Alfredo De Pietra at the Celtic Cafe

Alfredo De Pietra, Music Column Editor of Keltika Magazine

Born in Potenza, Italy, Alfredo De Pietra lives in Palermo, Sicily, where he works as a family doctor, specializing in Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, but it's another passion that brings him to the Celtic Cafe. He began to listen to Irish music in the mid-'70s, hooked by groups such as the Chieftains and the Bothy Band, and over the years has expanded his enjoyment and musical knowledge. In 2000 he started a popular website devoted to Celtic music (click here), and since 2001 he's been one of the main contributors to the monthly Italian magazine "Keltika," for which he has written dozens of reviews, articles and interviews with prominent Celtic musicians from all over the world.

We are so grateful to Keltika and Alfredo for their generosity in sharing some of his excellent work with us, translated into English. We asked him to tell us a bit about the path that led him to be the Music Column Editor of Keltika Magazine:

"Since I was a boy I had the passion for the guitar, played always rigorously "by ear," and, without pretending to become a professional guitar player, I have tried to draw the maximum in terms of healthy fun. Even if I must confess today that I often feel my guitar has become a wall ornament (where is my extra time?), whenever I am able, I try to keep myself up to date about the news of the world of the 6 strings.

My myths? When I was a boy, Eric Clapton was number #1. Later I discovered the puzzling speed and scheming rhythmic-harmonic alchemies of John McLaughlin. His playing opened wide the doors of modern jazz to me (a poster of Miles Davis for years stood out in my room). In the mid 1970s I casually found the recordings of the great John Renbourn and Pentangle, and from there my interest in fingerpicking began. Above all, the English styles of the 1960s and 1970s (Davey Graham, who I happened to meet in London in 1980, and Bert Jansch, Martin Carthy, John Martyn, Martin Simpson...).

Also around 1976, through a trailer of a movie starring the late Fred Astaire, Charlotte Rampling, Philippe Noiret, Peter Ustinov and Agostina Belli ("Un taxi mauve" in Italian, in USA "The Purple Taxi") and the commercial of an Italian brand of chocolate (!!!), I discovered the magic of that immense patrimony of popular traditions that is Irish music: both the songs (Drowsy Maggie and Mna na H Eireann), they were by the Chieftains, the most important group of Irish Music. Since then I have collected all (I believe) the disks of this unbelievable band of musicians, that even today continues to make stupendous recordings at their increasing age! (Paddy Moloney & Co. I believe they are by now about 60 years old). Putting guitar and Irish music together I discovered guitarists like Pierre Bensusan, Paul Brady, Andy Irvine, Dick Gaughan and fingerpicking and open tunings. Also, I discovered groups like Bothy Band, De Danann, Planxty, Clannad..."

We first came across Alfredo through an excellent interview with him, by Stephen Gray, in May of 2003. Click here to learn much more about this intriguing Italian! We learn also in that interview with Alfredo why Celtic music is so popular in Italy!

The following links lead to the English translations of some of Alfredo's features for Keltika Magazine, with many more to be added. In addition, we are thrilled that Alfredo has agreed to do some interviews for the Celtic Cafe directly. Contact Alfredo by clicking here.

Click on the following names to see the features:

Sean Laffey

Christy O'Leary and Bert Deivert

Mike Hanrahan

Christopher Dean

Grey Larsen

Kay McCarthy



Barry McCabe

Many more to come...

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Feature: Bernadette Price
Original Web Design: Alexander Servas






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