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Festa Italiana brings wine, song, food and culture to lakefront

July 20, 2017 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel coverage of this year’s Festa Italiana highlights

Festa Italiana Offers Restaurant Tuesday Promotion July 18 at Participating Festa Restaurants

July 14, 2017 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Diners get free admission to Festa if they dine at a participating food vendor restaurants on Tuesday, July 18; Mangia!

MILWAUKEE – July 14, 2017 – Aside from actually eating in Italy, Festa Italiana is the next best thing.  Festa Italiana, presented by Calypso Lemonades, is offering festa-goers a chance to preview all their favorite Italian food items by visiting participating Festa food vendor restaurants on Tuesday, July 18.  Those that dine at participating restaurants July 18 will get a free admission into Festa, taking place July 21-23 on Milwaukee’s lakefront, while supplies last.

 

Participating restaurants for the July 18 “Restaurant Tuesday” promotion, include:

 

“Nothing makes people feel like they’re in Italy more than great Italian food. That’s why, this year, we created Restaurant Tuesday, which offers Milwaukeeans a chance to try some of this year’s Festa food vendors prior to the festival and earn a free ticket to Festa in the process,” said Dean Cannestra, Italian Community Center president and co-chairman of Festa Italiana.

A complete list of Festa food vendors and menus can be found by visiting: http://festaitaliana.com/fooddrink/menus/

 

40th Anniversary Entertainment

Beyond food, the 40th anniversary of Festa Italiana will feature a plethora of great Italian and classic entertainment. This year’s musical headliners will include hometown favorite, BoDeans, 90’s alternative band, Gin Blossoms, “The Voice” 2012 finalist, Nicholas David, and “America’s Got Talent” Season 11 finalist, Sal Valentinetti. Direct from Italy, the Flag-Throwers from Florence will also be returning to Festa 2017 with a colorful show that brings history to life! Also back this year is one of Festa’s most popular features – the Italian Idol competition, an amateur singing contest featuring all genres of music. Other popular Italian acts to look forward to include Russo Brothers, Ray Massa’s EuroRhythms, The Sicilian Tenors, Anna Calemme, Tony Spavone and The Florentine Opera.

 

Festa organizers just recently announced a Dick Contino Tribute Show Sunday, July 23 at 6 P.M. featuring Contino’s son, Pete, his daughter, Deidre, and three-time world champion accordionist and Contino protégé, Cory Pescaturo.  The show will also include tributes from Russo Brothers and Ray Massa.

 

For more information about all Festa entertainment acts, please visit: http://festaitaliana.com/entertainment/.

In Honor of 40 years, Festa Italiana to Offer One Day, $4 Ticket Sale Monday, July 17

July 10, 2017 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Festa Italiana brings Italy to Milwaukee’s lakefront featuring Italian flag-throwers, food, culture, entertainment, attractions and Bartolotta fireworks every night!

 

MILWAUKEE – July 10, 2017 – Festa Italiana, presented by Calypso Lemonades, today announced, in honor of its 40th anniversary, they will be offering a one day, $4 ticket promotion on Monday, July 17. The $4 tickets can be purchased online at http://www.festaitaliana.com starting at 12:00 A.M. Monday, July 17.

 

Festa is celebrating forty years of food, family and tradition at this year’s festival taking place July 21-23 on Milwaukee’s lakefront. In those 40 years, the festival has grown into the largest Italian event of its kind in America today. Originating as a way to bring together an Italian community torn apart by urban renewal projects, Festa was the first ethnic festival to take place in Henry Maier Festival Park. Festa was a “coming home” party for many Italians and served as a chance to share the best of the Italian culture with the community.

 

Music Headliners

  • BoDeans (Friday, July 21 – 9 p.m.): Formed in Waukesha, Wisconsin, BoDeans today are known as one of the best live acts in the business as the band continues to tour year-round and deliver amazing, high energy performances. As a small contingent of bands that inspired a new radio format known as Adult Alternative, Album Rock-Triple A, their reputation for delivering a dynamic live show garnered support slots with U2/Joshua Tree Tour, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, George Thorogood, The Pretenders, David Bowie, and appearances at Farm Aid, Summerfest, and ACL, among others.

