Duo Pizzicato

Hello Tosca!


We're happy to say that Tosca Café in North Beach will be a regular venue for us! Our last two performances there were fun and successful. Hope to see you there! Check our calendar for the schedule. Here are some photos from last week:


New Tracks Recorded


Recording always requires lots of work and can be a bit anxiety provoking for me, but recording at 9 Below Productions is always a pleasure. Engineer Scot Brenton creates a relaxed, friendly atmosphere! We got two new tracks done with Irene Herrmann playing 2nd harmony mandolin.

Kathy Sherak at the Bernal Star


It's been a long time since we played with Kathy Sherak at the Bernal Star. We're glad we had the opportunity make music with her last night. Kathy is playing a beautiful instrument made in Naples. 

Our Tosca Debut


We had a wonderful evening playing for the first time at the historic Tosca Cafe in North Beach. We'll be playing again on February 10 with our special guest Irene Herrmann as part of their Sunday Social Club with special four course prix fixe menu.



New Recording Project


We've started on a new recording project at 9 Below Productions in San Francisco. The first track we recorded last night was Che Ridere and features Danny Hawthorne-Foss of the Sinta Saxophone Quartette on alto sax, Bill on tenor banjo and Martha on guitar. You might think that's an odd combination for Italian music, but we were inspired by some of the tunes on the wonderful collection from Todd Cambio and Henry Sapoznik entitled Paese Mio Bello: Historic Italian-American Recordings 1911-1939 on the JSP label. Some of the tracks that inspired us were: Dolci Recordi and Paes Mio Bello, both of which feature alto sax and tenor banjo. As tracks get done on this latest project we'll preview them here.

Paese Mio Bello:




Save the Date for the Festival of the Mandolins 2019!


The 2019 Festival will be Sunday, April 28. The festival will honor the rich tradition of Italian music in San Francisco and those who played it, with performances and stories from those who learned the music from that generation. Check out their FaceBook page:


A Special Concert by Carla Marulo, WB Reid and Bonnie Zahnow!


Carla Marulo, WB Reid and Bonnie Zahnow will be performing Italian and American music Saturday, August 4 2018 at the Bernal Star, 410 Cortland Ave, San Francisco CA, 7-9 PM. No cover, but donations suggested. 

For more information, read on!



Carla Marulo, originally from Napoli, Italy, joins up with WB Reid & Bonnie Zahnow for an evening cross cultural collaboration. The trio met last Spring at Carla's present day home in Bologna, and discovered a mutual love for American Old-Time stringband and Jugband music, as well as Carla's specialty, Neapolitan popular song of the last century. Gigs in Bolgna and Venice followed, and they are so happy to be reuniting now in California. This will be their last evening together, ending a three week tour that includes teaching at Lark Camp and performing in Santa Cruz. Expect an night of much musical fun and strong human emotion. Surprise musical guests are quite likely.

Carla Marulo fell in love with traditional Neapolitan music about 20 years ago. This lead to her scholarly studies in Italian popular song as well as Afro-Cuban folklore (percussions, dance and songs) and the frame drums of the Mediterranean region. She has been singing and playing percussion in different traditions for 15 years with bands from Napoli, Bologna, and Florence, playing at festivals, weddings, and barbecues throughout Europe with joy and emotion. She plays regularly with with guitarist Antonio Stragapede "Marulo canta Murolo" performing the songs of the great mid 20th century singer. She also plays percussion with the venerable marching band Banda Roncati, and, on washboard, with Craig Judelman and his Milksoup Orchestra. In addition to performing, Carla conducts music workshops for children and juvenile prisoners, and uses Italian songs in her work teaching Italian to migrants and refugees.

WB Reid & Bonnie Zahnow, from Seattle, are well known in traditional music circles throughout the West Coast through their decades of community based music making. They visit California each summer to tour and teach at music camps, including Lark Camp. Back home they play regularly for preschools, community dances, weddings, bars, and house concerts. Together they accompanied Northwest legend Lee Stripling for many years, and ex-Californian WB performs regularly with the Todalo Shakers. Centered in old-time fiddle and banjo music and songs, their repertoire is wide and deep, drawing from blues, Jugband, tin pan alley, and Mexico.

San Francisco Festival of the Mandolins 2015


We had a great time playing at the San Francisco Festival of the Mandolins with our good friend Irene Herrmann on 2nd harmony mandolin. We did a tribute to Riccardo Tunzi, his music and the place of his birth, Ticino Switzerland. 

