Alessandra Belloni is the Artistic Director, Founder and Lead Performer of "I GIULLARI DI PIAZZA", an Italian Music, Theatre and Dance Ensemble who is Artists-in-Residence at the Cathedral of St.John the Divine in New York City. She is also the designer of a line of signature series Italian tambourines made by Remo. She is the only woman in the U.S. and in Italy who specializes in traditional Southern Italian folk dances and percussion combined with singing that she learned in Southern Italy.
An award winning tambourine virtuoso, singer, dancer and actress, Ms.Belloni was born in Rome, Italy and is committed to preserving the strong and rich traditions of her culture. Author of the book ‘HEALING JOURNEYS WITH THE BLACK MADONNA” published by Inner Traditions- Bear & Company. With foreword by best selling author Matthew Fox.
Recently knighted as Dame of Honor by the Orthodox Order of the Knights of St John.
Collaborated as consultant on the Broadway show ‘THE ROSE TATTOO’ with award winning actress Marisa Tomei in the fall 2019.
For the last 19 years she has been holding her special dance & drumming workshop in Tuscany RHYTHM IS THE CURE, with students that come from all over the world. Recepient of the Folk Arts Master Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts 2016 & 2018.
Her work as teacher and healer brought her to be featured on CUNY TV with her workshop RHYTHM IS THE CURE, and main feature of the Russian TV Travel Channel The Dancing Planet, a documentary film about her as artist and healer by Manex Ibar. her TV appearance include: ABC TV live in Chicago, National Geographic documentary SPIDER SEX on the Tarantella, WORLD BEAT on CNN, , GLOBO BRAZILIAN TV, RAI UNO MATTINA,
Also featured on the PBS documentary, "LA FESTA"
with The Voyage of the Black Madonna. She leads healing drum circle at UNITED HEBREW Nursing Home since 2011.
She has spent many years also participating in authentic drumming festivals in remote areas of Southern Italy, held as rituals of purification in honor of the Black Madonna.. She has performed extensively with master drummer Glen Velez (her first tambourine student) and was invited by Nana Vasconcellos and Gilberto Gil to perform in PERC PAN '98 in Bahia, Brazil. Voted one of the best female percussionists in the world by Drum Magazine, featured in Modern Drummer magazine and has written articles for Percussive Notes. Her CD’s "Tarantelle & Canti D’amore" released by Naxos of America on 2003 has been considered the second best percussion CD of the year by DRUM Magazine and has received many favorable reviews from major press.
The CD "Tarantata: The Dance of Ancient Spider" (on the Soundstrue label) released in 2000, has received a wide critical acclaim and distribution. It was also nominated one of the best CDs of the year (2002) by Jon Parales from the New York Times and Dan Hackman from the Los Angeles Times, and won the Best World Percussion CD of the Year by DRUM Magazine.
Alessandra Belloni created a new World Music Sound with her group, using electronic music combined with acoustic, in her new show TARANTELLA SPIDER DANCE, with electric violin master Joe Deninzon . This show has been bound for an off-Broadway run, always presented to sold out audiences. Spider dance was recently presented with great audience and press success at the prestigious RED CAT THEATRE AT Disney Center in Los Angles, with CAL ARTS. She has recently founded a Women’s percussion ensemble called DAUGHTERS OF CYBELE . She tours the world her one woman show "Rhythm is the Cure" , With her ensemble from New York she tours across the U.S. and abroad, performing and teaching workshops in various Festivals and halls –
In New York:
