Welcome to the Website of Festa Italiana di Vandergrift!
Notes for Festa Italiana di Vandergrift 2015
- No outside food, beverages, or coolers are permitted—please support our fabulous Italian food and beverage vendors.
- There is construction going on through out the town of Vandergrift. Please be careful when driving or walking around the town. Construction around the festival grounds should be completed by the festival but please be cautious of this construction.
- Please use the the available shuttle service that is in place to arrive at the festival grounds. Due to the large amount of people we are expecting this year, parking around the festival grounds will be scarce. The main parking lot and shuttle will be at Kiski Area High School. For more information, check out the Parking/Shuttles page.
Reserved Family Tables
We still have available the reserved family tables. These tables are located in designated tents located around the perimeter of the field. The cost of these tables are $50 which includes an 8 foot table and 8 chairs. These tables are great to get out of the sun and have a place to enjoy the wonderful Italian food and drinks. We expect these to sell out so reserve yours today!
Anthony Massari Memorial Amateur Wine Competition
will again hold our Anthony Massari Memorial Amateur Wine
Competition—start selecting your favorite vintages ! ! ! The entry
deadline is Friday July 31st ! ! ! Go to the Wine Competition Page
to download the Rules and Entry Form. Click here
for more information.
We are excited to announce our lineup for this year's Festa.
Television, film, theater, nightclub-they're all fields in which Joe Piscopo has won the acclaim and affection of millions. For over 25 years, Joe has proven to be one of show business- brightest lights. After stints as a disc jockey and dinner-theater performer, Joe turned to comedy. In 1980, he was chosen to join a newly formed ensemble charged with one of the most difficult tasks in TV history- Replacing the original cast of Saturday Night Live.
By the time he left the show in 1985, Joe had left his mark on the program, and the nation, thanks to his wide range of hilarious original characters and celebrity impersonations, from The Sports Guy and Doug Whiner to David Letterman and, of course, Frank Sinatra, who repeatedly endorsed Joe's portrayal of him, referring to Joe as 'The Vice-Chairman of the Board.'
His work on SNL naturally led to Hollywood, and starring roles in such smash hits as Wise Guys (with Danny DeVito) and Johnny Dangerously (with Michael Keaton). Other film credits include "Dead Heat, Sidekicks and the independent feature films Two Bits & Pepper, Roger Corman's, 'Demolition Day' and a dramatic, critically acclaimed performance in Jonathan Parker's Bartleby. Look for upcoming films from Joe's, Avellino Films, "Joey Benefit" and "Bloomfield Avenue."
In January 1996, Joe conquered yet another realm when he starred on Broadway as disc jockey Vince Fontaine in Grease! (Ever the trouper, Joe insisted on performing opening night, despite conditions created by one of the worst blizzards in NYC history). And indeed, history was made as Grease! was the only Broadway show to open that night!
Live performances have always been an important part of Joe's career. He has long been one of America's most popular comedy concert attractions, filling arenas and casino showrooms from coast to coast and in Canada. (Including the prestigious Montreal Jazz Festival!) Joe tours with his own original Big Band tribute to Frank Sinatra, as well as his multimedia comedy show.
Joe also pioneered some of the most innovative television commercials on the air. Starting with his unforgettable Miller Lite campaign to GNC, Bally's and even touting Ragu (with his Italian Mom's permission, of course!)
Joe has also recently won acclaim for his dramatic guest-starring roles on the NBC drama, Law and Order. You might have also seen Joe as a guest on The FOX News Channel, or co-hosting The Columbus Day Parade each year in NYC with Maria Bartiromo or on The Late Show with David Letterman.
Although his unique talents are in constant demand from show business quarters, Joe devotes an extraordinary amount of time to non-profit and charitable activities. His willingness to perform at benefit functions knows no limits.
Piscopo received the Volunteer of the Year Award from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mercer County, NJ and was the keynote speaker at the Big Brothers Big Sisters National Conference in Chicago. In addition, Piscopo has received Community Service Awards from Boys and Girls Clubs in New Jersey and Broward Co., Fla. and is especially proud to have been recognized by Boy's Town of Italy in Rome.
