Bebop, Swing and Bella Musica: Jazz and the Italian American Experience
A book by Bill Dal Cerro and David Anthony Witter
FROM ITS ORIGINS IN NEW ORLEANS THROUGH THE BIG BAND,
SWING, BE-BOP, AND MODERN ERA, AMERICANS OF ITALIAN
HERITAGE HAVE MADE VITAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO JAZZ MUSIC.
Buddy DeFranco, Flip Phillips and Joe Lovano: These are just some of the
hundreds of musicians of Italian descent whose talents have enriched jazz.
But Bebop, Swing and Bella Musica is more than just a book about music. From the lynching of Italian immigrants in New Orleans in 1891 through hard times and prejudice, this book documents the cultural barriers which Italians faced in their pursuit of the American Dream. It also profiles musicians like Joe Marsala who played an active role in the integration of jazz music.
Bebop, Swing and Bella Musica features original, in-depth interviews with many artists who overcame poverty, illness and other personal tragedies. In the end, they drew strength from the musical traditions of their ancestors, bringing Italian passion to America’s greatest art form.