 

  • Gin Blossoms (Saturday, July 22 – 9 p.m.): Festa Italiana welcomes the Gin Blossoms Saturday, July 22! Sing along to favorite hits including “Hey Jealousy,” “Allison Road,” “Until I Fall Away,” “Mrs. Rita,” and “Til I Hear It From You!” Gin Blossoms’ fusion of Pop, Melodic Rock, Folk and Country elements that took the airwaves by siege, making the band an MTV playlist hostage for almost a decade and the group a natural 90’s mainstay. From their breakout album through today, Robin, Jesse, Bill and Scotty have sold over 10 million records and are one of the most in demand 90’s live artists who began at the end of the grunge era. In February 2017, the band went back in the studio recording a new album in time for release this Summer. Fans will get a taste of the new album as it works its way into their live set beginning this April.

 

  • Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti (Saturday, July 22 – 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 23 – 8:30 p.m.): Season 11 of the NBC hit show “America’s Got Talent” was taken by storm by Sal Valentinetti. This year at Festa, Sal looks to continue that momentum. The 20-year-old College Student that delivered Pizza for his cousin’s Italian restaurant was now in the spot light. Belting out the classic Frank Sinatra hit “My Way,” Sal not only received a standing ovation but got the coveted “Golden Buzzer” from judge Heidi Klum, who he later performed a duo with singing “Santa Baby”. Although Sal did not win the overall competition, he rose to stardom and his professional music career was launched. The Italian American crooner is know best known for his flawless vocals, larger than life personality and heart of gold.

 

  • Dick Contino Tribute Concert (Sunday, July 23 – 6 p.m.): Festa will present a memorial salute to famed accordionist Dick Contino on Sunday, July 23 at 6 PM.  Contino performed at Festa 34 times in its 40-year history.  Participants in the special tribute show include Contino’s son, Pete, his daughter, Deidre, three-time World Champion accordionist and Contino protégé Cory Pescaturo, Russo Brothers and Ray Massa, among others.

 

  • Other Exciting Acts Include: Dog N’ Butterfly – the Ultimate Tribute Band, Violin Femmes starting Bella Electric Strings, Tre Principesse, Russo Brothers, Ray Massa’s EuroRhythms, The Sicilian Tenors, Anna Calemme, Tony Spavone and the Florentine Opera! Also, members of the UW Marching Band will perform a 5th Quarter Performance for Festa-goers on Saturday and Sunday!

 

Festa 2017 Highlights:

  • Back by popular demand are the Flag-Throwers of the Florentine!  (Sbanderatori dei Borghi e Sestieri Fiorentini).  The dynamic group of 16 will entertain audiences with a colorful show of choral exercises, music and flags symbolic of a historic Italian victory celebration!  Festa Italiana attendees can watch the Flag-Throwers of the Florentine perform throughout the Festa grounds, in the opening ceremony and weekend parades, during Sunday’s mass and procession, as well as in the sports court.  For a full schedule of performances visit: http://festaitaliana.com/entertainment/flag-throwers/

 

  • To celebrate 40 years of history, the Italian Heritage Photo and Pompeii Church Exhibit will return, sharing photos of hundreds of Milwaukee’s early Italian families. This year the exhibit will include several of the original religious murals that were hung in the original Our Lady of Pompeii Church.  The church was torn down in 1967 and longtime Italian Community Center member, Mario Carini, rescued the murals and donated them to the Milwaukee County Historical Society.

 

  • Festa will be hosting the Vince Lombardi Walk/Run to Tackle Cancer Saturday, July 22. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m.  Runners and walkers receive free admission into Festa and guest passes are available for $5 from 7:30 a.m. – Noon.  Visit LombardiWalk.org to register today!

 

  • Tour the sights at Festa Italiana! Take your photo in front of the famous Trevi Fountain “La Fontana di Trevi.” Marvel at Festa’s replica of the famous Coliseum Display – the iconic symbol of imperial Rome, take a trip to the Marco Venetian Tower Display – representing the bell tower of St. Mark’s Basilica located in the Piazza San Marco in Venice’s principal public square, and get a picture with the Statue of David Replica – Michelangelo’s famous masterpiece.  Festa’s replica emulates the 17 feet tall original!

 

 

  • Fun for the Whole Famiglia! Festa offers fun-filled activities and attractions for kids and adults to enjoy, including a FREE CARNIVAL, splash zone, LEGO activities tent, parade through the grounds Saturday and Sunday at 5:00 PM, and daily performances on the Children’s Stage. Children 12 and under are FREE all three days of Festa.

 

Your Ticket to Italian Flavor

Eat your way through Italy at Festa Italiana!  Italian favorites will return including pizza, Italian sausage, arancini (rice ball), toasted ravioli, fried calamari, eggplant sticks, sfincione, spiedini, meatball sandwiches and sfingi!  Saving the best for last?  Festa is the place to satisfy your sweet tooth with cannoli, Italian cookies, cappuccino puffs and fresh gelato!