As a result of this work, Piscopo started his own foundation called "The Positive Impact Foundation", creating positive media for at-risk youth including the syndicated television show for teens, "Positive Impact TV". This groundbreaking series mixes education and entertainment to reinforce positive behavior and lifestyles among at-risk youth from both urban and suburban backgrounds. And just this year, Joe has merged his foundation with the Boy's and Girl's Clubs of New Jersey and is their statewide spokesman
Joe also was recently honored by the NYPD Columbia Association. Joe is especially proud to be honored by these heroes of 'New York's Finest! A proponent of the US Military Forces, Joe was honored to receive the Commendation Medal, the highest civilian award from the state of New Jersey. Joe has performed concerts for the NJ National Guard and the NJ WWII Memorial. Joe's Dad was a Major is the US Army Air Corp in the Second World War.
Honoring his Parents and Grandparents, who emigrated to this country, Joe continued the legacy of his heritage by receiving the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Although Joe's impressive career and public service include several major accomplishments, he insists his proudest achievement of all is twice being named Father of the Year, in 1983 by the National Father's Day Council, and in 1989 by the New Jersey Council of Children's Rights. No matter how busy he may be, Joe always makes sure he has enough time at his New Jersey home, for his children, Joey (an impressive talent, in his own right!), and Alexandra, Michael, and Olivia.
The Vince Chiarelli Band
Vince Chiarelli comes from a bloodline of musical tradition. Starting when he was 18 months old, Vince showed everyone his singing ability and musical talent. Not only has he inherited his grandfather’s name, but is also keeping the legacy of his grandfather’s music alive. Vince embraces a philosophy in life that he adapted from his grandfather: “Be happy for everyone, and everyone will be happy for you.”
Vince’s grandfather, Vince Chiarelli Sr., started a record label in 1967 that Vince runs today. Vince grew up hearing stories of his grandfather playing in Nashville, writing songs and being well connected to the Chicago music scene. In Italy, Vince Sr. played with the famous Italian musician Franco li Causi, who is known in the U.S. for writing songs in The Godfather movies. Vince studied this type of music with his grandfather and was taught a style of music that is truly authentic to the Italian-American culture.
Vince Sr. also taught his grandson the connection between Italian music and American Pop music from the 50’s & 60’s. Vince Sr. didn’t like country music but would record country artists. He wrote a country song as a joke. A Nashville band ended up playing it on “Hee Haw” show and the song is now in Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame. It was Vince Sr.’s biggest success as a songwriter.
It is well known that the unique flavor of Italian culture has shaped our modern Art, Architecture and Literature. From Leonardo DaVinci to the Tuscan Villas to the writings of Dante Alighieri, Italian culture serves as a foundation for today. Yet, many are still unaware of the influence of Italian music on American popular music of today. Vince Chiarelli is out to change this!
Vince is out to teach the world about the influence of his culture on American popular music. Vince Chiarelli & The Italian Influence is a show that entertains, enlightens and engages as audience members embark on a journey that reveals the link between classic Italian standards and modern hits by artists like Dion, Bobby Darin, Roy Orbison, Dean Martin and others. As part of this outstanding show, he pays tribute to his grandfather by performing songs written and made popular by his grandfather. Don’t miss this fabulous experience and opportunity to explore the link between Italian culture and modern American popular music!
Ray Massa's EuroRhythms
One of the most consistently sought after musical variety acts, Ray Massa’s EuroRhythms have dazzled audiences from coast to coast. They have been acclaimed for their ability to captivate the younger “Pop Culture” audiences while simultaneously thrilling established fans of Italian & Swing music.
The EuroRhythms have a long history. Ray Massa was born and raised in South-eastern Ohio (Bellaire, Ohio) of Italian parents who immigrated from the Campania region of Italy. The group was started by Ray in 1982 while attending college at Ohio State University. His goal was to try to meet some Italians so that he could feel at home in a new city full of strangers. After an exhausting search he put together a group of four other musicians who were all born and raised in Italy, Naldo Monaco, Joe D’ippolito, Franco Salvatore and Gaetano Marino. As the Band grew in Popularity Ray increased the size of the band to seven members which lent the ability to be more diversified in musical styles. With popularity also came growing pains, the rigors of a lot of travel and a full plate of performance dates gave way for many of the original members to step down.
As with many Italians, Ray stepped up to the challenge and in 1992 began to recruit top musicians and build a band capable of attracting national attention. With many Italian songs trapped in his memory from repetitious playing of the albums his family brought with them from Italy, Ray inspired his new group to help him rearrange the traditional songs with a higher energy Pop sound with the hope of attracting younger Italian/Americans to the wonderful treasure of Italian music. With a lot of hard work and paid dues, the EuroRhythms have accomplished their goal and now have a National Following both young and old.
