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.
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
"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...).
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,
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!
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.
on the following names to see the features:
and Bert Deivert
Many more to come...
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