 

Calling all foodies….Festa’s popular Cucina Showcase will be host to a variety of food-related activities including cooking demonstrations from some of Milwaukee’s finest chefs, the popular Cannoli Contest on Saturday, July 22 at 3:30 p.m. and the Kid’s Pizza Making Contest (Ages 5-17) on Saturday, July 22 beginning at 4:15 p.m.  Don’t miss Celebrity Chef Rossella Rago on Saturday, July 22, and Sunday, July 23. Rago is the host of the popular web cooking show “Cooking With Nonna” (www.cookingwithnonna.com).

 

Sipping also goes with eating!  Festivalgoers can enjoy some of Italy’s finest wines throughout the grounds, provided by LoDuca Wines and Corvina Wine Company.  Wine coolers, wine cocktails and wine flights will also be available!

 

New food items guests can look forward to include: Alioto’s Mostaccioli in Red Sauce; Trattoria di Carlo’s Sfingi with Amaretto Sauce; Carini La Conca D’Oro’s Sicilian Steak Sandwich, Sicilian Steak & Pasta and Sicilian Lasagna (Anelletti al Forno). Complete food menus can be downloaded at: http://festaitaliana.com/fooddrink/menus.

 

Your Ticket to Fun – Italian Style!

The traditional Italian game of Bocce Ball will return daily with the highly anticipated Bocce Ball Tournament taking place on Sunday, July 23.  Take in Festa from the water’s view on a gondola ride and don’t miss the loudest Italian-style Bartolotta fireworks every night beginning at approximately 10:30 p.m.!  The Copa Festa Italiana Futsal tournament will return on Saturday from noon – 7 p.m. at the sports court and Italian Idol will crown its karaoke king or queen on Sunday, July 23!

 

Your Ticket to Italian Tradition

The traditional Festa Italiana Sunday Mass and Procession will be led by Bishop Jeffrey R. Haines at 11:00 a.m. Sunday, July 23 at the American Family Insurance Amphittheater. The Mass is followed by a procession of societies and patron saints, concluded with benediction on the festival grounds.  Attendees are encouraged to bring three (3) non-perishable food items to be donated to Hunger Task Force to help the Milwaukee Ethnic Festivals reach their goal of collecting 160,000 pounds of food this summer under “The Fests Feed Milwaukee” initiative.

 

Daily Admission Information/Deals

 

Festa Italiana offers plenty of ways to visit the festival!   Purchase your advance tickets online today at www.festaitaliana.com through July 20 for a discounted rate of $10.00.

  • Admission tickets are $13.00 at the gate and children ages 12 and under are admitted free for all three days when accompanied by an adult.

 

Friday

  • Gates open 3:00 p.m. – Midnight.
  • Sendik’s Red Bag Promotion: All patrons arriving on Friday between 3:00 and 6:30 P.M. presenting a Sendik’s red shopping bag will receive one (1) FREE admission ticket! Stop by the main gate and enter the designated Sendik’s area with your red bag. Red bags will be collected upon entrance into the grounds.  Find your neighborhood Sendik’s location at sendiks.com.
  • Receive a Catholic Financial Life knapsack beginning at 4:00 P.M. while supplies last.

Saturday

  • Gates open 11:30 a.m. – Midnight.
  • Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation Walk/Run – 7:30 A.M. Walkers and runners receive free entry into Festa Italiana.  Guest passes are also available for $5 from 7:30 A.M. – 11 A.M.
  • Sendik’s Red Bag Promotion Noon – 5 P.M. All patrons arriving from Noon – 5 P.M. presenting a Sendik’s red shopping bag will receive one (1) FREE admission ticket.  Red bags will be collected upon enterance to the grounds at the main gate.
  • VIP DAY – 11:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M. VIP Day for those with physical challenges along with their caregivers receive free admission and half-price on two selected food items. Courtesy of Festa Italiana. Special VIP ticket needed. Please pick up your ticket at the Italian Community Center.
  • Receive a Catholic Financial Life knapsack beginning at 2 P.M. while supplies last.

 

Sunday

  • Gates open 11:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
  • 10:15 a.m. – Gates open for Festa Italiana Mass on the south end, please bring non-perishable food items to support Hunger Task Force
  • Day of Service: Firefighters, Law Enforcement, Teachers and Military receive free admission for the individual of service and one guest. To receive your free entry, present a vaild employee ID at the cashier window at the main gate.  Active and former military members and one guest can receive free entry with a valid military ID or DD-214 with valid ID at the cashier window at the main gate. 

