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Francesca Fabris Introduces Us To Five Artists

From Italy You Should Get To Know


Francesca Fabris is  an independent artist, singer, guitarist, songwriter, writer and radio presenter.

Mostly involved in folk music, Irish, Balkan and other traditions, she has been perfoming for years with different bands throughout Italy, France, Portugal and Ireland.  She has released three albums of original material and two featuring traditional folk music.

Francesca presents a weekly live radio show called ' Acoustic Roots Rome ' on Radio Kaos Italy (Rome) and Blues & Roots Radio ( Based in Canada and Streaming Worldwide ).

To find out more about Francesca you can visit the links

Website: francesca-romana/bio

Radio Show:

Look out for a special feature on Francesca in our next edition of The Sound Cafe.


We asked Francesca who we should look out for from Italy.

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Flautist Michel Balatti graduated with honours in classical music from Conservatorio Paganini di Genova. In 1998, after attending a concert by the Italian-based Irish band, Birkin Tree, he began a serious study of traditional music and the simple system wooden flute, and since 2003 he decided to devote himself entirely to the wooden flute and folk music.

following his passion for Irish folk music, in 2004 he moved to Ennis, Ireland, for a couple of years, where he had the chance of immerse himself completely in the vibrant co. Clare session music scene.


Michel also plays traditional northern Italian music with the band I Liguriani, with whom he has recorded two widely acclaimed albums and toured extensively throughout Europe. He is one of very few flute players in the field of Italian traditional music, and he has crafted his own unique flute style.

Michel has collaborated with musicians such as Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Niamh Parsons, Tola Custy, Cyril O’Donoghue, Nuala Kennedy, Caitlin nic Gabhann, Mick O'Brien and many others.


The Northern Breeze is his debut solo album, presented at the festival Irlanda in festa in 2016


The core of the album repertoire is Irish music: from traditional tunes (both obscure and well known), to a selection of reels, jigs and slow airs by some of the predominant contemporary composers within the tradition, such as Paddy O'Brien, Brendan McGlinchey, Martin Nolan, Michael Queally and Liz Carroll. An American old time tune, a Swedish waltz and four original compositions by Balatti complete the tracklist.


Simple artistic production and minimalistic arrangements were chosen to highlight the strength of the melodies and the expressiveness of Balatti's flute playing.


The album features Scottish guitarist Michael Bryan (well known in UK and Ireland for his work with the Nuala Kennedy Band and with the BBC Young Traditional Musician of the year House Band) and Italian multi instrumentalist Fabio Biale (who had been a long time partner of Balatti both with the Birkin Tree and with Liguriani) on most tracks.


Guest appearances by Irish flute player and singer Nuala Kennedy, Irish concertina player Caitlin Nic Gabhann and Italian harpist Elena Spotti complete the album’s line up


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based in Italy between Genova and SavonaFounded in 1982 by Fabio Rinaudo and Daniele Caronna, BIRKIN TREE have studied the repertoire of traditional Irish music with passion and seriousness with repeated stays on the island. Over the years the group has had the opportunity to attend and play with some important Irish musicians including Martin Hayes, Cyril O'Donoghue, Mick O'Brien, The Chieftains. They also accompanied the famous piper Liam O'Flynn and the duo Martin Hayes / Dennis Cahill on their Italian tours.


BIRKIN TREE are the only Italian group to have made two official tours in Ireland (1997 and 1998) by participating in numerous local festivals (Feakle, Glencolumbeille, Caberciveen, Granard, Keadue).


FIVE SEASONS is the new album by BIRKIN TREE. The album was born from the special collaboration with Aoife Ní Brhíain, star of the Irish violin, who worked as a member of the band in all the tracks. There are five irresistible and fiery instrumentals, where the soloists can express all their skill as five moving songs based on the dialogue between the female presences in the band. 


This is their fifth album . A record with a full and profound Irish sound and  a very cohesive sound. The only original composition is a slow waltz composed by Fabio Rinaudo (pipes) entitled "The Final Farewell", a sweet and evocative track. The harmonic and rhythmic aspect comes mainly from the guitar of Claudio De Angeli, assisted in some moments by the harp of Elena Spotti and by the bodhran of Ivan Berto. The songs are presented by Laura Torterolo, who performs five beautiful ballads with full respect for the Irish style.  


