Aristide Garafolo & Friends share a passion for Delta Blues. Their first stop in America was Dallas, Texas, where they joined their friend and fellow countryman, Mauro Cianciulli, and have been playing nightly in and around Dallas. The entire group hails from the same small hometown – Agropoli which is South of Naples in the Southern boot of Italy.
And their dream gig comes true this week with two performances in Clarksdale.
Connections between the history of the blues, Mississippi and Southern Italy are easy to find. In the late 1890's, a large number of Italian emigrants came to the Mississippi Delta in search of land and an opportunity to work on plantations largely as indentured servants. Italian immigrants made great sacrifices, struggling against exploitation and prejudice and have, in turn, greatly influenced the Mississippi Delta of today. Descendants of these early immigrants spread throughout the Delta from Memphis to New Orleans.
Mississippi host and agent for the group will be Milton Sandy, Jr., a lifetime Mississippian and local historian whose late wife, Stephanie, was of Italian descent. Sandy believes both Mississippians and Italians share rich heritages of music, literature and hospitality. Sandy says “It is a true honor for me and a revelation to have visitors come to Mississippi seeking to share in our historical heritage as the birthplace of the blues.” He hopes memories and the experience of their Mississippi visit will enrich these musicians' careers.
Announced today was the availability of souvenir “Blues Italia” gold enamel cloisonne collector pins to commemorate the group's Mississippi Blues Tour. Limited quantities will be available at each of these performances:
Mississippi dates so far confirmed for the group include:
Tuesday, April 12, 2022- The Shack Up Inn, Clarksdale, Mississippi 6:00 PM
Wednesday, April 13, 2022- Ground Zero Blues Club, Clarksdale, Mississippi 8:00 PM
Thursday, April 14, 2022- Pickin On The Square, Corinth, Mississippi 8:00 PM
Friday, April 15, 2022- Blue Canoe, Tupelo, Mississippi 9:30 PM