 

Don’t miss Festa Italiana’s 50/50 Raffle! Costs for tickets are 1 for $5 or 3 for $10. Purchase on the Festa grounds or in advance at the Italian Community Center.

Celebrity Chef Rossella Rago Returns to Festa Italiana; Festival Offers New Food Items and Popular Food Contests Return – Mangia!

June 28, 2017 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Cannoli Eating Contest and Kids Pizza Making Competition Take Place July 22

 

 

MILWAUKEE – June 28, 2017 – Festa Italiana, presented by Calypso Lemonades, today announced  Celebrity Chef Rossella Rago will return for the festival’s 40th anniversary. Rago is known for hosting popular web cooking show “Cooking with Nonna.”  Other celebrity chefs headlining the festival this year include the “Filippo and the Chef Show,” featuring Italian chef Richard Lombardi.  Both performances take place July 22 and 23 in the Cucina Showcase.

 

Rossella Rago Returns to the Cucina Showcase

A Cucina favorite, Rossella Rago, host of online cooking show “Cooking with Nonna,” has delighted Festa attendees in years past. Rossella will be performing Saturday, July 22 and Sunday, July 23 in the Cucina Showcase and will be joined on stage wither her maternal grandmother, Nonna Romana.

 

In 2010, Rossella, mother Angela and her Nonna Romana emerged victorious in the “Italiano Battle” episode of the Food Network’s 24 Hour Restaurant Battle. This year Rossella has published her first cookbook and was an honoree at The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) New York Gala, which celebrated the very best in Italian food, beverage and cultural experiences.

 

In addition to inspiring grandmothers from around the world to pass down their sacred recipes, entertaining audiences with her show, and popularizing authentic Italian cuisine with Cooking with Nonna, Rossella raises awareness of healthy eating habits for young women everywhere. Rossella is sure to again delight audiences at the 40th anniversary of Festa on Saturday and Sunday!  For more information on Rossella, please visit: http://www.cookingwithnonna.com/about/about-rossella-rago.html.

 

Filippo and the Chef Join Celebrity Chef Line-Up

Richard Lombardi and Filippo Volagio will take the stage Saturday, July 22 and Sunday, July 23, performing “The Filippo and the Chef Show.” A professional chef for over 20 years, Chef Richard has spent a life time learning the art of entertaining guests. At Mama Rose Restaurant in California, Richard and his wife of 43 years, Elaine, served an abundant menu of “New Italian-American” food, earning many awards for excellence.  Chef Richard has written numerous articles for food publications and “The Mama Rose Cook Book,” containing recipes from Mama Rose Restaurant.  With the help of noted Italian singer, Filippo Voltaggio, he created “The Filippo and the Chef Show.” Chef Richard demonstrates Italian cooking while Filippo sings, interviews guests and adds fun to the cooking experience. After Chef Richard’s bout with cancer, he created a non-profit organization, “The Cancer Fighting Chef.” He is using his cooking experience along with his battle with cancer, to create tasty recipes that contain ingredients to help fight cancer.

 

Filippo Voltaggio, author, speaker, LIFECoach, and TV and radio host, has incorporated the years of experience from being in front of, behind and on the screen and live stages into everything he does.  From his singing, writing and hosting, Filippo brings it all together to create an energetic experience for audiences.  From his acclaimed radio shows and TV and film appearances and performances, to his experiences in the world of business, working for a Fortune Top 3 Company and later owning a boutique entertainment agency; to his study of human psychology and esoteric arts, Filippo has seen, experienced and learned so much about the human condition and the struggle to being our authentic selves.

 

Both celebrity chefs will be selling their cookbooks at Festa Italiana. For more information on Festa’s celebrity chefs, please visit: http://festaitaliana.com/fooddrink/celebrity-chefs/

 

Eat Your Way Through Italy

Aside from actually eating in Italy, Festa Italiana is the next best thing.  Festa-goers can enjoy Italian favorites including arancini, Italian sausage sandwiches, fried eggplant, calamari, panini, pasta, cannoli and more.  With nearly 30 food vendors, attendees can experience all the tastes of Italy right on Milwaukee’s lakefront!