The band: Fabio Rinaudo - uilleann pipes, flutes, Fabio Biale - fiddle- Laura Torterolo - vocals- Michel Balatti - Irish flute, flutes, Claudio de Angeli - guitar


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Archive Valley are a trio based in Rome, Italy who draw from the repertoire of Old-Time and Americana, stripping back old melodies and building them up once again with jazz, classical and experimental folk influences. These accomplished musicians feature mandolin, banjo, double bass, accordion and piano to conjure up new soundscapes for their traditional and original repertoire.


The trio consists of:

Matan Rochlitz - voice, banjo, mandolin Edoardo Petretti - piano, accordeon Marco Zenini - double bass


Their first album (as a band) "Lost in the Archive Valley" was defined by the critic " A dazzling debut" . The music wanders through the musical traditions of the Appalachian mountains, caught between Old Time Music, Americana and Jazz, which increases evocativeness of the album. A perfect mixture of original arrangements and more traditional tracks/songs thanks to the creativity and musical skills of the band's members.


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Singer - songwriter Nicholas York La Rosa is the son of an Italian father and a Scottish mother, born in Glasgow and grown up in Livorno, Italy. He picked up a guitar at the age of 10 and was soon writing his own music.


His first album “Highways and Skies” was produced by his uncle Ian Campbell (Bass player for Gerry Rafferty and many others) and recorded in London in 2006, followed by other two albums “INTRIO” with Roberto Luti on slide guitar and Massimo Gemini on saxophone in 2010, and “London Journey” in 2013 with more guest musicians and rich arrangements. 


In August 2014, Niki took part in the “Playing For Change” project doing vocals for the song “Lean on me”. The video involved musicians worldwide and was commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation “The Art of Saving a Life” campaign.

Finally in 2017 Niki released his forth album “US” and presented it all over Italy with his band.

During these years Niki wrote music for a couple of independent movies and has performed as a street performer around Europe. There could certainly be the chance that you might have already seen him somewhere on the streets of that continent.

At present Niki is recording his fifth album.


Niki is a lovely songwriter, he writes both in Italian and English , and a fine guitarist, plus always surrounded by exceptional musicians . A live performance from his band is a mixture of poetry (thanks to NIKI's thoughtful lyrics) and musical experience .





Italian folk and ethnic mediterranean sounds together with a pinch of blues and street music are in this new project from the two Sicilian songwriters Mimì Sterrantino and Davide Campisi.


After having collaborated in the realising of some record projects, they decided to embark on a musical journey entitled "Disàmara tour" which saw them protagonists in different cities of the Italian peninsula. The tour gave birth to a new beginning, new musical ideas and the will of recording them on a new album.

The name "MIRCANTI" is the Sicilian name of the street vendors, who carry their

items shouting or even singing to attract the customers, each of them them in a completely personal way. "MIRCANTI" is a 12-piece live album, including some revisited songs and others unpublished, a lovely mixture of the two artists backgrounds and musical ideas.


DAVIDE CAMPISI is an accomplished songwriter, singer and percussionist. He started playing drums when he was 15 years old and after a short time he developed his passion for traditional Sicilian (and generally from south of Italy) music, studying different styles and techniques of the southern's Italy rhythmical instruments , particularly the had drums and frame drums. He collaborated with lots of bands and projects as drummer/percussionist, and since 2015 he is promoting also his solo career, with a full length album recorded in 2017 called "Democratica".


MIMI' STERRANTINO singer - songwriter - guitarist is originally from Sweden but he grew up in Sicily , exactly in the east coast near the town of beautiful Taormina. His father was a folk songwriter too and he inherited from him the passion for the Sicilian folk music. Since he was 19 years old he started writing his own songs, influenced by his folk background but also rock, blues or generally world music.

He recorded three albums of his original songs and one release dedicated to the roots blues.

Together with Marco Corrao (another songwriter from Sicily) he wrote and arranged "Liggenni", an album dedicated to the legends of the Sicilian east coast and mountains around Messina town.

More artists from around the world you should get to know

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