For more than 30 years, Brisbane Italian Folk Band, Zumpà, has been working on creating its first album, and this month it was finally released!

The album is a collection of seven ‘beautiful’ original and well covered Italian tunes and songs. The songs are all in Italian. Listening to the album will transport you with Zumpà to forgotten Italian fishing villages, moonlit olive groves and a hard life under a hot sun where peasants play music to celebrate life with a fierce sense of humour. They provide the sounds and energy of folk, gypsy and Italian world music woven together to provide a truly spaghetti and meatballs experience.

David De Santi, a first generation Italo-Australian, was inflicted the piano accordion at the very tender age of 10 by his father Aniello. Aniello, a native of the Campania region of Italy, obviously wanted to keep the old traditions alive in his new country. David did have a reluctance to continue to play the instrument during his teens especially with multiculturalism still very raw in the 70s.

With time David became immersed in the very vibrant Australian folk music scene at first concentrating on Anglo/Celtic and Australian bush music. Folklorists John Meredith and Rob Willis, who had been collecting folklore for the National Library of Australia, encouraged David to return to his ‘roots’ and to celebrate and share the old Italian music, much of which now had been lost or become unpopular in the old country.

And therein began the band ‘Zumpà’. The word is from the Neapolitan dialect and translates as ‘jump’ or ‘spring’ – the obvious effect of hearing infectious tarantellas!

David, originally based in Wollongong, NSW, is now well entrenched in Brisbane and has formed an amazing collection of musicians to create  this new album – Sette Belli. The title being borrowed from the most famous Neapolitan playing card – the ‘sette bello’ used in the game ‘Scopa’.

The album was recorded over a very long and extended period during the Covid 19 Pandemic of 2020. Sadly, Aniello De Santi, the original inspiration for David on his Italian musical journey, passed away on September 2020. He would be very proud a bit of Italy has been preserved.

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