Hosted by Ben Vellani - DJ/MC
Tucker Street Stage
Hosted by Chuck Beard -Musician & Barista
About our 2021 Entertainers
Festa Italiana Raleigh provides the largest, most comprehensive, annual showcase of authentic musica italiana in tutta la peninsola intero e nel mondo italico / Italian music from across the peninsula and throughout the Italian diaspora. For eight full hours, across two live stages, as well as a live-curated DJ based in Lucky B’s cortile, Festa goers enjoy sounds ancient and modern, acoustic, electric & electronic, across the Bel Canto; Classical Opera; Contemporary Singer-Songwriter; Mid Century Crooner, Light Opera & Show Tunes; Rock & Roll; Synth Rock; and Traditional Italian Roots & Folk (musica popolare).
80's Synth-Pop & Beyond
ADSR stands for Attack - Decay - Sustain – Release, the synthesizer settings used to craft the unique sounds for iconic bands such as Duran, Tears for Fears, Eurythmics, and more. These crowd-pleasing songs are rarely played live due to the detailed sound crafting involved and the need for musicians that play multiple instruments. ADSR features veteran performers Jim McCann (lead vocals), Italian-born, international synth-rocker Manguss DC (guitar/synth guitar/vocals), James Evans (synth/sequencing), Casey Overton (bass/synth bass/vocals) and Aaron Gerlach (drums/sampling). Please explore our videos and song list and be prepared to have your event transformed into an experience that your guests will be talking about for years to come!
Angela Parchetta is a licensed music educator and pop singer songwriter in Raleigh, NC. She attended Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA) and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education in 2015. Since then, Angela has spent the better half of a decade in the public middle school classroom, building and running multiple award-winning choral programs. She recently made the transition out of the classroom to pursue her other passion: songwriting. Angela uses writing as a way to understand and document her life, while hopefully helping others make sense of theirs. Drawing inspiration from pop powerhouses like Taylor Swift and Carly Rae Jepsen, her songs are anthems for life, love, and finding the strength to move on and thrive. She has over 1.1K subscribers on YouTube, 1.5K on Instagram, and 2K on Facebook.
In her spare time, Angela enjoys drinking coffee and playing with her dog Mia. In January 2022, she will be relocating to Nashville, TN where she will continue developing her songwriting and performance career.
Ariel Reed, Mitchener Howell & Catherine Hamner
Durham & Raleigh, NC
- Ariel Reed, a graduate of the UNC School of the Arts (high school), Peabody Conservatory of Music (undergraduate), and Florida State University (graduate), has developed her opera credits through the roles of Nedda in I Pagliacci, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Suzel in L’amico Fritz, and Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief with the Triangle Opera Studio; Gianetta in L’eslisir d’amore with Capital Opera; title roles Little Red Riding Hood with Triangle Opera; and Gretel from Hansel and Gretel with Peabody Opera, the Florida State Opera, and Capital Opera’s Outreach program, as well as Mrs. Gobineau in Long Leaf Opera’s 2002 and 2008 productions of The Medium. Ms. Reed has recorded a CD, “Tangos y Canciones,” and performs frequently in the area with her father, classical guitarist, Randy Reed. Her oratorio credits range from Baroque to contemporary and include Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Arvo Pärt’s Berliner Messe, and Bach’s Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht (BWV211). Ms. Reed has performed nationally and internationally as soloist at the Aspen Music Festival, the Franz Schubert Institut, the Lake Placid Institute, the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute, and with ensembles such as the Cantores Musicae Antiquae of Florida State University, Duke University Collegium, and Peabody Renaissance Ensemble. From 2004 - 2010, Ms. Reed performed as part of North Carolina Opera’s outreach program in the schools and other community venues.
- Mitchener Howell, a native of Durham, NC, and a product of Durham Public Schools. graduated from Yale University, where he founded the Yale College Opera Company. He served many roles with this company, organizing and directing its well-received inaugural production, Handel's Giulio Cesare.
Howell then focused on performing and had several notable successes during his tenure at Yale including the role of Astolf in Schubert's rarely performed opera Die Verschworenen, featured soloist on the Yale Glee Club's European tour, and the role of the Duke of Dunstable in Gilbert and Sullivan's farcical opera Patience. He participated in masterclasses with guest artists, including renowned baritone William Warfield, soprano Virginia Zeani, tenor Jerry Hadley, and opera and musical theater composer Adam Guettel.
