12 May 2014

News from friends in Europe

0039 Bluegrass Made In Italy: (l-r) Maria Grazia Branca (double bass), Luca Bartolini (guitar), Gianni Stefanini (mandolin), Marco Ferretti (banjo, guitar), Paolo Ercoli (resonator guitar)

Thanks to Luca Bartolini for the latest news of the fine band 0039 Bluegrass Made In Italy, who are currently playing an important role in presenting bluegrass music to the public in their home territory of northern Italy and beyond.

The Felix van Groeningen film The Broken Circle Breakdown, which has been widely screened in Ireland this spring after breaking arts cinema attendance records on the Continent, is being shown elsewhere in Europe under the title Alabama Monroe. Luca, who was guitarist and singer with Red Wine on their first trips to Ireland, reports:

We will be the opening act for some various Italian premieres for the movie. The movie is out in these days in Italy for the first time, and the Italian distributors ask us to introduce the movie with a set of about forty minutes and some explanations about bluegrass before the showing of the film that is a kind of new thing for the Italian way to go to the cinema! So they (the distributors) ask us to be a kind of Bluegrass Ambassador in Italy and this makes all the band really proud!

0039 began their mission on 8 May, and tonight (12 May) is the first break they've had before a further round of travel and appearances. The band is composed of former members of Red Wine (Luca and Maria Grazia Branca), one present member of Red Wine (Marco Ferretti), and two founder members (Gianni Stefanini and Paolo Ercoli) of Bononia Grass. They began a new life together as 0039 a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, 0039 (also on Facebook) has not yet been to Ireland - but we can hope...


More good news comes (via the European Bluegrass Blog) from Joost van Es, fiddler and singer with 4 Wheel Drive (NL/D/BE). Joost, who has organised a bluegrass festival in his home city of Utrecht for 29 May, says:

I am so proud to show you the poster [right] of my first 'Gulpener Bluegrass Festival Utrecht'. Ticket sales are working well, and yesterday (10 May) we toured the canals in Utrecht city with three boats with bands, with great banners on the sides and flyers handed out to the people on the streets downtown. Great way to start a campaign.

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