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John T. LaBarbera: That’s Not Italian Music!

June 22 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Join us as we welcome entertaining storyteller and master musician, John T. La
Barbera, weaving stories and songs as he presets his autobiographical article
“That’s Not Italian Music!” My Musical Journey from New York to Italy
and Back Again. It was first presented at the 2005 Annual Conference of the
American Italian Historical Association at UCLA, where he was awarded for his
extraordinary role in the transmission and translation of Italian oral traditions in

John T. La Barbera is a composer, arranger, guitarist, mandolinist, educator and
author whose expertise in Italian traditional music has made him a valuable
resource for both film and theater directors. As a pioneer of the music that shaped
the great Italian folk revival in Italy in the 1970s, in which he was an active member
working with the Pugliese folk group Pupi e Fresedde, John learned the music by oral
tradition while touring with the group’s theatrical and musical productions
throughout Europe. He continued to do extensive research in Southern Italian music
and traditions and in 1977 presented the music for the first time in New York City
bringing the rich traditions back to the United States. He was awarded for the
extraordinary role of the transmission and translation of Italian oral traditions from
The Italian Oral History Institute, and recognized as one of the first transcribers
of Southern Italian folk music in America and in 2016 is a recipient of the John and
Mary Esposito Fellowship Award in Italian American Culture and History from
UMass at Dartmouth. He is the author of the first and foremost book published in
the U.S. on the Italian mandolin called Traditional Southern Italian Mandolin and
Fiddle Tunes (2009) and Italian Folk Music For Mandolin (2012), with Mel Bay



June 22
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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