Honoring the Sea Goddess

Presented to sold out audiences  at the New York Open Center, Cathedral of St . John the Divine, Venice, Perc Fest and Salsomaggiore Italy.    

Featuring:

Alessandra Belloni: voice, tambourines, frame drums, ocean drum, ritual dance
Eve Sicular: drumset, dumbeck,
Susan Aquila: acoustic and electric violin,
Jessica Valiente: Flutes, vocals, congas, shakers, agogo,
Kristine Massari: mandolin , vocals,
Yasuja Kimura:  congas, cajon

In Italy:
Kikki elli Santi: marimba, djembe, snare drum, riqq dumbeck, tambourines,
Serena Davini: Congas, drumset, djembes

The concert is inspired by two geographically distant but thematically parallel traditions. Southern Italian and Brazilian purification rites and procession performed in the summer o honor the archetypical sea goddess. In Brazil she comes from the West African Yoruba culture and is called Yemanja, in Italy she is called the Black Madonna of the Sea (once called Aphrodite). Alessandra Belloni plays a series of percussion instruments:

  • the ocean drum, recreating the sound of the waves of the ocean,
  • her Yemanja drum made by Remo that combines the sound of the water with the drum,
  • her line of Southern Italian tambourines and frame drums

She is accompanied by a small ensemble of women percussionists, dressed in white and blue to honor the sea.

They recreate rituals with songs, chanting and dancing, drumming and offerings of flowers to the images of Yemanja and the Black Madonna. The music played will include fishermen's songs and love laments from Southern Italy and Brazil, as original songs written by Alessandra Belloni inspired by her trips to Hawaii and Brazil written in honor of Yemanja. This is unique passionate show  with great music and joyous ritual that invokes the healing power of primordial waters, was presented in Italy (Venice, Salsomaggiore Thermal resort, PERC FEST,  New York OPEN CENTER, Los Angeles Italian Culural Institute)  Trumpets Jazz Club

 

New York press:  Noted Italian percussionist/singer Alessandra Belloni and her all-female trio   

As the lights onstage went down, it was as if the crowd had been transported to a secret clearing somewhere in the Piemonte to witness some wonderfully obscure, mystical ritual. Alternating between high, eerie incantations and earthy folk melodies and playing a small museum’s worth of percussion instruments, they wove a sonic web not unlike another very popular vocal group, le Mystere des Voix Bulgares.

As head spell-caster, Belloni was so wrapped up in the music herself that she’d back off the microphone, eager to launch into the next song, even as she announced what it would be. In addition to melodies from various parts of Italy as well as Brazil and a couple of impressive solo turns from band members, their dancer whirled through the club, finally dragging a couple of audience members out on the floor as the drums and voices wailed high overhead. It was a performance that was as physically gripping as it was sonically captivating, even psychedelic.      

Upcoming Events

Annual Voyage of the Black Madonna Tour in Campania

Exact dates TBD! Summer 2023 Campania, Italy

EXACT DATES TBD-- Coming Summer 2023!! This retreat will be a full immersion into the ancient drumming traditions and devotional chants in Honor of the Black Madonna, which can only be truly experienced in the sacred mountains and healing waters of the Mother Land. This powerful journey will introduce and transport students to a time and place where an unbroken and ancient tradition continues today with folk music, processions, devotional drumming, and dance.

Following Alessandra Belloni’s vision as part of the Black Madonna Center, this summer students will have the special opportunity to study and tour the area of Naples in the region of Campania. For details see: https://alessandrabelloni.com/voyage-of-the-black-madonna-tour-in-southern-italy

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