Caffe Trieste, Berkeley


We had a fun night at Happy Hour at Caffe Trieste last night with our special guest Gus Garelick of the Hot Frittatas. Gus played quite a bit with Mateo Casserino and added his hot harmonies to our songs and tunes. 

Back in Buffalo


We've had a great time back in Buffalo NY and have been playing a variety of places: The Buffalo Italian Heritage Festival, a private event for the Per Niente Club (a social club of native Italian American Buffalo residents), and a gig at Di Tondo's Tavern, a popular restaurant serving up hearty traditional Italian food. Everyone has been so warm and welcoming. We love you Buffalo!


Buffalo Italian Heritage Festival with i nostri amici Paolo (mandolin) & Felice (accordion).

Wandering minstrels at the Per Niente Club.

Duo Pizzicato, Back in Buffalo, NY!



On our recent trip to Buffalo NY we had the buona fortuna to visit the Buffalo Italian Festival and meet some remarkable local Italian Americans, all of whom are authors of recent books. Anthony M. Graziano has written a very thorough and readable history of his immigrant family, La Bell' America: From La Revoluzione to the Great Depression. I am a quarter of the way through it and highly recommend it.


Angelo F. Coniglio has written an engrossing book, The Lady of the Wheel. An historical novel set in Sicily and depicts the hard lives of orphans (called foundlings because they were found abandoned in churches) and the nuns who took care of them. Martha has read this one and highly recommends it.


Finally, we met Paul B. Giordano and got a copy of a cookbook her wrote with his daughter, Mary Ann Giordano. The Saint Joseph's Day Cookbook has recipe after recipe of vegetarian dishes traditionally served on March 19th. The fascinating information on Saint Joseph's day makes this much more than your run of the mill Italian cookbook. It is truly a celebration of a family's special traditions.

The best food we had on our trip was at Gigi's, Mary Ann Giordano's restaurant that featured some of the recipes in her book mentioned above. I had the Baked Cod with Pistachio-Herb Crust. If Gigi's wasn't 2,600 miles away I'd be there every week. When in Buffalo, forget the wings, get some traditional Italian cuisine, visit Gigi's Cucina Povera!



Alfredo Imparato, Neapolitan Minstrel!


We recently had the pleasure of hearing Alfredo Imparato perform at the Museo Italo Americano at Fort Mason in San Francisco. He was amazing! He is one of the last Neapolitan minstrels that performs regularly on the streets of Naples and sings the beautiful songs from the Neapolitan repertoire. His voice is a force of nature! He sings in Neapolitan dialect, so it is difficult to understand even if you know Italian, but the beauty of the music, the language and his voice will captivate you.

This is Alfredo's first trip outside of Italy and is being sponsored by the Museo Italo Americano.

We are lucky that he will be performing again this coming Friday in San Francisco at

The Liberty Wine Bar, 410 Cortland Ave., San Francisco 


Friday, August 23

7-9 pm

Space is limited, there is no cover but tips are highly encouraged!

Duo Pizzicato in Asia and India!


Kate Donohue, our good friend, neighbor and fan of Italian music gave copies of our new CD as gifts on her recent trip to Asia and India! What a thrill to know that our music is being enjoyed half way across the world! Thank you Kate for being an ambassador for musica Italiana! See other photos from Asia and India in our Photo Gallery.


Matteo Casserino and Gino DiMichele


The first Italian mandolin music I can remember hearing was by Matteo Casserino at the Cafe Trieste in San Francisco. Then I used to hear him practice at Gino DiMichele's guitar shop on Judah Street near 9th Ave. Someone recently sent me this incredible photo of Matteo and Gino both playing vintage Gibson instruments. This is the only time I can remember them playing these two instruments.

A New Mandolin


There's nothing more exciting than buying a new mandolin. I keep telling myself I'll kick the habit, but then one comes along that I can't resist. This is what's known as Mandolin Acquisition Syndrome (or MAS) in the mandolin world. My latest is a 1920s round bodied instrument made by Rafaele Tieri in New York City.. I've been looking for one of these for a long time and finally found one in excellent shape. This one has a trippy flange with progressively larger sound holes. I don't know much about Tieri except that his instruments are extremely loud, yet pleasingly woody and that he was a neighbor of D'Angelico in NY. I'll be playing it next week at the Liberty Cafe Wine Bar. Come and hear the sound of a vintage instrument playing vintage music by an increasingly vintage musician.

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