(Cancelled) Festa Italia to be held on September 10-12, 2021

This event was cancelled due to the increasing Delta variant!

88th Festa Italia to Return to the Custom House Plaza – Monterey State Historic Park in Downtown Monterey on September 10-12, 2021

Monterey, CA. July 2021.  Save the date for the 88th Festa Italia, celebrating Monterey’s Italian heritage and cultural traditions. Join us for this special festival honoring the local fishermen of Monterey, both past and present.

This popular family friendly free event shares the sights, sounds, food and culture that make the Italian experience so special. It is a celebrated festival each year drawing locals and visitors from the Bay Area and beyond. It features three days of authentic Italian cuisine, great music, dancing, fun and friendship. The delicious flavors of Italy are enjoyed by attendees with tasty food offerings (for purchase) including Calamari, Steak and Sausage Sandwiches, Pasta, Arancini, Cannoli and more, as well as wine, beer, sodas and water. There is also an array of Italian and Festa Italia-themed merchandise as well as vendors selling crafts and more.

According to Buster Crivello, longtime President of Festa Italia, “The first Festa Italia in Monterey was celebrated in 1933 when a statue of Santa Rosalia, the patron saint of Sicilian fishermen, was donated to the San Carlos Cathedral. Sicilian fisherman would pray to their patron saint for a safe journey and bountiful harvest. It is important that we remember our cultural heritage and pass it on to our future generations. Let’s continue to celebrate our traditions and keep our stories, old and new, alive to ensure that our heritage is never lost. We welcome everyone to come and join us at our fun, festive event!”

At a Glance:

What: 88th Festa Italia held by the Festa Italia Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

Festival Entry Cost: Free

Where: Custom House Plaza – Monterey State Historic Park, Downtown Monterey

When: Friday – Sunday, September 10-12, 2021

Friday, September 10th – 3 pm – 9 pm

Saturday, September 11th – 10 am – 9 pm

Mass at 10 am at the Custom House Plaza – Monterey State Historic Park followed by Opening Ceremonies and Procession to Old Fisherman’s Wharf for the traditional blessing of the fishing fleet followed by entertainment and all event activities.

Sunday, September 12th – 10 am – 6 pm

Where: Custom House Plaza – Monterey State Historic Park, Downtown Monterey


Friday, September 10th – (Festival hours – 3 pm – 9 pm)

5 pm – 9 pm The Money Band

Saturday, September 11th – 11 am – 9 pm

Opening Ceremonies

Music starts at 11:30 am including:

Pasquale Esposito, an Italian born American Tenor

Anthony Lane Band

Singers Erasmo Aiello and Dave Marzetti accompanied by Mike Marotta, Jr., Dave Dally and Dennis Murphy 

Tarantella Dancers  

Anthony Lane Band – 5 pm – 7 pm

Chicano All Stars – 7 pm – 9 pm

Sunday, September 12th – 10 am – 6 pm

Music starts at Noon including:

Pasquale Esposito, an Italian born American Tenor

Anthony Lane Band

Singers Erasmo Aiello and Dave Marzetti accompanied by Mike Marotta, Jr., Dave Dally and Dennis Murphy 

Tarantella Dancers  

Weekend Master of Ceremonies: David Marzetti (Singer/MC and also Host of the Shag Bag Radio Program on KION 1460 AM/101.1 FM and the Sundays with Sinatra Radio Program on KMBY 1240 AM/95.9 FM)

Bocce Tournament – Saturday and Sunday, September 11th and 12th at the bocce courts at the Custom House Plaza – Monterey State Historic Park

Tickets are sold for raffles for a variety of prizes (need not be present to win)

Information: (831) 633-4444 or email [email protected]

Additional information on the website: www.FestaItaliaMonterey.org

Corporate Sponsors, Bocce Team Sponsors, Prize Donors and Volunteers are being sought for this event.

Membership in the Festa Italia Foundation

Membership in the Festa Italia Foundation is open to everyone. The tax-deductible membership dues will help fundraising efforts so that each year Festa Italia can be presented to the community free of admission costs. The organization’s fundraising efforts also benefit various local organizations and provide scholarships as well. Each year, over $5,000 in scholarship money is awarded to local students. Membership dues are only $20.00 per person. Details are at https://festaitaliamonterey.org/membership.html

Entertainers at Festa Italia

About Pasquale Esposito

PASQUALE ESPOSITO was born and raised in Naples, Italy. He immigrated to the United States winning the Green Card Lottery in 1998.  He pursued his passion for music by studying at San Jose State University receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree where he was a distinguished alumnus in 2009.