 

A sample of new food items to try, include:

  • Alioto’s Mostaccioli in Red Sauce
  • Trattoria di Carlo’s Sfingi with Amaretto Sauce
  • Carini La Conca D’Oro’s Sicilian Steak Sandwich, Sicilian Steak & Pasta and Sicilian Lasagna (Anelletti al Forno)

 

A complete list of Festa food vendors and menus can be found by visiting: http://festaitaliana.com/fooddrink/menus/

 

Other Cucina Showcase Activities

Festa is ready to crown the 2017 Cannoli Eating Champion on Saturday, July 22!  Do you have what it takes in this stomach-to-stomach battle? The Cannoli Eating Contest will kick off at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 22. Everyone 18 years or older is welcome to register, simply visit the Cucina Showcase on Saturday to enter your name in the drawing before 3:00 p.m. Is your stomach up to the challenge? All cannoli is provided by the Vella family of Peter Sciortino Bakery on Brady Street.

 

The Kids Pizza Making Contest, sponsored by Divino Wine & Dine, returns on Saturday, July 22 at 4:15 p.m. Children ages 5-17 are encouraged to participate in making the best pizza creation! The annual contest is a fun way for children to create fresh, made-from-scratch pizza in front of the live Cucina Showcase audience. Winners for each age group will receive a commemorative t-shirt. For more information, please visit: http://festaitaliana.com/fooddrink/kids-pizza-contest/

 

A full Cucina Showcase schedule can be found by visiting: http://festaitaliana.com/fooddrink/food-cooking-schedule/

Festa Italiana Salutes Dick Contino July 23 with Special Memorial and Tribute Concert

June 19, 2017 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Famed Accordionist Performed at Festa 34 Times in Festival’s 40-Year History

 

 

MILWAUKEE – June 19, 2017 – Festa Italiana, presented by Calypso Lemonades, today announced it will present a tribute concert to famed accordionist Dick Contino on Sunday, July 23 at 6 P.M. on the Miller Lite Stage at Festa Italiana.  Contino passed away April 19 at the age of 87.

 

Contino, a popular favorite among many festa-goers, played at the festival 34 times in Festa’s 40-year history.  The special memorial tribute concert will include Contino’s son, Pete Contino, his daughter, Deidre, and three-time World Champion Accordionist and Contino protégé Cory Pescaturo.  Other participants include Ray Massa and the Russo Brothers, both Nick and Domenic.

 

“From his first appearance at our very first Festa, Dick became a crowd favorite whose charisma was contagious and whose talent was exceptional. His down-to-earth personality won over everyone who came to see him and got to know him,” said Dean Cannestra, Festa General Co-Chairperson. “With his passing, there was no question in my mind that Festa Italiana had to do something special to salute this remarkable man.”

 

Longtime Festa fans will recall Pete Contino performing on drums and accordion with his father in the mid-1980s. A year or so later, Dick and Pete were joined on stage by Deidre Contino, who sang with her father’s band. The next year, all three had their own gigs at Festa. Pete and Deidre are the children of Dick’s first wife, the late Hollywood actress, Leigh Snowden, and still perform with their own bands.

 

Pescaturo is one of only four accordionists to win World Championships on both the acoustic and digital accordion, and is the only person to ever win a World Championship on jazz. At the age of 12, he was the youngest person ever to play at a state dinner at the White House. At 15, he became the youngest person to win the U.S. National Accordion Championship. He graduated from the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he was the first musician ever to major and graduate on the accordion.

 

When Pescaturo was 15, Dick Contino said, “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.”

 

Ray Massa is the leader of the EuroRhythms, an Italian/Italian-American swing band, who will be performing at Festa Italiana all three nights. The son of immigrants from the Campania region of Italy, Massa excels on the accordion and various string instruments. Like Dick Contino’s shows, the performances by Ray Massa’s Eurorhythms are upbeat and crowd-pleasing.

 

Nick and Dominic Russo have been part of the Festa entertainment since they were 8 and 4 years old, respectively, performing on the Children’s Stage. Even back then, the Russo Brothers performed a tribute to Dick Contino, one of their heroes. Nick is a magnificent accordionist and keyboardist, while Dominic is the smooth crooner.

 

“This should be a remarkable salute to a remarkable man,” added Cannestra. “We’re anticipating that the Dick Contino Fan Club will re-group its nationwide members for this tribute and, really, all of his fans will come out to salute this legendary accordionist who graced the stages of Festa Italiana 34 times.”

 

Festa Italiana is celebrating its 40th anniversary July 21-23, 2017. For more information on the Dick Contino Tribute and other entertainment, please visit: www.festaitaliana.com. For more information on Cory Pesaturo, please visit: http://www.corypesaturo.com.