In 2004 Howell had the honor of soloing for Richard Brodhead’s inauguration as president of Duke University. He went on to earn his master's degree from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver in 2006, garnering praise for his interpretation of Fenton in Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor.
After graduation, Mitchener began performing roles with opera companies in the Triangle area. He has sung Bastian in Mozart’s Bastian and Bastianne, and a concert of Mozart operas for Capitol Opera Raleigh. Mr. Howell has also worked with Long Leaf Opera as Jazz in Blitzstein’s masterpiece, Regina, and covered the role of Ed in the premiere of Carter Chandler’s brooding, blues-infused opera, Strange Fruit.
Recent performances include the Vicar in Meredith College's (Raleigh) production of Britten’s sole comedic opera, Albert Herring (starring Metropolitan Opera soprano Claudia Waite), Alexis in The Sorcerer, Captain Fitzbattleaxe in Utopia, Ltd, and Ralph Rackstraw in the HMS Pinafore with the Durham Savoyards'. Mr. Howell has previously sung a co-recital with Jay Pierson for the Strobilus Chamber Music Series and was excited to recently make an international debut as Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Young Artist Project in Italy. Mr. Howell’s performed his most recent recital entitled, “A Spring Awakening” (featuring music of Ravel, Grieg, Verdi and William Grant Still) with the St. Luke’s Artist Series.
- Catherine Hamner received her Bachelor's and Master of Music degrees at UNC-Chapel Hill, with additional study of German Lied and Opera Conducting in Austria and the Czech Republic, respectively. Upon completion of her master’s degree, she was invited to perform a Mozart piano concerto with the NC Symphony on tour. She did summer stock in New Hampshire and worked with Benton Hess at the Cleveland Lyric Opera summer apprentice program. During the time spent in Miami, Florida, she accompanied the Miami Touring Boychoir, traveling to New Orleans, LA and to Puerto Rico. Years later, she conducted two operas with the NC Symphony: Cosi fan tutte by Mozart and La Perichole by Offenbach. Mrs. Hamner’s career has spanned many areas including opera touring, vocal coaching and accompanying, piano teaching, church music, and musical theater. Currently, Catherine works as a Collaborative Pianist at Meredith College, accompanying choirs, opera workshops, and applied lessons. She is also Church Pianist and Children’s Choir Director at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Raleigh. Ms. Hamner is in demand throughout the area as a collaborative pianist, specializing in vocal coaching. She lives in Raleigh with her family.
The Backfence Trio
Classic Pop, Rock & Ballad Covers
The Backfence Trio plays popular music from the previous 10 decades. The band specializes in Classic Rock, R&B, and pop, and adds to it its own blend of swing era, beach, folk, country, movie soundtracks, blues, and light jazz tunes. The Backfence Trio is a highly versatile band, capable of entertaining large crowds at wedding receptions, as well as performing background music at smaller, more intimate gatherings. The Backfence Trio format offers a cost-effective alternative for providing “live” music at your special event.
You’ll be amazed – incredible sound for just 3 guys!
Ballando coi Lupi
Ballando con i Lupi (Dancing with Wolves) is a North Carolina State University student-led dance team & social club. The club provides an opportunity for NC State students, faculty, and staff to learn ballroom and other classic forms of early modern and contemporary social dancing. The club hosts and performs in competitions and shows throughout the Greater Triangle in North Carolina. Club members have reached the finals at national championships, several taking home first place trophies. Successful competitive dance routines have included the waltz, swing, tango, and cha-cha.
For the Festa the team is working up original routines demonstrating the internationally recognized Italian early modern dance form, Ballo Liscio. Ballo Liscio is a genre of music originating in the latter 19th century in the north-central Italian region of Romagna, accompanying the rise of community-based dance halls, and other entertainment venues for the emerging wage-earning classes and at resorts on the Adriatic Riviera. The popularity of the music and the accompanying dances soon spread throughout the peninsula. The accordion, also a 19th-century invention, features prominently in the music. The tradition contrasts with older Italian folk dances in which the frame drum or folk violin (fiddle) was the primary instrument.
