The Cathedral of St. John the Divine
ALESSANDRA BELLONI with I GIULLARI DI PIAZZA (Artists in Residence)
in a special concert
“SACRED DRUMMING & CHANTS FOR SEVEN BLACK MADONNAS”
AND featuring ceremonial dances from Italy and Brazil
based on Alessandra Belloni’s book Healing Journeys with the Black Madonna
Thursday May 11, 7:30 PM
Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue (112th Street)
ALESSANDRA BELLONI, (Artistic Director) percussion, vocals
JOHN LA BARBERA, (Composer, Music Director) guitar, mandolin, chitarra battente
JOE DENINZON, violin, mandolin, vocals
JULIE GENTILE, vocal, whirling dervish dance
STEVE GORN, bansuri flutes, saxophone, clarinet
SERGIO BELLOTTI, drums, percussion
Dancers: FRANCESCA SILVANO, PETER DE GERONIMO, and MARK MINDEK, stilt dancer
SUMMER MINERVA, narrator
Celebrate Mother’s Day and the Month of Mary with Alessandra Belloni, John La Barbera, and a superb cast of musicians, vocalists, and dancers who specialize in ancient Southern Italian musical arts. The unique ensemble will appear in a concert of “Sacred Drumming & Chants for Seven Black Madonnas,” including ceremonial dances from Italy and Brazil, on May 11, 7:30 PM, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, where I Giullari di Piazza has been in residence since 1991. The Company is happy to return to perform at the renowned Cathedral, their first appearance there since 2019.
The concert is based on Alessandra Belloni’s book Healing Journeys with the Black Madonna, featuring a forward by bestselling author Matthew Fox, and published by Inner Traditions – Bear & Company.
The artists of I Giullari will open a portal into the sacred sites of the mysterious Black Madonna in Italy and around the world in this enchanting journey of discovery of seven Black Madonnas. Following the ancient Neapolitan legend, known in Southern Italy as the “Seven Sisters,” the trip delves into traditional legends, miracles, and history, transporting audiences, through sacred healing chants, ritual drumming, and trance dances, to a time and place where an unbroken and ancient tradition continues today.
The traditional music includes the ancient chant to the Madonna of Montevergine (Avellino) from the region of Campania. She is the Black Madonna known as Mamma Schiavona, the Serving Mother, and is considered the most important of the seven sisters. Initially, in the region of Campania, the legend says that the seven Madonnas were all sisters. The last one was believed to be the ugliest, which made her run away to the high mountain called Mount Partenio. The pilgrims searched hard to look for her and, when they did find her, they saw that she was the most beautiful of all. Mamma Schiavona continues to be venerated on a high sacred mountain where pilgrims still climb barefoot while chanting and drumming in her honor. The drumming is known as Tammorriata, a sensual dance that dates back to the rites of the Mother Earth Goddess Cybele, now worshipped as Black Madonna.
The music content also includes original compositions dedicated to the Earth Goddess, the Yorba African Orishas, Ochun, Yemenja, the Black Madonna of the Gypsies from France and Mary Magdalen, all composed by Belloni.
Don Hackman, writing in the Los Angeles Times, found that “Alessandra Belloni and “Tarantata: Dance of the Ancient Spider” is a revelation, utterly fascinating.”
Drum Magazine noted that “Italian-born virtuoso Alessandra Belloni is established as a unique phenomenon, not just a percussionist, but also an actress, lecturer, entertainer, and healer.”
Jon Pareles of The New York Times, reviewing an I Giullari di Piazza show, remarked that “Ms. Belloni sang in an exultant voice. The songs blazed with an age-old momentum.”
Alessandra Belloni’s links to TV appearances:
Alessandra Belloni Live Appearance on ABC-TV7 Chicago http://youtu.be/3J9ZlzKLzPw
Alessandra Belloni “Spider Sex documentary ” on National Geographic http://youtu.be/vp8dE3jJnq0
Alessandra Belloni featured on CNN Worldbeat http://youtu.be/IkOqBrpcB9Q
author of HEALING JOURNEYS WITH THE BLACK MADONNA -Inner traditions https://www.amazon.com/
Healing-Journeys-Black- Madonna-Practices/dp/ 1591433428/