Roberto Cassan: Accordion
Matt Glover: Electric Mandolin
Mike Rivard: Double Bass and Sintir
Fabio Pirozzolo: Percussion and Voice
The band began as an informal trio when Club d’Elf bassist Mike Rivard, electric mandolinist Matt Glover and accordionist Roberto Cassan got together to explore their mutual love for folk music from all over the world, especially the styles born out of the gypsy diaspora. Occasionally gigging around Boston/Cambridge when schedules with their other bands allowed, the trio became a quartet with the addition of percussionist and singer Fabio Pirozzolo, and Grand Fatilla was born. Honing the music over the course of countless sweaty nights in various venues (including packed-houses at the Regattabar) has attracted a considerable following, notable for its raucous enthusiasm and varied ethnic make-up. Audience members from different countries recognize music from their culture and assume at least one of the members must be a fellow countryman, the music being performed so authentically. Like an iPod on shuffle the group jumps from Argentine Tangos to Italian Tarantellas from Turkish sacred Sufi songs to Irish reels, Moroccan trance to Bulgarian dance music, all performed with an emphasis on improvisational group interplay and playful spontaneity.
In this age of heightened global consciousness the repertoire that Grand Fatilla performs acknowledges and pays homage to the idea that it is indeed One World that we all live in, and the music of diverse cultures enriches us all. At a Grand Fatilla show one finds ex-pats from Italy, Bulgaria, Brazil and all points on the globe rubbing shoulders w/ tribal belly dancers, bohemian poets and college students, all coming together in the celebration of music that transcends boundaries.
Each member of the band brings a distinct flavor and area of expertise in different World music to the collective sound: Cassan and Pirozzolo both hail from Italy where they were immersed in the folk music of that area, and have also intensely explored Balkan, Tango, Brazilian and South American music. Glover came to Boston from his native Newfoundland where he absorbed the Celtic influences and fiddle music of that area, as well as studying the South Indian style of mandolinist U. Srinivas. Rivard, has a passion for North African music, especially Moroccan trance music. This lead him to study the sintir, a 3-stringed bass lute.