Rocco Italo

it Italiano

The current show playing on Rocco’s Música!Musica! – Rocco Italo – is a salute not just to Italian music, but a homage to Italian music and singers with Italian roots from all over the world.

Italo “of or pertaining to Italy” is a combining form used with another combining form to create a word.  For example: Italophile – someone who is interested in Italy and its culture. Then there is its antonym, Italophobe.

Italo is also used in describing someone with Italian roots, such as Italo-American, Italo-Australian, Italo-Brazilian, etc.

My passion for Italian music  started with the Italo-American singers here in the United States, introduced to me by my parents, aunts and uncles. Crooners such as Frank Sinatra (Hoboken, New Jersey with roots in Sicily and Liguria), Dean Martin (Steubenville, Ohio with roots in Montesilvano, Abruzzo) and Perry Como (Canonsburg, Pennsylvania with roots in Palena, Abruzzo).

These legends, as well as other Italo-American singers, inspired me to explore the music from the old country. The Italo-Italian singers, as it were.  Claudio Villa (Roma, Lazio), Mina Mazzini (Cremona, Lombardy), Adriano Celentano (Milano, Lombardy), Aurelio Fierro (Montella, Avellino) Nilla Pizzi (Bologna, Emilia-Romagna) are just a few of the many Italian legends I enjoy.

(About this time I was soon to discover a more modern Italian sound, which flew me to the moon!  I wrote about that here)

When I lived in East Vancouver, BC, Canada I very much loved the Italian community there, and I learned a lot about myself and my roots through my Italo-Canadian friends and through our theatre company BellaLuna Productions, which performed not only for the Italian community but for communities all over British Columbia presenting the Italian side of Canadian life.  It was through my work with Bella Luna that I began to think about the idea of “Italo”. Of Italians, Italian culture and those with Italian roots.

With the proliferation of the internet and social networks, we have the opportunity to meet people around the world.  Through Facebook  I have had the pleasure of meeting not only folks from Italy but others who are connected with their Italian roots.  Italo-amici from the US, Brazil, Australia, Canada, Venezuela, Argentina.

It was from socializing with these good people that inspired me to put together this show. Just a small collection of music performed not only by Italian artists from Italy, but those from other parts of the world with Italy in their blood.  Let us meet a few of the artists in this show.

Tony Pantano

Tony Pantano from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Tony is an award-winning crooner and entertainer, who has been performing over 20 years all over Australasia, Europe and the United States.  Tony has released 15 albums with two #1 hit singles on the Australian charts, and he continues to work headlining concerts, cruises, casinos, corporate events and hotels.

susie arioli

Susie Arioli from Montréal, Québec, Canada.  Susie is a Canadian jazz singer, who has four best-selling jazz albums in Canada. Three of them being nominated for Junos.  Susie and her band got their first big break opening for Ray Charles at the Montréal International Jazz Festival in 1998.

©Rama de Oliveira
©Rama de Oliveira

Zizi Possi from São Paulo, Brasil.  Maria Izildinha Possi aka Zizi is a singer of the genre known as MPB (Música Popular Brasileira). Her parents immigrated from Napoli and they settled in the Italian neighborhood of Brás in São Paulo.  In the 1970s Zizi moved to Rio de Janeiro where her star-studded career took off and continues to thrive with many hit albums, singles and performances in Portuguese, Italian and English.


Hide e Rosanna from Tokyo, Japan. Rosanna Zambon was born in Schio, Italy.  She loved to sing growing up and through two of her uncles – one a pianist and the other a singer –who were both working as entertainers for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Rosanna came to Japan to join them with their act. Only planning on staying six months, Rosanna met the man who would become her husband, Hideaki Demon. The two of them became the duo of Hide e Rosanna and were big stars in Japan. Sadly, Hideaki died at only 47, leaving behind Rosanna and her three children. Rather than uproot them and move back to Italy, Rosanna stayed in Japan, where she is still a star, making television appearances writing magazine articles and teaching Italian culture.


I hope you enjoy the show. As a final note, I would like to thank my friends in Melbourne, Australia – Arcangelina Tardio Villani, Paul DeMartino and David D’Antonio for their help with la musica italo-australiana.  CinCin.


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 Here is the song list:

Sergio G & The Flippers (AUS) – Girando Il Mondo

Adriano Celentano (ITA) – 24,000 Baci

Frank Sinatra (USA) – Night and Day

Adriana Calconhotto (BRA) – Previsão

Susie Arioli (CAN) – Basswalk

Claudio Villa (ITA) – La Strada del Bosco

Mark Vincent (AUS) – Mattinata

Tony Reno & The Sherwoods (USA) – Come Prima

Luigi Tenco (ITA) – Sempre La Stessa Storia

Paolo Martini (ARG) – Dreams From Argentina

Marino Marini (ITA) – La Piú Bella del Mondo

Perry Como  (USA) – Papa Loves Mambo

Daniele Benati & Fernando Paterlini (ITA) – Everybody Ciao

DeFranco Family (CAN) – Heartbeat Is A Lovebeat

Louis Prima (USA) – Angelina/Zooma Zooma

Hide & Rosanna  (JPN) – L’Amore é un Miracolo

Joey Fimmano (AUS) – Hey

Frankie Feanelli (USA) – Malafemmena

Luigi Tenco (ITA) – Mi Sono Innammorato di Te

Caterina Valente & Silvio Francesco (ITA) – Questa Notte O Mai Più

Zizi Possi (BRA) – Love For Sale

Dean Martin (USA) – On An Evening in Roma

Tony Renis  (ITA) – Quando Quando Quando

Michael Bublé (CAN) – The Way You Look Tonight

Rosario La Spina (AUS) – O Paese D’ ‘o Sole

Henry Mancini  (USA) – Fallout!

Domenico Modugno (ITA) – Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu

Tony Pantano (AUS) – Chissas, Chissas, Chissas (Quizas Quizas Quizas)

Frank Sinatra (USA) – I’ve Got You Under My Skin

Sergio Franchi (ITA) Ciao, Ciao Bambina

Daniele Benati, Fabio Di Bari & Francesco Montisano  (ITA)– Saltimbocca, Ham & Cheese

Montefiori Cocktail (ITA) – La Voglia La Pazzia

Paolo Nutini (GBR)  – New Shoes

Susie Arioli  (CAN) – Blue Skies

Lou Monte (USA)  – Darktown Strutters’ Ball (Italian Style)

Mina (ITA) – Mille Bolle Blu

Tony Pantano (AUS) – Maruzzella

Julius LaRosa (USA) – Eh, Cumpari

Bobby Darin (USA) – As Long As I’m Singin’

Sophia Loren (ITA) – Mambo Bacan

Renato Carosone (ITA) – Mambo Italiano