LINCOLN CENTER, CARNEGIE HALL, SYMPHONY SPACE, ST. JOHN THE DIVINE, RIVERSIDE THEATRE JOE’S PUB ,THEATRE FOR THE NEW CITY Juilliard, Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, NYC Ballet
PATAGONIA PERCUSSION FESTIVAL ARGENTINA
KOREA PERCUSSION FESTIVAL
BERKLEE PERCUSSION FESTIVAL , Boston
CROSS DRUMMING (Warsaw, Poland), PERC PAN, (Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, )
KOSA PERCUSSION FESTIVAL (Vermont)
SEATTLE WORLD PERCUSSION FESTIVAL
CAPE BRETON DRUM FESTIVAL (Canada)
PERC FEST and PAS , Italy
JOURNE DE LA PERCUSSION, Paris, France
RHTYHM STICKS, (Royal Festival Hall, London)
PASIC 1996, 97, 2000 (Dallas), 2003/2010/2013
DRUMMING AT THE PYRAMIDS ( Egypt), Oberlin Athens, (Ohio ) University of Buffalo, Fredonia (NY) Conservatory of Milan (Italy) , Royal Marine School of Music (England), NYU Percussion Conservatory, CAL ARTS, University of Hawaii, Wisdom University
WORLD MUSIC FESTIVALS:
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA, DUBROVNICK, CROATIA, RED CAT THEATRE in Los Angeles WOMAD (Seattle and Sicily), NEW ORLEANS JAZZ FESTIVAL , CHICAGO FESTIVAL LOTUS , Indiana, RHYTHM STICKS, Royal Festival Hall (London) MONTREAL MUSIC FESTIVAL, Canada,
ACOUSTICA FESTIVAL, (Sidney, Australia)
Getty Center, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Sacred Music Festival, Glastonbury Goddess Festival, England, Cultural Center in Tel Aviv (Israel)
ROME: PALLADIUM , QUIRINO AND ARGENTINA THEATRES, VENICE (Musica Venezia), Conservatory of Venice, LERICI, SORRENTO JAZZ, TARANTELLA POWER . WOMAD, Palermo
IN BRAZIL : REC BEAT, Recife, PERC PAN, Bahia, Sau Paulo Teatro Oficina, Maranhao, Belo Horizonte
Alessandra Belloni has studied acting at H.B. Studios, voice with Professor Michael Warren, and mime and Commedia dell'Arte with Dario Fo (winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Literature) at New York University. She has worked in both theatre and film in New York - "Next Stop the Greenwich Village" by Paul Mazursky - and in Italy with Anna Magnani in "La Lupa" and Federico Fellini in "Casanova". Ms. Belloni founded "I GIULLARI DI PIAZZA" - a company performing traditional Italian Folk Music and Theatre – with classical guitarist/composer John La Barbera in 1979 and was Artist-in-Residence at New York University for ten years. Fluent in Italian, English, Spanish, French and Portuguese plus Southern Italian dialects, Alessandra Belloni also speaks through her tambourine and drums.
.For her achievements in music and theatre, she won the following awards: achievement in performing arts by Association of Italian American Educators, from the ITALIAN ORAL HISTORY INSTITUTE IN Los Angeles, Fall 2005, Award for Italian American Woman of the Year in 1996 and the Community Arts Project Award from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts as well as the Sons of Liberty "Citation of Honor" award in 2001. residency with the Women Studies program at SUNY Fredonia.
HEALING JOURNEYS WITH THE BLACK MADONNA 2019 Inner Traditions
LA CANTATA DEI PASTORI -Christmas CD 2015
TARANTELLA SPIDER DANCE 2009
DAUGHTER OF THE DRUM –REMO, INC. 2007
TARANTELLE E CANTI D’AMORE – 2003Naxos World
TARANTATA: THE DANCE OF ANCIENT SPIDER – Sounds True - MOTHER EARTH LULLABIES - Ellipsis
EARTH, SUN AND MOON - Lyrichord 1995
DIVINE DIVAS - Rounder Compilation 1997
GLOBAL CELEBRATIONS - Ellipsis Arts 1993
DEA FORTUNA - Shanachie 1989
SULILLO MIO - Shanachie 1985
She is the Company’s director, writer,
and lead performer of the Folk Operas:"
TARANTELLA SPIDER DANCE - The Dance of the
Italian-born virtuoso Alessandra Belloni is established as a unique phenomenon, not just a percussionist, she is an actress, lecturer, entertainer, a healer, above all archetype….
With her left hand she uses a variety of techniques to produce a wide range of timbers, incorporating thumb strokes, finger strokes, slaps.