Duo Pizzicato

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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