Today the EuroRhythms’ professional musical talents are complimented with five vocalists including Ray Massa (Parents from the Campania Region), Tony -DiMelfi (Grandparents from the Basilicata Region) and vocalist Marco Capoccia, (Born and raised in the region of Frosinone, Italy). The total group is comprised as such: Ray Massa on the Accordion/Organ/Vocals, Tony -DiMelfi – Lead Vocals/Trombone , Marco Capoccia Vocals/Percussion, John Dirck -Guitar/Keyboard/Vocals, Craig Hahn Drums/keys/Vocals, Jerry Parsons Bass Guitar/Vocals, Brian Olsheski - Saxophone/Clarinet, , Scott Belck Trumpet/Flugel Horn.
Ray Massa’s EuroRhythms are featured Nationally at Italian Festivals from Brooklyn, NY., Chicago and through the west coast to Portland Oregon. They are credited with bridging the gap between American & Italian venue’s for festival entertainment by revitalizing the mystique and romantic excitement of Italian music! The group’s dynamic and energetic style attracts audiences of all ages and nationality. The EuroRhythms’ popularity is attributed to their unique arrangements of songs from Italy’s current Pop Charts like, “Mai Piu Sola”, to great Italian hits of all styles from the 80’s to the 50’s like, “A Chi” or "Tu Vuo Fa L'Americano" and their own Italian version of “Hang On Sloopy”. These great songs are intertwined with the ever popular Italian/American favorites like, Louie Prima’s swinging "Zooma Zooma Baccala", "Ce la luna", & "Buona Sera", along with traditional songs you just can't do without at any Italian function, "That's Amore", "OH Mari” the "Tarantella", polkas, waltzes, mazurkas, etc.!
Jimmy Sapienza and Five Guys Named Moe
In 1987 a friend of Jimmy's gave him a cassette full of Louis Jordan songs and said..."You're gonna love this stuff." Love it ? As Jimmy listened he thought to himself..."I'm gonna add this material to my repertoire." He listened as the songs played on... One after another..."Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens", "Is You Is (Or Is You Ain't My Baby)", "Sure Had A Wonderful Time", "Choo Choo Ch-Boogie", and when the "Caldonia Boogie" was over he said out loud..."I'm gonna put a whole new band together!" Then he asked himself the question... "What will I call this band?" Then came the fifteen-note intro to the Jordan song that changed his life..."Five Guys Named Moe". The words described to a T a band of ace musicians who knocked-out crowds with the "best in harmony" winning the favor of every type of audience and receiving rave critical revues. This was exactly the kind of band he wanted to form. Jimmy handpicked the best jazzmen from the local Pittsburgh scene. Since its inception, Jimmy Sapienza's Five Guys Named Moe have consistently delivered crowd-pleasing performances to a multitude of appreciative fans, including President of the United States, Bill Clinton.
The "Moe's" musical sound is second to none. Jimmy and his award-winning band continue to deliver their exclusive brand of top-notch entertainment for all types of planned events.
Murphy's Big Band featuring Featuring Pittsburgh vocalist Frank Capellini and Jazz Singer Laurie Scheid
We would like to welcome back the Murphy's Big Band featuring Pittsburgh vocalist Frank Capellini and Jazz Singer Laurie Scheid.. The Murphy's Big Band has been a staple at the Festa Italiana di Vandergrift as a tribute to all the wonderful musicians that have come out of the Alle-Kiski Valley. Not only do the musicians perform as the full orchestra but many of them also perform backup instrumental to many of our other headliners and performers. We also welcome Murphy's Music Center back as a sponsor for this year's Festa.
We are less than 3 months away from the
12th Annual Festa Italiana di Vandergrift!
We are still finalizing this years entertainment but it should be announced very soon. This years lineup might be one of the best lineups we have had at our festival and we are very excited for this year.
It's also time for Family Table Reservations and also our 2015 Festa Booklet ads.
You can download the form here if you are interested in taking out an ad or wanting the a family table this year. Fill out the required information and mail it back to us at the address provided on the form.
We currently only allow food vendors at our Festa. No non-food vendors setups are being accepted. Also, this years food vendors are filled up and we are not accepting applications for food vendors.
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