... I started playing instrumental old time music for clawhammer banjo in the streets of Bologna, Italy in 2011 and in the same year I recorded a cd called "It's only old time banjo... but I like it". I busked with the banjo for the next 4 years making my living with music and travelled in 3 continents: Europe (Italy, France, Spain, Denmark, Netherlands...), Canada and Australia too.
As I was a child I always liked to hear “new” and “different” music and see non-common instruments played live on the street by musicians…. so when I grew up and felt in love playing clawhammer banjo I decided to start playing it on the streets.
I discovered old time banjo in 2007 when I gave up my dayjob in a call center to take a plane to USA and do one of the things I always dreamed: 70 days coast to coast trip on the road (by Couchsurfing and Greyhound!!!) and go to Appalachian Mountain to see Doc Watson & David Holt playing at Merlefest (North Carolina, USA). There I instantly felt in love with old time music played by great performers on the stage but also by a lot of anonimous music lovers enjoying themselves playing solo fiddle tunes on banjo, guitar, fiddle, mandolin or jamming together just for fun!!! That atmosphere stroke me deeply inside so when I came back Italy I grab a banjo and started playing clawhammer for hours a day, trying to learning how to play that special way that blends at the same time deep rythm with melody and listening recordings from old time masters like Doc Watson, David Holt,Tommy Jarrell,Wade Ward, Kyle Creed, Fred Cockerham, Dwight Diller, Ken Perlman, Mike Seeger, Bob Carlin, Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Dan Levenson...
Since years I play blues guitar with my friend Flavio Cipriano in a duo called “Lazy Step” and I had the chance to play in different context and venues (clubs, festivals, bar, theatre, wedding party and funeral commemoration too!) but I think playing and listening music on the street gives you a very special feeling that is difficult to explain or compare… simply beautifully different from anything else! If somebody walking is attracted by music simply stops and listen, if not he keep on walking… no compromise or music business rules (labels, tour, money…) just freedom. That’s why I consider playing music on the street the most democratic way to get a courious listener!...and I think pedestrian zone, undergounds or even a small spot on the sidewalk are good places to offer a chance to people to listen the colour of the old time banjo instead of going to Appalachian Mountains!
Unluckly it’s not only heaven: as a music street performer I had a lot of problems during last years… too much city consider street musician a problem (like a thief or a beggar) and it’s very common to find a policeman that stop your performance and try to give you a ticket or simply go away … I strongly believe that good street performers are like gold for a city and should be wellcome if there is a smart politic in the city hall!