Ballo Liscio features prominently in the 1983 Italian-French-Algerian film Ballando Ballando, an internationally-acclaimed film without dialogue, conceived and directed by Italian film maestro, Ettore Scola (1931-2016).
Midcentury Italian-Americana Song Book & Show Tunes
Bill Stonehouse studied opera under Senois Primo Puccinelli and Francesco Sorignello. As a high C baritone, Bill's voice can span four octaves, though he leans toward tenor roles. While the Baron von Trapp role in Sound of Music is his personal favorite, you can hear Bill performing songs from Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, and Fiddler on the Roof. His forte is as a Big Band crooner was definitely influenced by the Vegas scene. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, that whole Big Band sound.& a complete musician, Bill has played several instruments including the piano and the guitar, which he learned by ear, as well as the drums and the harmonica. His best instrument, however, has proven to be his voice.
Carlo Barba & Dr. Charles Hogan
Bel Canto & Neapolitan Song
Carlo Barba (Charles Beard) is a veteran singer of opera, musical theater, popular song, and church, and other forms of sacred music. He is a formerly featured tenor in Greensboro, NC’s Bel Canto Company. He has taught voice and piano and is currently the pianist for Davis Street United Methodist Church, Burlington, NC. He has studied voice at the University of North Carolina School of Music in Greensboro, as well as with voice coaches in Atlanta, Minneapolis, and New York City.
Accompanying Carlo Barba is Dr. Charles Hogan. Pianist, conductor, composer, lover of Tuscan culture e un novizio della lingua italiana, Dr. Hogan hails from West Virginia by way of the University of Kentucky and Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. He conducted the Cincinnati Cathedral choir’s recording O Still, Small Voice of Calm (Pro Organo Records, 2010) and wrote a book on the development of Anglican evensong and modern interpretations of it (MorningStar Publishers, 2015). He recently completed transcriptions and modern translations of late-medieval Sarum chant, published in 2019 as an appendix to th2 2015 publication. Currently Director of Music at St. Mary's Church in High Point, N.C., he has taught at such institutions as Elon University, the University of Dayton (Ohio), and Earlham College (Indiana).
He also owns and often may be seen tending the espresso machine at The Gilded Bean Coffee Bar in Gibsonville. NC.
Contemporary Rock Singer-Songwriter
Raleigh, NC & Nashville, TN
Daniel Mazzerina is the singer-songwriter founder of the six-piece, pop-rock band, The Jukebox. After a series of informal coffee-house nights on their high school campus, Daniel and the players got serious enough to headline Raleigh, NC’s Cardinal Gibbons High School 2018 prom. Since then, Daniel Mazzerina and the band continued to perform at house parties, neighborhood events, football tailgates, and prom 2019. The band specializes in pop music from the ‘50s through today, with a focus on the sweet spot of classic rock, and 70s and 80s radio. They have posted some of their original, non-cover)material on the YouTube “The Jukebox – NC” channel, and post music links on their Twitter page “@thejukeboxes” and Instagram “@jukebox_2019.”
Mazzerina is currently a second-year student in the School of Music at Belmont University in Nashville, TN.
Fisarmonica Brava & Beyond
Chapel Hill, NC
David DiGiuseppe is a multi-faceted performer who has been playing professionally since 1978. A nationally recognized accordionist, DiGiuseppe is known for his fiery and emotive playing and offers a variety of programs, including music from Celtic, French, Italian, and American traditions. He performs both as a soloist and with numerous bands.
David has released three recordings showcasing his accordion playing. He is also featured on many releases with his bands and appears on numerous CDs backing other musicians.
David has written seven books for accordion published by Mel Bay Publications—a tutorial on left-hand technique; a guide to learning blues accordion; collections of tangos, gospel songs, and wedding songs; and two extensive collections of traditional tunes arranged for accordion.
Italian & American-Italian Hits From Across the Generations
Nominated for WRAL Best DJs in the Triangle for 2018 putting him among the top DJs in the area, DJ Ross-C (Cody Ross Massengill) brings quality and affordable entertainment to private and public events. He goes out of his way to ensure that guests and patrons have a wonderful time. With a music library of thousands of songs, and the capability to download music remotely at an event, he’s able to tend to the needs and interests from oldies to today's hits. Paying thousands of dollars for a Wedding DJ is not what DJ Ross-C is about. He believes that a quality DJ can offer the same entertainment as a high-paying Wedding DJ service. Search no further! Your party just started!
