The Harvest Festival of Raddusa at Raddusa (Province of Catania)

Surrounded by a golden sea of corn and warmed by the Sicilian sun, Raddusa, in the province of Catania, is the town of grain. This corner of the island seems timeless; its inhabitants live in the countryside and work the land, eating the fruits of their own labor. The Harvest Festival is very much a representation of Sicily and takes place on the second weekend of September. The event involves the whole town and intrigues the many tourists as well. The festival is a commemoration of the ancient crafts of Sicilian farmers during the 1950s. In the square of the Unknown Soldier some old crafts are demonstrated, such as: “u metiri,” (meaning “the harvest” in Sicilian) describing the process of cutting of the wheat using scythes that cut away the base of the grain; “a pisatura,” which is the separation of the wheat grain from the husk. This process is done by horses that use their hooves to trample the stalks of wheat guided by the farmer. There is a tasting of the baked bread and thecuccia”; the “mascacia” which is the technique used to shoe horses, and “mapstata du pani” – bread making. The whole country is decorated with ears of corn that adorn palaces, churches, plazas and main streets. Folk music and dance groups will accompany the three days of celebration.

Visit the Museum of Grain which exhibits the ancient tools of the traditional crafts of Sicily. Don’t leave without taking a jute bag full of seeds of wheat and some ears of wheat. According to the Sicilian tradition wheat represents fertility and good luck! Allura: bona furtuna a tutti!


Directions to Raddusa: (75 Km, 44,73 mi. from Catania):
From Catania: take the A9 highway CT-PA, Palermo direction, exit at Raddusa/Assoro

Etna Trasporti, Interbus

from AmuniSicily.com #4 edited by Vanvakys
Related link: SicilyArt.com, Siciliana Cities and VillagesResources, Nature and Traditions

NEW YORK, TUESDAY OCTOBER 2nd 2012, 6 PM

What: Franco Maresco 2010, documentary projection about the life of Tony Scott,Io sono Tony Scott, ovvero come l’Italia fece fuori il più grande clarinettista del jazz ,with English subtitles.
I am Tony Scott. The Story of How Italy Got Rid of the Greatest Jazz Clarinetist”
Where: at BMCC’s Theater 2 Scheduled time: at 6 PM.

info: The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute Queens College, CUNY

Tel: 212-642-2094 – Fax: 212.642.2030

 

Io sono Tony Scott,

I am Tony Scott. The Story of How Italy Got Rid of the Greatest Jazz Clarinetist”

Tony Scott (Anthony Joseph Sciacca, June 17, 1921 – March 28, 2007) was a jazz clarinetist known for an interest in folk music around the world. Born in Morristown, New Jersey, Scott’s parents emigrated from Sicily at the turn of the century. His mother played violin, his father guitar, and by age 12, Scott began studying clarinet, influenced by the sounds of Clarence Hutchenrider, Benny Goodman, and Artie Shaw. Scott attended Juilliard School from 1940 to 1942, receiving instruction in clarinet, piano, and composition, and building a strong background in classical music. Drafted into the United States Army in 1942, he was stationed at Governor’s Island in New York harbor and spent his spare time immersed in the jazz scene on 52nd Street

In the 1950s he worked with Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday. He also had a young Bill Evans as a side-man. In the late 1950s, he won the Down Beat Critics poll for clarinetist in 1955, 1957, 1958, and 1959.

He settled in Italy in the 1980s, working with Italian jazz musicians such as Franco D’Andrea and Romano Mussolini. In later years he began showing an interest in Electronica and in 2002 his Hare Krishna was remixed by King Britt as a contribution to Verve Remixed. In 2010, Italian director Franco Maresco released his documentary about the life of Tony Scott, Io sono Tony Scott, ovvero come l’Italia fece fuori il più grande clarinettista del jazz “I am Tony Scott. The Story of How Italy Got Rid of the Greatest Jazz Clarinetist” (with English subtitles).

Source : Wikipedia.org and BrowseBiography.com

Related links SicilyArt.comSciacca

I am Tony Scott.