BoDeans to Headline Festa Italiana Friday, July 21 to Kick Off 40th Anniversary

May 11, 2017 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Hometown favorite will be joined by NBC’s “The Voice” 2012 finalist Nicholas David

 

 

MILWAUKEE – May 11, 2017 – Festa Italiana, presented by Calypso Lemonades, is excited to host hometown favorite, the BoDeans as its Friday, July 21 headliner at 9:00 P.M. at Henry W. Maier Festival Park (Summerfest grounds). BoDeans will be joined by NBC’s “The Voice” 2012 finalist Nicholas David. Previously announced headliners include Gin Blossoms and Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti.

 

Formed in Waukesha, Wisconsin, BoDeans today are known as one of the best live acts in the business as the band continues to tour year-round and deliver amazing, high energy performances. As a small contingent of bands that inspired a new radio format known as Adult Alternative, Album Rock-Triple A, their reputation for delivering a dynamic live show garnered support slots with U2/Joshua Tree Tour, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, George Thorogood, The Pretenders, David Bowie, and appearances at Farm Aid, Summerfest, and ACL, among others.

 

Chart-topping songs like “Fadeaway,” “Only Love,” and “Dreams,” won them Rolling Stone’s readers’ poll for Best New American Band in 1987. The band has released several albums which embody multiple songs played heavily on the radio, in TV shows, and movies, and defined a sound that a generation embraced-songs like “Good Things,” “You Don’t Get Much,” “Idaho,” “If It Makes You,” “Closer to Free,” “Stay,” “American,” and, “All the World.” BoDeans now reside in a small group of bands that have managed to survive the ups and downs of the industry, remaining true to their sound and their style, for nearly 30 years. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum has them permanently displayed as part of their Midwest Artists exhibit.

 

“Milwaukeeans saw BoDeans grow into one of the most popular bands of the nineties and the band continues to show their affection for the area with their new music video titled, ‘My Hometown.’ BoDeans are sure to kick off Festa Italiana’s 40th anniversary with a bang and we are excited to have them perform opening night. We also expect Nichloas David to put on a spectacular show for festivalgoers,” said Dean Cannestra, Italian Community Center president and chairman of Festa Italiana.

 

Nicholas David Performing at 7:30 PM

A vibrant, dynamic and multi-talented singer/songwriter from Saint Paul, Minn., Nicholas David has composed alternative soul music that connects with people worldwide on a deeply human level. Prior to his unforgettable 2012 run with Team CeeLo on NBC’s “The Voice,” Nicholas had already recorded five critically acclaimed albums, experienced national radio airplay and participated in multiple charity and collaborative projects. Fans of The Voice were introduced to his soulful and storied career during this time where he struck a chord with America and finished a fan favorite in the top three. When it comes to his iconic live shows, Nicholas is a one-of-a-kind and must-see act. As if channeling inspiration from an outside source, the instant he walks on stage he gives himself over to the music. His emotional approach to songwriting and performing is the very reason the thriving Twin Cities music scene affectionately nicknamed him ‘the feelin.’

 

Festa Italiana takes place Friday, July 21 – Sunday, July 23, at the Henry W. Maier Festival Park on Milwaukee’s lakefront. Festivalgoers can take in all entertainment acts for the value price of only $10.00 for advance sale tickets now through July 20. Tickets are $13.00 after July 20 and at the gate.

Festa Italiana names “America’s Got Talent” finalist as second headliner

May 11, 2017 | Uncategorized | Permalink

OnMilwaukee coverage of our Italian Headliner Sal Valentinetti!

Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti to Headline Festa Italiana’s Italian Line-Up

May 3, 2017 | Uncategorized | Permalink

“America’s Got Talent” Finalist will be joined by Ray Massa’s EuroRhythms, The Sicilian Tenors, Tre Principesse, Anna Calemme, and the Florentine Opera

 

 

MILWAUKEE – May 3, 2017 – Festa Italiana, presented by Calypso Lemonades, today announced Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti will headline the festival’s Italian entertainment line-up, performing Saturday, July 22 at 7 P.M. and Sunday, July 23 at 8:30 P.M. at Henry W. Maier Festival Park (Summerfest grounds). Valentinetti will be joined by other Italian favorites including Ray Massa’s EuroRhythms, The Sicilian Tenors, Tre Principesse, Anna Calemme, and the Florentine Opera.

