “Emmy.” Enzo embarked on a successful career as a solo-performing artist working with such famous artists as Valerio Negrini of the legendary Italian band, I Pooh. He went on tour in 1992 to promote his solo album L’Arca, which brought him to Festa Italiana in Milwaukee. He has since performed at Festa Italiana on several other occasions since 1993 as he continues his musical career, working with several accomplished musicians.

 

To learn more about Enzo Scarano and his work, visit: http://enzoscarano.net/

 

Listen to Enzo perform “Il sesso e’ il sud del cuore” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=Ai45Q6oZh-M

Entertainment

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