Traditional & Contemporary Acoustic-Electric Italian Song,
Mebanesville introduces and delights live audiences with the best in roots, rhythm, and world music from the Mediterranean Basin to the British and Irish Isles while heading down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.
Mebanesville has brought the best in musica Italiana popolare e moderna—traditional and contemporary--to audiences at some of the most popular clubs, wineries, restaurants, and concert stages, as well as universities and community organizations, in the Triangle and Triad of North Carolina, and beyond. The ensemble was a featured musical guest on Frank Stasio’s syndicated radio program, The State of Things, on the PBS affiliate WUNC radio.
The ensemble has also collaborated with filmmakers, cultural foundations, and theatre and dance companies, including PlayMakers Repertory Company at UNC-Chapel Hill, as well as the Paul Green Foundation, the Murphey School Radio Program, and The Dance Cure, all based in Chapel Hill, NC; the Gallery Players in Burlington, NC;, the Open Road Theatre and The Raleigh Little Theatre in Raleigh, NC; and Artauro Productions in Durham, NC.
Mebanesville’s latest album, Town & Country,” was described by Times-News (Burlington, NC) long-time cultural critic Charity Apple as, “(l)ike a typical Mebanesville performance, the album includes something ancient, something new, something borrowed, something brewed—but all thoroughly Mebanesville In the rendering.” NC Poet Laureate, Jaki Shelton Green, describes Mebanesville’s latest album as “All praises for Mebanesville, Town & Country, … a potent mixed brew of cultural entanglements that remind us over and over again how music tenderly invites us across both geographical and spiritual borders. Drink these songs slowly and fully as they open our hearts and arms wider!”
Mebanesville co-founder, Loreins “Larry” Vellani, is the immediate descendant of Reggio Emilian (Arşân ed Rèz) emigrants. Larry has performed with some of the most respected interpreters of social and narrative song and dance—in English, Italian, and Spanish--including Guy and Candy Carawan, Barbara Dane, Mimi Fariña, Ronnie Gilbert, Rhiannon Giddens, Beverly Grant, Si Kahn, Fran McKendree, Natalie Marrone, Michela Musolino, Holly Near, Bruce Phillips, Fabio Turchetti, Baldemar Velasquez, and Salvatore Villani. He also has performed with some of the Southeast's most renowned traditional Anglo and Afro-American musicians, including Lonny Austin, Marvin Gaster, Tommy Jarrell, Lauchlin Shaw, Paul Taylor, and Joe Thompson.
Larry & his Mebanesville Co-Founder and life partner, Peggy Boswell, are citizens of the Republic of Italy as well as the United States. Larry is the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Italian American in North Carolina for his contributions to the study and popular performance of Italian and Italian-American folk and contemporary music throughout North Carolina.
Traditional Mezzogiorno Singing & Drumming
Memphis, TN USA
Michela Musolino, an internationally recognized Sicilian-American singer and percussionist, is the granddaughter of Sicilian immigrants to North America. She has re-discovered her own cultural roots through the study and reinterpretation of the folk songs of Sicily and Southern Italy. Michela is the co-creator of Project Metalli Sonanti (Metalic Soundings), a multi-media performance inspired by the ancestral sounds of Grecian, Roman, Arabian, Byzantine, Norman, Bourbon, and Italian Sicily. Michela’s voice weaves both ancient and modern melodies to create a beautiful, unique alchemy of sound, story, melody, and memory—both Italian and pan-Mediterranean.
Musolino has performed throughout Italy, as well as on both coasts of the US, in Eastern Europe, and at North American folk festivals from West Virginia to Montana. Resident in Memphis, TN and an international musical force, Musolino, uses her voice and a variety of Mediterranean frame drums in performing world music tethered to Sicilian traditions, with textures shaped by jazz and the experimental. Her repertoire spans from songs of Sicilian mariners to original compositions inspired by the folk lore and mythology of Sicily. Musolino will be supported in her 2021 Festa performances by members of the TransAtlantic roots, rhythm & roll musical ensemble, Mebanesville.