 

Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti took season 11 of the NBC hit show “America’s Got Talent” by storm and is most known for belting out the classic Frank Sinatra hit “My Way.”  Sal not only received a standing ovation but got the coveted “Golden Buzzer” from Judge Heidi Klum.  The 21-year-old Italian-American crooner is best known for his flawless vocals, larger than life personality and heart of gold. Since being on the show, Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti sold out three Christmas Shows at the famous Paramount Theatre in Huntington, New York and performed in a round at one of Frank Sinatra’s favorite venues, The Theatre at Westbury (formerly The Westbury Music Fair). Sal loves to tell the story of how his father saved up just enough money to see Frank Sinatra on June 11, 1975, at Westbury. On March 3, 2017, the Valentinetti family returned to Westbury and watched with pride as Sal performed his 90-minute show to a sold-out crowd of 3,000 people just like his idol, Frank Sinatra. In October 2017, Sal will be the official Grand Marshal of the Columbus Day parade in Chicago, which is the second largest parade in the country and is working on a Christmas album to be released later in 2017.

 

As Heidi Klum declared: “I like the way you talk. I like the way you sing. I like everything about you.” Festa attendees won’t want to miss this energetic show featuring all the traditional favorites Saturday and Sunday evening!

 

“It’s important to celebrate our Italian heritage during our 40th anniversary, and we have a stellar Italian entertainment line-up not to be missed. Sal ‘The Voice’ Valentinetti, an ‘America’s Got Talent’ finalist will sing all the Italian favorites and will surely entertain Frank Sinatra fans.  We are excited to bring back Ray Massa’s EuroRhythms, a well-traveled band that bridges Italian and American musical tributes, as well as new acts such as Tre Principesse, a young, all-female trio, and Anna Calemme, ‘The Elegant Voice of Naples.’ We are also happy to welcome back Festa favorites including The Sicilian Tenors, The Russo Brothers, Tony Spavone and the Florentine Opera,” said Dean Cannestra, Italian Community Center president and chairman of Festa Italiana.

 

Additional Italian Headliners include:

  • Ray Massa’s EuroRhythms: 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! 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,” and great hits from the Jersey Boys.
  • The Sicilian Tenors Featuring Aaron Caruso, Elio Scaccio and Sam Vitale: The Sicilian Tenors bring together three marvelous Tenor voices, each singing their own interpretation of the world’s best music in a recital format!  Aaron Caruso, Elio Scaccio and Sam Vitale 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!
  • Tre Principesse: Festa is excited to welcome for the first time this newly-formed, talented trio of young musicians. Tatiana Marie is an 18-year-old soprano, Italian Idol finalist, and Overall Honorable Mention in the pop category of International TV Talent Show “Music For Kids.” Anastasia Lee, a 20-year-old contralto, performed with global superstar Josh Groban when she was just 14 years old and is a three-time Italian Idol winner. She released her first single, “Sano e Salvo,” in January 2016, which was a best seller on Amazon. Agne G., a 15-year-old soprano, was the winner of the Pop Opera Division at “Music For Kids” talent TV show and has performed at Carnegie Hall and appeared on The Steve Harvey Show.
  • Anna Calemme: Anna Calemme performs Neapolitan songs like no other and is referred to as “The Elegant Voice of Naples.” She is glamour, she is sensual and sings, dances and acts, playing songs of the greatest Neapolitan songwriters, from “Fenesta vascia” to “Regginella” and “Napulè.” Her voice is warm and harmonious and she can reign it in to the most intimate of sounds: simple, melancholic, romantic. Anna Calemme is a giant talent in her native Italy, with a seductive personality and sharp wit. Among her discography is Anna Calemme: Napoli Infiniti Amori, Nà Maschera, Live on Rome and The best of Anna Calemme (Una Vita).
  • The Florentine Opera: Festa Italiana is excited to welcome back The Florentine Opera as they perform each day at Festa! The Florentine Opera, the three-time Grammy® Award-winning and sixth oldest professional opera company in America (and founded by John David Anello as the Italian Opera Chorus in 1933 in the Third Ward) will return to its roots by performing acts from opera’s greatest masterpieces live onstage. A cast of some of this country’s leading young opera singers will perform some of opera’s greatest arias and songs- directed by Florentine’s General Director, William Florescu with musical direction by the Florentine’s Scott Stewart. Festa audiences can sit back and enjoy the world-class performance of The Florentine Opera!

 

Festa Italiana takes place Friday, July 21 – Sunday, July 23, at the Henry W. Maier Festival Park on Milwaukee’s lakefront. Festivalgoers can take in all entertainment acts for the value price of only $10.00 for advance sale tickets now through July 20. Tickets are $13.00 after July 20 and at the gate.

