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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Andrea Ramolo brings the soundtrack of her southern Italian roots and more to Halifax

The Toronto-based singer-songwriter performs at The Carleton in Halifax on June 12, with special guest Kristen Martell opening the show.

Toronto-based multiple Canadian Folk Music Award nominee Andrea Ramolo is heading East for the first time in two years as she prepares for an evening of music and storytelling at The Carleton in Halifax on June 12. Special guest Kristen Martell will open the show.

“Two years doesn’t seem like a long time, but I used to live in my van when I started music and would come out to the East Coast a lot,” says Ramolo. “It was the first part of Canada that opened its arms to me on my first road tour in 2008. So it’s going to be nice to see old friends.”

Ramolo will not only perform some of her latest singles but will feature music from the soundtrack of her 2022 film The South. Filmed in southern Italy, The South is a passion project as she reconnected with her heritage. “The South was born out of a desire to reconnect with my roots and explore the rich culture of Italy’s southern regions,” she says.

The film chronicles Ramolo’s journey, including encounters with local artisans, musicians, and elders as she delved into the history and traditions of southern Italian folk music and dance.

The film also provides a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of her album of the same name. Recorded in a seaside studio located in the south heel of the boot of Italy, the album features Kalàscima, a band from southern Italy that combines traditional and contemporary instruments. “They use all of our old ancestral instruments like the zampogna, which are Italian bagpipes, the tamburello hand drum made from goat skin along with the accordion and mandolin,” she says. “There is an electronic world music flavour to what they do.”

Winner of the Canadian Ethnic Media Association Award for best documentary in 2023, Ramolo is hopeful The South will find an outlet to reach a wider Canadian audience as it already has in Italy after being picked up by Amazon Prime Video in that country.

Among her newer work, Ramolo will also perform her latest single, Golden, which she co-wrote with Shanika Maria and producer Ocevn Side Clvb during a songwriting camp.

Originally written about a “sizzling crush,” the song caught the attention of folks at the CBC for lyrics such as Come feed this fire | ‘Cuz my love is golden, it’s golden for you, who will use the pop-folk ballad as part of its upcoming Olympic coverage. “It’s a really special experience to witness your music and voice sung underneath this powerful video montage of past Olympians,” says Ramolo. “I started crying when I saw it because it is so cool.”

Mahone Bay-based bilingual folk/pop singer-songwriter Kristen Martell will join Ramolo on stage at The Carleton. The artists first met during Ramolo’s East Coast tour two years ago when they performed together in Martell’s hometown and hit it off. “[Kristen] helped to organize the show and opened the show,” says Ramolo. “We had wine and pizza that night and just hit it off, and since then, she has been part of a part of one of my dear friends, Lisa MacIsaac from Madison Violet, who has been running the all-woman and gender-diverse music series, Small of My Heart Songwriter’s Circle.”

Mahone Bay's Kristen Martell will open the June 12 show at The Carleton.
Mahone Bay’s Kristen Martell will open the June 12 show at The Carleton.

In addition to her musical endeavours, Ramolo has ventured into screenwriting, currently penning a television miniseries. However, she remains committed to her musical craft, with plans to embark on a tour with Kalàscima and dive into the creation of her next album, which will likely include a song about Nova Scotia that is already forming in her mind. “I really need to write my ninth record,” she says. “I probably have a million voice notes on my phone, and I just need the time to quiet myself and to pen them all.”

Tickets for Ramolo and Martell’s performance at The Carleton on June 12 are available now. Visit thecarleton.ca for more information.

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