April 6, 2012
Michéal Castaldo Is Number One
The year is off to a good start for independent classical-crossover artist Michéal Castaldo, whose just-released CD is titled Olive You: Classical Italian Songs to Feed the Heart and Soul. Castaldo, who was named Top Indie Artist of 2011 on the prestigious UK website Classical-Crossover, saw “Pray’r” the lead single from the album, garner the number one spot on amazon.com's MP3 Classical Songs Chart only three weeks after its initial release. The single also hit the top spot in the Hot New Releases in Classical Chart: three top spots for Castaldo show the undeniable power of “pray’r.”
by Isabelle Schumacher
The drum festival is KoSA’s hallmark event, but it is certainly not its only one. Since its creation in 1996, the organization has grown into an international phenomenon, with camps, workshops and events organized annually in the US, China, Italy, Canada and Cuba. “For example, to date, we’ve sent about 4,000 pounds of instruments to Cuba and have developed annual study programs there,” Mazza says. KoSA also organizes the Weekend of Percussion in New York and other cities around North America, and it operates a music school in Montreal, where it has organized study programs for percussion in local schools. It even offers team-building seminars to private companies.
In addition to all this, Aldo Mazza is a long-time member of the globe-trotting percussion quartet Repercussion and has performed with major symphonies, among them the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. He has recorded over 100 CDs and has appeared on numerous TV shows. He has worked with such artists as Celine Dion, Jon Bonjovi, Aldo Nova, James Brown, Nikki Yanofsky and Oliver Jones. Born in Calabria, Italy, Mazza came to Canada with his parents when he was nine. “Moving to Canada was hard at first, but it helped the family become a stronger unit,” says Mazza. He praises both his family and the community for his success. “The people around me taught me to have a great work ethic – to do your best, to be proud of what you do, and to do it well.”
by Isabelle Schumacher
The 14th Biennial Conference of the Association of Italian Canadian Writers (AICW) – will be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, March 23-25, 2012. Events are scheduled at Dalhousie University and at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. Founded in 1986, the AICW is a non-profit organization that brings together a community of writers, critics, academics, and other artists and promotes Italian Canadian literature and culture within an ethnoculturally diverse society. To learn more, please visit www.aicw.ca
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