The Story of How Italy Got Rid of the Greatest Jazz Clarinetist

Tony Scott “The story of greatest Jazz clarinet proudly Sicilian forgotten by his own people”
Famus quotes: “I decided a long time ago I would rather be a jazz musician than rich and famous. “I never regretted that decision.” “Jazz is Black, why? What is spaghetti?
Anthony Joseph Sciacca, June 17, 1921 – March 28, 2007, was a jazz clarinetist known for an interest in folk music around the world. Born in Morristown, New Jersey, Scott’s parents emigrated from Salemi, Sicily at the turn of the century. His mother played violin, his father guitar, and by age 12, Scott began studying clarinet, influenced by the sounds of Clarence Hutchenrider, Benny Goodman, and Artie Shaw. Scott attended Juilliard School from 1940 to 1942, receiving instruction in clarinet, piano, and composition, and building a strong background in classical music. Drafted into the United States Army in 1942, he was stationed at Governor’s Island in New York harbor and spent his spare time immersed in the jazz scene on 52nd Street.

In the 1950s he worked with Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday.
Billie and Tony had a long relationship, so intimate sometimes that everybody gossiped to be lovers, “She never did anything bad to me“. He also had a young Bill Evans as a side-man, bringing him from the Classical Music to the Jazz world . In the late 1950s, he won the Down Beat Critics poll for clarinetist in 1955, 1957, 1958, and 1959.

Over the past 50 years, he arranged the hit “Day-O” for Harry Belafonte, “de, isede, isede, isedoo! It’s my idea but I wasn’t interested on royalties or else: you know how much money I waould have made with this?. Tony “studied traditional music in Japan, , recorded the first New Age album, and lived in three different countries
His most musically transforming event occurred in 1943 when he saw Charlie “Bird” Parker play for the first time. “My mouth dropped,” Scott told Matthew Landan of the Herald Tribune. “He played so many notes that it sounded like … Chinese music from the moon.” Scott and Parker later became friends, being so talented“, Tony was the only “non African-American allowed to be on the stage with him “. Parker and Scott opened and played together in a Jazz club on 52nd Street for one year.

Scott played and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, and Charlie Parker in the late 1940s, and by 1954, led his own quartet in a successful run at Minton’s Playhouse, the location that gave birth to be-bop. “By the early 1950s he had developed a far more confident approach,” wrote Jim Burns in Jazz on Record, “and his soloing became more intense and swinging.” In 1953, Scott won the Down Beat critics’ poll as “New Star” on the clarinet.

In 1957, Scott began an extensive tour of Europe that included a side trip to South Africa. “He ‘sat in’ all over the world,” wrote John S. Wilson in the New York Times. He began the tour in Sweden, performing with the Harry Arnold Orchestra, and forming his own quartet to record “Swingin’ in Sweden” and other pieces.While in Yugoslavia, he spontaneously performed the instrumental “Blues for Charlie Parker” dedicated to his friend’s memory. It would become Scott’s most requested composition. “It was a spur of the moment thing,” Scott told Wilson. “The audience gave me a five-minute standing ovation. Musically, it was the high point of my life.” Scott also traveled to South Africa, a country still gripped by apartheid, where he was allowed to play to multi-racial audiences, just inviting the “Whites” to attend the concert in college for “Blacks”: “There no such law that can stop this!, He said. He received a letter of commendation from Vice President Richard Nixon when he returned, thanking him for his goodwill musical tour.

Scott returned to New York in the later part of 1957, but he would only remain for two years. He played at the Show Boat Club in Greenwich Village in New York City, appeared on a number of episodes of the television show, The Subject Is Jazz, and received good reviews for his performance at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. In 1959, he recorded Sung Heroes with Bill Evans, Scott La Faro, and Paul Motiam. Despite these successes, Scott once again decided to travel, this time to the Far East. By this time, many of the friends who had most inspired him–Billie Holiday, Art Tatum, and Lester Young–had died. Going to the Far East, Scott believed, would help to revitalize his sagging spirits.

In the 1960s he toured South, East, and Southeast Asia. This led to his playing in a Hindu temple, spending time in Japan, and releasing Music for Zen Meditation in 1964 for Verve Records. In 1960 a Down Beat poll for Japan saw readers named him best clarinetist. In 1968 he visited Salemi and Gibellina, the village where his parents were born, sombody saw him crieing, was shoked, everything was completly destroied by a tremendus heartquake.

He settled in Italy in the 1980s, working with Italian jazz musicians such as Franco D’Andrea and Romano Mussolini. He first lived in Sicily, always considering himself as a proud Sicilian, but nobody recogn his great carreer or his importance, was snobbed and treated very badly, not only for his attitude: ” Sai chi sono io? Tony Scott“, do you know who I am? Moved in Rome and Milan later, humilated by participations in stupid entertaiment TV programs in RAI (the national broadcasting channel). He soffered for that of severe depression and reduced himself in poverty: often playing for food or a place to sleep over.