He is an international crossover recording artist, acclaimed for his pop-opera delivery of songs. Esposito released 9 albums and began touring internationally with his first musical revue: Naples … That’s Amore in 2005.  Thereafter, he toured with his CD of Original Compositions: A Brand New Me (2009) and Il Tempo (2011).

Following the success of spreading his rich Italian culture through music, he embarked on writing and producing his 1st PBS Special: Pasquale Esposito Celebrates Enrico Caruso in 2015. The program was filmed in the historic Castello Giusso in Vico Equense on the Amalfi Coast. Esposito was accompanied by the Orchestra Santa Chiara conducted by Maestro Renato Serio.  The docu-concert pays homage to Caruso by taking the audience on a musical journey in Italy highlighting the life, career and songs that made Caruso an international star.  Maestro Placido Domingo collaborated in the program with an intimate interview. The PBS Special had over 220,000,000 potential viewers coupled with a current live touring version. A CD, DVD and Bluray are available of the Special.

Esposito had his successful debut at San Francisco Opera in June 2015 with the premiere of Marco Tutino’s Two Women (an opera adaptation of the 1960s film La Ciociara –with Sophia Loren whom he had the pleasure of sharing the stage with in her recent US Tour).  The New York Times stated that Esposito sang with “airy charm” for his performance of Ragazzo del Popolo while the San Francisco Chronicle described Esposito as “a charismatic and dulcet-toned singer.”

In Spring 2018, Esposito released his 2nd Public TV Special on PBS Stations: Pasquale Esposito Celebrates Italian Piazzas.  Esposito was accompanied by the Orchestra Talenti Napoletani conducted by Maestro Adriano Peninno. This docu-concert is a unique musical journey of culture, art, and tradition where Esposito dedicates a song to each of the beautiful piazzas (squares) performed in the prestigious Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, Italy.  A live concert version of the special followed with a robust 2018/2019 national tour.

In January 2020, Esposito filmed two new TV Specials in Naples, Italy at the historic Teatro Politeama.  The first is a Christmas Special: In the Spirit of Christmas (Summer 2020 release) conducted by Maestro Adriano Peninno and the second is a Special titled: Il Tempo (Time) conducted by Maestro Ettore Gatta.  Pasquale is accompanied in both special by the Orchestra Talenti Napoletani.The second special comprises of a collection of songs that have influenced Pasquale Esposito’s career and personal life over the years. It’s expected release is set for March 2021.

Esposito established Notable Music and Arts Organization (www.notbale-music.org), a 501 (c) 3 non-profit charitable organization promoting music education in Spring 2012.  The organization provides music instruction to underserved students in the San Francisco Bay Area and develops and produces educational programming for public television. Esposito travels nationally to major universities and colleges offering Master Classes in vocal technique and also provides private instruction at his studio in San Jose, California. For more information, visit www.notable-music.org.

For more information about Pasquale Esposito, visit www.pasqualeesposito.com.

The Chicano All Stars

Coming out of Monterey County, the Legendary Chicano All Stars Band are well known as an extremely talented, dynamic and energetic all pro-musician band. The Chicano All Stars have added a solid and highly polished horn section making them a complete eight piece band!. The band’s professional musicianship and stage presence appeals to a wide variety of audiences and guarantees to keep you on the dance floor! Sam Martinez is an outstanding lead vocalist and seasoned performer who collaborates with John Mallare the talented lead guitarist and vocalist producing vocal harmonies that stand out in the crowd. All of the band members have years of expertise in the music business both as music entertainers and dedicated musicians. The band’s most noted music style is Latin Rock, Rhythm & Blues, Old School and danceable Reggae. The Chicano All Stars have established themselves as one of Monterey County's local legends as a favorite dance band and has been quoted to be the top Latin Rock band in the area. They have had the pleasure of performing and sharing the stage with such names as Maria Muldaur, Sista Monica, Brenton Wood, Ron Ellison, The Delfonics and The Intruders, The Turtles, Jay & The Americans with Denny Lane, Lydia Pense & Cold Blood, Eddie Money, Tierra, Malo, El Chicano, Tower of Power, Richard Bean & SAPO, Lava Latin Rhythms and Jorge Santana.

The Money Band

Fronted by charismatic lead vocalist and harmonica player Zoe Alexander, The Money Band performs with a remarkable intensity and fire that garners new fans and critical acclaim wherever and whenever they play. Playing every style from country to funk to disco to classic rock, reggae, modern rock and pop, with songs from The Beatles, Elvis, Johnny Cash, Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones, Kid Rock, David Bowie, KC & The Sunshine Band, AC/DC, Bruno Mars, Maroon 5 and many more of your favorites, The Money Band is famous for having a packed dance floor all night long!

