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, and of special brushes for tambourine with Pro- Mark.. . She is the only woman in the U.S. and in Italy who specializes in traditional Southern Italian folk dances and percussion that she learned from the old people in the fields
A 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. She has performed extensively with master drummer Glen Velez and was invited by Nana Vasconcellos and Gilberto Gil to perform in PERC PAN '98 in Bahia, Brazil. Alessandra was also selected as one of three runners- up (along with Babatunde Olatunji and Mickey Hart) to Arthur Hull in DRUM! magazine's "New Age/Worldbeat Percussionist" category in their 1998 awards. She was featured in Modern Drummer magazine and has written articles for Percussive Notes.
She has collaborated with the Raven Drum Foundation, founded by Rick Allen, acclaimed drummer of the rock group Def Leppard and other world
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 . She has recently founded a Women’s percussion ensemble clalled DAUGHTER OS CYBELE . She toures the world her one woman show "Rhythm is the Cure" - also available as a duo with drummer SERGIO BELLOTTI, (BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC)
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 SYMPHONY SPACE ST. JOHN THE DIVINE, RIVERSIDE THEATRE JOE’S PUB Juilliard Percussion Festivals 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 Louisville DRUMMING AT THE PYRAMIDS ( Egypt) Oberlin (Ohio), University of Buffalo, Fredonia (NY) Conservatory of Milan (Italy) , Royal Marine School of Music (England),
WORLD MUSIC FESTIVALS WOMAD (Seattle and Sicily), NEW ORLEANS JAZZ FESTIVAL , CHICAGO WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL LOTUS WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL 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)
PALLADIUM , QUIRINO AND ARGENTINA THEATRES (Rome ,Italy) LERICI, ARGONAUTI, Teatro Argentina in Rome, SORRENTO JAZZ (Sorrento), TARANTELLA POWER IN BRAZIL : REC BEAT, Recife,Bahia, Sau Paulo, Maranhao, Belo Horizonte
She has also been featured on Television with the
National Geographic documentary SPIDER SEX with the Tarantella, as well as WORLD BEAT on CNN. featured on the PBS documentary, "LA FESTA" with The Voyage of the Black Madonna. She holds annual healing dance and percussion workshops in Tuscany, Italy and together with writer, philosopher, healer ANGELO TONELLI and also from. 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.
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.
Since then, she has created cross-cultural productions dedicated to Mother Earth, featuring the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, and African and Latin American artists. She is also For her achievements in music and theatre, she won the following awards: 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. In 1997, she received a special grant from the Carnahan Jackson Humanities Fund for a residency with the Women Studies program at SUNY Fredonia.
Recordings: DAUGHTER OF THE DRUM –REMO, INC. TARANTELLE E’ CANTI D’AMORE – Naxos World TARANTATA: THE DANCE OF ANCIENT SPIDER – Sounds True - MOTHER EARTH LULLABIES - Ellipsis Arts - 2002 MEDITERRANEAN LULLABIES - Ellipsis Arts 2000
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 Ancient Spider"premiered at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center "Stabat Mater: Donna de Paradiso" (Cathedral of St. John the Divine) "The Voyage of the Black Madonna" (Cathedral of St. John the Divine) "1492-1992: Earth, Sun and Moon"
Lincoln Center out of Doors Festival 1992 "La Cantata dei Pastori" (Caramoor , St. John the Divine, Smithsonian and others) "La Lupa" (St. Mark’s Church, YALE, and others) "The Adventures of Don Giovanni & His Servant Pulcinella" (Carnegie Hall and others)
Jon Pareles of the New York Times wrote:
"Invocations and work songs, exorcisms and lullabies shared the program of RHTHM IS THE CURE in the Chapel of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.... Driven by tambourine patterns so fast that the drummer’s hands became blurs. Ms. Belloni sang in an exultant voice. The songs blazed with an age-old momentum" .
Dan Hackman – Los Angeles Time:
Alessandra Belloni and Tarantata Dance of the Ancient Spider is a revelation, utterly fascinating..”
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....
Ric Mattinly- Modern Drummer:
With her left hande she she uses a variety of techniques to produce a wide range of timbers, incorporating thumb strokes, finger strokes, and slaps.
The Village Voice:
Alessandra Belloni is a force of Nature