Italy comes to Keystone
KEYSTONE – The smell of fresh baked Italian breads and herbs wafts through River Run’s main street as colorful court jesters, lords, knights and gondola singers stroll through the village, bringing the feel of little Italy to the mountains this weekend.
Keystone’s Festa Italiana and Art Show is a carnival of Italian fare, wine, beer and music. An authentic marketplace offers Venetian masks, wine marinades and potted herbs. More than 40 artists sell paintings, photography, ceramics, drawings, sculpture, metalwork, jewelry, clothing and more.
Popular tunes and Italian opera
Vocalist and pianist Mollie Weaver and keyboardist John Armstrong perform from noon to 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The duo combines tunes from the Beatles, Eva Cassidy, Alison Krause and other popular music with jazz standards and Italian opera in its show.
Armstrong is a world-class musician who has performed for six major cruise lines for 10 years and taught jazz at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has written arrangements from musicians and comedians, including Rodney Dangerfield. He also plays keyboards for “The Nutcracker” with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra every year.
Weaver is a fourth-generation Coloradan who’s currently living in New York to pursue her music career. She has worked in Nashville and has shared the stage with Vince Gill and Amy Grant.
“Mollie has a wonderful voice,” Armstrong said. “You remember her voice when you hear it. She has a very clear bell-sound to it.”
Romance with Italian spice
Bobby Marchetti and the Bobby Marchetti Band play Frank Sinatra and jump-jive music as well as compelling pieces from Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Phantom of the Opera” at 2 p.m. Saturday and again at 3:15 p.m. Sunday. The 10-piece band includes Weaver and Armstrong.
“I sing from my heart,” Marchetti said. “It has an effect on people, especially when I do the love songs.”
Marchetti’s music career began 10 years ago, after working in the construction business for decades. His inspiration to sing came after he visited his granddaugther’s grave.
“When I left, I stopped at a railroad crossing, and all of the sudden it was like someone picked up my hand,” he said. “I picked up a pencil and wrote a song called “Little Andrea.'”
The next thing he knew, he was singing at a Los Angeles nightclub on karaoke night on a dare.
“It was the first time I ever heard myself sing,” he said.
Alan Kuhene, who owned a recording studio, approached him, and a few days later, they signed a contract. Since then, Marchetti has performed throughout the nation.
He did it his way
Twenty-nine-year-old Derek Evilsizor bought his first Sinatra CD six months ago because he thought he looked like the legend.
He wasn’t impressed with Sinatra at first – in fact, he thought the music was horrible – but something drew him in, and he kept listening until he started appreciating Sinatra’s versatility and interpretations.
Three months ago, Evilsizor lost his copier maintenance job. He spent part of his free time singing at karaoke shows, winning prizes, and people kept asking him why he didn’t sing professionally. He had done stand-up comedy in the past, so he was comfortable on stage, and he had taught himself to play the saxophone, piano, guitar and flute.
“It was kind of spooky, the first time I dressed up like Frank Sinatra,” Evilsizor said. “It’s not just like watching a reproduction of Frank or like watching someone who has studied him and is trying to emulate him. I blend my style with his. I’ll start talking in the middle of a song if someone says something. I just wing it. I feel like I’m part of the crowd, that they’re part of the show.
“If you’ve already seen Frank, maybe it will bring back memories, and if you haven’t, maybe it will open your eyes to listen to something you’ve never listened to before.”
Evilsizor’s Frank Sinatra tribute begins at 4 p.m. Saturday and again at 2 p.m. Sunday.
“It seems like all the other Sinatra look- and sound-alikes that made a living at it portrayed Sinatra’s older years,” said Erika Carter of Performance Entertainment. “Derek is the only one I know of that looks like the young Frank Sinatra and sounds like Frank did in his prime.”
Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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