The Money Band has shared the stage with many major acts including Steve Winwood, Journey, The Dixie Chicks, Kenny Chesney, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dave Mason, Link Wray, The Stray Cats, The Byrds, Smash Mouth and many, many more. They have toured and performed all over the United States as well as internationally, with dates in the UK and Europe including England, The Netherlands, Italy, and France.

Additionally, they have performed for weddings, private parties, nightclubs, yacht parties, and at some of the most prestigious hotels and venues both locally and around the world. These include The Lodge at Pebble Beach, Carmel Mission Ranch, The Lake Tahoe Ritz Carlton, The Monterey Peninsula Country Club, The Biltmore Phoenix, AZ, Hahn Vineyards, The Ford Models Mansion Party in Bel Air, The CA Rodeo, The Silverado Resort in Napa, Coconut Grove at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, The Peabody in Memphis, TN, The Montalvo Art Center and The Hotel Negresco in Nice, France, to name just a few.

About Anthony “Nino” Lane

Anthony "Nino" Lane was born as Antonino Pasquale Cotroneo in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Son of Giorgio Cotroneo of Santa Roberto, Reggio Di Calabria and Angelina Musitano of Deglia Nova, Reggio Di Calabria. At the young age of ten Nino began to perform with many bands in the Italian community. Singing mainly in Italian he was known as “the little Italian Singer” While in the Harmony Dance Band he was fortunate to open up for the Original "Ink Spots " and many other Nationally known headliners.  At the Age of fourteen he decided to leave his Italian sound and begin his first rock Band "Double Vision" later to be called "Clear Cut" they went on to record three albums. The first one under A&M records produced by Daniel Lanios (U-2, Peter Gabriel, Bonnie Raitt”. The second recorded under the CBS label, produced by Bob Destocki (Fast Times at Richmont High, The Ides of March” and the final one on A & M Records.   At the same time Anthony studied with Rosemary Burns-Gazarra (the wife of Ben Gazzara) in Toronto, Canada. She was a former opera singer (New York Met) who had studied Bell Canto in Italy and had developed a technique for singing pop music. She called it 'the mask' and had been teaching it for many years. Her former students include Bryan Adams, Corey Heart, Jeff Healey, Sebastion Bach (Skid Row) And James Labrie (Dream Theatre). This would later change Anthony's life.

Throughout the 80"s Anthony was a part of a powerful musical team.  To make it easier in the music business, Anthony changed his name to Lane  (Plain Lane is what he would say!)

After 14 years on the road working fifty weeks a year, Anthony came to Los Angeles trying to secure a major label. He had made his mark in L.A. but the music scene was beginning to change quickly. Anthony decided to move and open a Club in Monterey, Ca. named PLANET GEMINI which he ran successfully for 25 years. To keep Music alive, Nino purchased the Legendary FOX THEATER in Salinas, California where he brings major shows and events.

Anthony decided to follow his heart and sing the music he once enjoyed - Classic Italian.   A performance you will all enjoy!

About Mike Marotta and Friends

Mike Marotta Jr., a Monterey native, is the third generation of Marottas to entertain Monterey Peninsula audiences.  For over 45 years, he has performed all styles of popular music on accordion and piano with the Marotta Band.

Dave Dally - Violin / Trumpet

Dave Dally is leader of the Monterey String Quartet, Concertmaster of Ensemble Monterey and directs the orchestra at Monterey Peninsula College.  He has played with Mike Marotta Jr. for over twenty years.

Erasmo "Orazio" Aiello - Tenor

Erasmo ‘Orazio’ Aiello comes from Palermo, Sicily.  He has been discovered by musicians eager to share his gift of singing traditional Italian songs and opera with wider audiences.  During the day he practices while baking bread at his famous Palermo Bakery.

Dennis Murphy

Dennis Murphy is the Co-Founder of the Dennis Murphy School of Music and is a 3 time GRAMMY Nominee with international Smooth Jazz Artist Acoustic Alchemy. Since the mid-eighties, Dennis has been touring worldwide with various national and international artists. He recorded or played with Greg Kihn Band, Maria Muldaur, Billy Preston, Coasters, Drifters, Shirelles, and Kenny Rankin among others.

Dennis appeared on National Prime Time Television and Nationally Syndicated Radio. His band was voted Best Of 7 Consecutive Years by Monterey County Weekly Reader’s Poll.  

About David Marzetti

Weekend Master of Ceremonies: David Marzetti (Singer/MC and also Host of the Shag Bag Radio Program on KION 1460 AM/101.1 FM and the Sundays with Sinatra Radio Program on KMBY 1240 AM/95.9 FM)