Gin Blossoms to Headline Festa Italiana Saturday, July 22

April 26, 2017 | Uncategorized | Permalink

Saturday Entertainment Line-Up Also Features Violin Femmes Starring Bella Electric Strings and Dog ‘N’ Butterfly; Take in All Entertainment Acts for the Cost of a Festa Admission Ticket

 

 

MILWAUKEE – April 26, 2017 – Festa Italiana, presented by Calypso Lemonades, today announced Grammy-nominated Gin Blossoms will headline the festival Saturday, July 22 at 9 P.M. at Henry W. Maier Festival Park (Summerfest grounds).

 

With numerous Billboard hits, Gin Blossoms’ fusion of Melodic Rock, Pop, Folk and Country elements has helped pave the way for the modern Rock of today. Gin Blossoms’ five-time Platinum breakthrough album, New Miserable Experience, contained gems such as “Until I Fall Away,” “Found Out About You,” “Hey Jealousy,” and “Allison Road.”  Those hit tracks were followed by Empire Records Platinum Soundtrack hit, “Til I Hear it From You,” and in 1996, by the singles, “Follow you Down” and “As Long As It Matters.”  From their breakout album through today, Robin, Jesse, Bill and Scotty have sold over 10 million records and are one of the most in demand 90’s live artists who began at the end of the grunge era.

 

In February 2017, the band went back in the studio recording a new album in time for release this Summer. Fans will get a taste of the new album as it works its way into their live set beginning this April. The band will perform in over 100 cities in 2017, making it one of the busiest touring years since the 90’s. Gin Blossoms remain a rare breed – rock ‘n’ roll lifers, destined to continue creating, crafting, and performing for audiences ever rapt by their glorious catalog of material.

 

“What better way to kick off our 40th anniversary than with a star-powered entertainment line-up.  Gin Blossoms are one of those bands that people of all ages love and can resonate with and we know they are going to bring a spectacular show to Festa.  We also have the Violin Femmes staring Bella Electric Strings that will excite crowds with their violin renditions of rock classics. Saturday’s line-up is only the beginning of some great entertainment that Festa will have in order to celebrate its 40th anniversary right,” said Dean Cannestra, Italian Community Center president and chairman of Festa Italiana.

 

Additional Saturday (July 22) Headliners include:

  • Violin Femmes Starring Bella Electric Strings: Violin Femmes staring Bella Electric Strings, will rock Festa attendees with their blistering solos and unique arrangements—not to mention their beauty and charm. The girls have performed with some of the biggest names in the business, from Beyoncé to Shakira to Andrea Bocelli, and have appeared on America’s Got Talent Season 1. Performing the music of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Queen, Prince, The Eagles, ELO and more, Violin Femmes takes Bella Strings to a whole new level. The only one of its kind in the world, there are no other similar string acts operating at this level of production. Be prepared for something that you have not yet seen the likes of!
  • Dog ‘N’ Butterfly, the Ultimate HEART Tribute Band: Created in late 2003, this 6 piece band is dedicated to bringing their talent and love of Heart’s memorable music of the 70’s and 80’s to the stage. Complete with a stage show and retro- inspired costumes, Dog ‘N’ Butterfly takes the concept of “Tribute” to a whole new level! Dog ‘N’ Butterfly performs all the 70’s hits loved by die-hard Heart fans worldwide as well as the chart-toppers that brought Heart back into the limelight in the 80’s. Fronting the band is vocalist Lizann Warner whose portrayal of Ann Wilson is both eerie and unparalleled., earning her praise from the actual members of Heart.  Lizann is joined by Desha Dunnahoe who is not only a multi-instrumentalist who plays both electric and acoustic guitars fluently but is also a gifted composer and orchestrator.

 

The members of Dog ‘N’ Butterfly painstakingly recreate every harmony & nuance of Heart’s memorable music down to the last detail. This, coupled with their dynamic stage show & retro-inspired costumes, makes them a virtual tour-de-force of talent and dedication, providing fans with exactly what they promise… The Ultimate Heart Tribute!

 

Festa Italiana takes place Friday, July 21 – Sunday, July 23, at the Henry W. Maier Festival Park on Milwaukee’s lakefront. Festivalgoers can take in all entertainment acts for the value price of only $10.00 for advance sale tickets now through July 20. Tickets are $13.00 after July 20 and at the gate.

 

A full Festa Italiana entertainment schedule of performers will be released as acts are confirmed. To learn more about Festa Italiana, please visit www.festaitaliana.com.

Festa Italiana now offering special ticket deals for 2017 festival

April 18, 2017 | Uncategorized | Permalink

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