In 1996, he recorded The Old Lion Roars for his seventy-fifth birthday. He also spent time writing his autobiography, Bird, Lady, and Me, covering his memories of 52nd Street.In later years he began showing an interest in Electronica and in 2002 his Hare Krishna was remixed by King Britt as a contribution to Verve Remixed. In 2010, Italian director Franco Maresco released his documentary about the life of Tony Scott, Io sono Tony Scott, ovvero come l’Italia fece fuori il più grande clarinettista del jazz “I am Tony Scott. The Story of How Italy Got Rid of the Greatest Jazz Clarinetist” (with English subtitles).

Few jazz musicians can lay claim to having played with Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Ben Webster, Bill Evans, Charlie Parker, Clark Terry, and Sarah Vaughan. Tony played with the Duke Ellingtone Orchestra to be considered the best of all time “Tony Scott has emerged from his bop roots and his new-age experiments” wrote Shaun Dale in Cosmik Debris magazine online, “as the senior statesman of the clarinet.” His ability to play a number of jazz styles, combined with openness toward different cultures, has made his music diverse and distinctive. “I decided a long time ago I would rather be a jazz musician than rich and famous,” he told Landan. “I never regretted that decision.”

Resources: Wikipedia.org and BrowseBiography.com Web Editing Vanvakys.com

Related links: SicilyArt.com – Citta’di SciaccaCiaoPics.com

The Oriundi – Contributions to the evolution of Jazz by Giuseppe Milici

Imagination and a musical lexicon that’s all we will need to begin our journey through the progression of Jazz Music around the world. The importance of Sicilian musicians in this development, as well as those of Sicilian origin, is evident from the start.

Beginning our brief excursion through the History of Jazz in the 1920th the first name comes in mind maybe Nick La Rocca, founder and leader of one of the most famous jazz band of that time “The Original Dixieland Jazz Band”. Nick and his fellows recorded, New Orleans, Louisiana, reputed to be the first Jazz record ever produced, and were therefore instrumental to the unfolding of what became a popular mode of musical expression worlwide. After producing the “absolute first” jazz record, the group had lot of success on tour throughout the United States and Europe, as well, where Jazz was relatively unknown. Nick La Rocca was not the only member of Sicilian origin in the “Original Dixieland Jazz Band”; the group also included: Frank Signorelli on piano and Tony Sbarbaro on drums. Consequently, it is not far-fetched to claim that the first Jazz record was truly an effort “Made in Sicily”.

Continuing our imaginary trip through jazz in time,we should mention another important step of great importance for our fellow Sicilians: the “Be Bop” era. Many musicians of Sicilian origin wrote and performed this improvisional style of jazz music, born in New York during the WW2 era. Even though the terrible events of the war dominated this period of history in both Sicily and America, jazz musicians in New York continued to work and progress, and it was during time that this new genre emerged. Among the members of the first Be Bop band there was a musician named George Wallington (birth name Giacinto Figlia), who was born in Palermo. He was an integral part of the band, as he was not only the pianist, but also the composer, and played a note worthy role in developing this new style and, ultimately, steering the course of jazz music. It is imperative to mention the other members of the group which comprised of such famous musicians as: Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), Oscar Pettiford (contrabass), Max Roach (drums), Don Byas (saxophone). By the end of the 1940′s an exceptional talent had began to draw attention: His name was Tony Scott. Born in New Jersey as Tony Sciacca he hailed from a family of Sicilian immigrants with a passion for music (some of them were musicians). Tony was encouraged to study various instruments including clarinet, saxophone, piano. By 1953 Tony Scott grew into a giant of Jazz music, collaborating with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and arranging and performing for Sarah Vaughan and Billy Holiday. He also played several tours in Africa and Europe, performing with great musicians as Charlie Parker, Bill Evans, Kenny Clarke, Benny Carter, accomplishing a high standard of “traditional jazz” while devoting the best of himself to the “modern style”. Many other names can be mentioned by a jazz lover and in a to up to date list we can name: Chick Corea, Frank Sinatra, Joe Pass, Chuck Mangione, Louie Bellson.

Clearly, these brief notes on the significance of Sicilian musicians to the evolution of Jazz in the world are only the beginning, and do not come close to covering the subject. However, they are useful in comprehending how, at a time not too long ago, some among us in the world contributed to the “creation” of something world-renowned and its melodies resound throughout the world and our ears to this day. Let’s hope they continue to do so for many more

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English version by VanVakys VRC consulting