Academy Award Nominated film score composer and guitar and stringed instrument virtuoso performs on campus

In his recital, John T. La Barbera traces the history of stringed instruments from Renaissance Italy to the jazz scene in Brazil.

John T. La Barbera plays the guitar

UMass Dartmouth’s College of Arts and Sciences and College of Visual and Performing Arts invite the university community and general public to a recital and lecture by John T. La Barbera, the 2016 Esposito Visiting Faculty Fellow.

“The World on a String” will trace the history of stringed instruments from Renaissance Italy to the jazz scene in Brazil. The recital will take place at the Stoico/FIRSTFED Charitable Foundation Grand Reading Room in the Claire T. Carney Library on March 31 at 4 pm. The event is free and open to the public.

John T. La Barbera: composer and virtuoso

John T. La Barbera, Academy Award-nominated film score composer and guitar and stringed instrument virtuoso, has won several awards and commissions from The Jerome Foundation, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Martin Gruss Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts, Meet the Composer, and numerous composer awards from ASCAP.

The Italian Oral History Institute honored him in 2005 for the extraordinary role he played in the transmission and translation of Italian oral traditions. He was also recognized as one of the first transcribers of Southern Italian folk music in America.

He is currently an adjunct music professor at the Bergen Community College in Paramus, NJ, and an artist in residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, NY, with the educational program on Italian renaissance music. He continues to perform as a concert artist to audiences throughout the United States, Europe and South America.

Musical works of an instrument virtuoso

La Barbera’s first Italian album was La Terra Del Rimorso in Milano, Italy with the Pugliese folk group Pupi E Fresedde; his first jazz album was with flutist/composer Lloyd McNeil in New York City in 1978.

He has recorded numerous albums of traditional Southern Italian folk music and has appeared on projects with many artists, including folk singer Judy Collins, rock drummer John Densmore of THE DOORS, jazz saxophonist Mark Gross and jazz pianist Mulgrew Miller.

His other work includes film scores for Children of Fate (1991, Academy Award nomination), The Bounty (Columbia Pictures, 2012), Drifting, (2014), Finding The Mother Lode: Italian Immigration in California (2013), Sister Italy (2012), Sacco and Vanzetti (2008), Pane Amaro (2008), What's up Scarlet (2005), Neapolitan Heart -Cuore Napolitano (2000), La Festa (1996) and Tarantella (1994).

Composer, arranger and musical director

La Barbera was a composer, arranger, and musical director for an Off-Broadway Theater performance of Souls of Naples. His original folk operas include Stabat Mater: Donna di Paradiso; The Voyage of the Black Madonna; The Dance Of The Ancient Spider; La Lupa-The She-Wolf; The Adventures Of Don Giovanni And His Servant Pulcinella.

La Barbera’s published works include Italian Folk Music for Mandolin; Traditional Southern Italian Mandolin and Fiddle Tunes (Mel Bay); Stabat Mater-Donna di Paradiso, an oratorio for soli, chorus and piano; and The Marimbaba Suite - for percussion quartet and Danza del Fuego for solo marimba (Bachovich Music Publications). He contributed a chapter in Oral History, Oral Culture, and Italian Americans, which was published by Palgrave-MacMillan.

For more information, contact:

Louisa Medeiros
College of Arts and Sciences, LARTS 397

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