Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center


Sicilian Singer-Songwriter Duo Performs an Exclusive Concert at the JFRC

Sicilian Singer-Songwriter Duo Performs an Exclusive Concert at the JFRC

As a distraction from approaching deadlines and exams, the JFRC's Associate Dean of Students, Adam Muri-Rosenthal, invited the Sicilian singer-songwriter duo Mimì Sterrantino and Davide Campisi to give the JFRC community a taste of new material from their newly released album, Mircanti, and a spattering of Sicilian folk tunes. After their nine-hour drive up from Sicily they were happy to get into their music and entertain the enthusiastic audience.

Davide played a range of tamborines, bringing a modern take on an ancient instrument by using it in innovative ways, blowing on the jingles and scratching the goatskin cover. He explained that he started out playing drums, but found his passion when he moved to tamborines because they released his singing voice, which he demonstrated with a series of tongue twisters performed with an ever-increasing tempo.

Principal vocalist Mimì played guitar and talked us through the inspiration for each song before they performed it. One song talked about preferring altitude to sea level; both their hometowns are on hills, and they appreciate the view over the surrounding countryside. In Davide's song "United States of Africa", they raised the issue of migration, Sicily being one of the main arrival points for migrants crossing the Mediterranean. He also played with words in the song Pissica-mente, which is a play on words and pronunciation in Italian and refers to psychology. The duo performed in both their Sicilian dialect and standard Italian, giving the audience a meaningful insight into Sicily’s rich culture. Several students purchased the duo's ecologically packed, colorful CD so they can take their experience home with them.