Festa Italia Updates - September 6-8, 2023


Great Italian Music and New Cioppino Cooking Demo at the 90th Festa Italia to Return to the Custom House Plaza – Monterey State Historic Park in Downtown Monterey on September 8-10, 2023 


Monterey, CA.  August 28, 2023. Enjoy the sights, sounds and flavors of Italy! Don’t miss the award-winning 90th 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 event’s free entertainment line-up, described below, is unrivaled! Be Italian for a Day at this fun event.

New this year will be a Fisherman’s Wharf Cioppino Cooking Demo by award-winning Chef Tene Shake of Kokomo's/Grotto Fish Market on Saturday, September 9th at 1:00 pm. Complimentary copies of his Cioppino recipe will also be available.


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 clothing. NEW this year will be an array of special 90th Anniversary Festa Italia merchandise.


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 fishermen 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 future generations. Festa Italia celebrates these traditions and keeps our stories, old and new, alive to ensure that our heritage is never lost. Everyone is welcome to join in at this fun, festive event! The 2022 Festa Italia was pleased to win the Reader’s Choice Award for Best Community Event in the Monterey Herald.


At a Glance:


What: 90th Festa Italia held by the Festa Italia Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization


Festival Entry Cost: Free


Where: 20 Custom House Plaza – Monterey State Historic Park, Downtown Monterey


When: Friday – Sunday, September 8-10, 2023


Friday, September 8th – 3 pm – 9 pm


Food, Wine, Beer & Vendors (for purchase)

The Money Band – 6 pm – 9 pm


Saturday, September 9th – 10 am – 9 pm


Opening Ceremonies and Procession to Old Fisherman’s Wharf begins at 11:30 am for the traditional blessing of the fishing fleet followed by entertainment and all event activities, including the Bocce Tournament.


Congressman Jimmy Panetta and other elected officials will give opening remarks.


A special Mass will be held at 10:00 am at the nearby San Carlos Cathedral, located at 500 Church Street in Monterey. 


Food, Wine & Vendors (for purchase)


Mike Marotta Band including Mike Marotta and Dennis Murphy and Paul Tarantino and vocalists Dave Marzetti, Erasmo Aiello, Rachel Marotta Halim and Anna Marotta Halim

Tarantella Dancers

Chef Tene Shake's Cioppino Cooking Demo 

Anthony Lane Band

Pasquale Esposito


(Detailed schedule below.)


New! Fisherman’s Wharf Cioppino Cooking Demo by award-winning Chef Tene Shake of Kokomo's/Grotto Fish Market on Saturday, September 9th at 1:00 pm. Complimentary copies of his Cioppino recipe will also be available.

Sunday, September 10th – 10 am – 6 pm


Bocce Tournament

Food, Wine, Beer & Vendors (for purchase)


Mike Marotta Band including Mike Marotta and Dennis Murphy and Paul Tarantino and singers Dave Marzetti, Erasmo Aiello, Rachel Marotta Halim and Anna Marotta Halim

Tarantella Dancers

Anthony Lane Band

Pasquale Esposito


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


Bocce Tournament – Saturday and Sunday, September 9th and 10th 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


Entertainment Schedule:

Friday, September 8, 2023

6:00pm - 9:00pm The Money Band

Saturday, September 9, 2023

11:30am -12Noon Opening Ceremonies

12:00 - 1:00pm Mike Marotta and Friends

1:00 pm Chef Tene Shake Cioppino Cooking Demo

1:15pm - 2:15pm Anthony Lane Band

2:30pm - 3:30pm Pasquale Esposito

3:45pm - 4:45pm Anthony Lane Band

5:00pm - 6:00pm Pasquale Esposito

6:30pm - 9:00pm 831 ALLSTAR BAND

Sunday, September 10, 2023

12:00 - 1:00pm Anthony Lane Band

1:15pm - 2:15pm Pasquale Esposito

2:30pm - 3:30pm Mike Marotta and Friends

3:45pm - 4:45pm Pasquale Esposito

5:00pm - 6:00pm Anthony Lane Band

Schedule subject to change

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).

Mike Marotta and Friends

Mike Marotta and Friends will include Mike Marotta on accordion, Dennis Murphy on bass, Paul Tarantino on clarinet and sax, John Beron on drums, with singers Erasmo “Orazio” Aiello, Dave Marzetti, Rachel Marotta Halim and Anna Marotta Halim.  

Mike Marotta, Accordion

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.

Dennis Murphy, Bass

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.

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.

David Marzetti, Master of Ceremonies/Singer

This is the 29th year that David Marzetti has emceed and performed at Festa Italia with his close friend, Mike Marotta. David comes from a radio background that spans over 40 years. He currently hosts a radio show every Saturday morning called the “Shag Bag” on 1460 AM/101 FM KION, as well as Sundays with Sinatra: Live from Old Fisherman’s Wharf on KMBY 1240 AM/95.9 FM every Sunday morning. David spent many years working at the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau promoting the region. He is highly regarded as “Monterey’s Emcee” and hosts many local functions and fundraisers including Festa Italia, Santa Rosalia Queen’s Coronation Ball, La Merienda, the City of Monterey’s Annual Birthday Celebration, Old Fisherman’s Wharf’s Annual Birthday Party, and the Italian Heritage Society Awards Ceremony. David is the Winner of BEST TV/RADIO PERSONALITY in Monterey Herald Readers Poll. And the 3-time winner of the PGA Media Person of the Year Award.

Tarantella Dancers of Monterey

The Tarantella Dancers perform on Saturday and Sunday at Festa Italia. No Italian wedding or celebration would be complete without the rhythmic song and dance of the Tarantella. It is considered by some to be the most popular of all of the Italian songs and it is even considered by many as the song of Italy. The dance is both lively and graceful, with light and quick steps mixed with passionate gestures. The Tarantella, originally an Italian folk dance of the lower-and middle-classes has been labeled as a dance to cure sickness. Legend states that between the 15th and 17th centuries, an epidemic of tarantism swept through the town of Taranto in southern Italy, as a result of being bit by the poisonous tarantula spider. The victim, which is referred to as the tarantata, once bitten, could fall into a trance that could only be cured by frenzied dancing. People would surround the victim while musicians would play mandolins, guitars and tambourines in search of the correct rhythm. Each bet would have a different effect on the tarantata causing various movements and gestures. Once the correct rhythm was found, it was almost certain that the tarantata was cured. The Tarantella Dancers of Monterey perform annually at Festa Italia and other cultural events.

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!




Award-winning Chef Tene Shake

Chef Tene Shake is part of the Iconic Shake family, which has been in Monterey for generations and has played an integral role in the rich history and success of Fisherman’s Wharf. He is an award-winning chef as well as a respected realtor and owner of Tene Shake Properties. The Shake family legacy lives on today, operating several restaurants, fish markets, and boats. Tene is the youngest of five brothers, thus earning him the nickname “Tene.” He was fascinated by seafood from a young age and learned as much as he could from his brothers and the family restaurant, the iconic “Old Fisherman’s Grotto” and his father, legendary chef/restaurateur, Sabu Shake. At age eleven, Tene continued his training, working as a cook at the Cove Restaurant for the Crivello Family. As a teenager, Tene managed his family fish market business and delivered seafood to the local restaurants. Tene graduated from Bethany University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1988. Following college, he completed levels 1-3 at the California Culinary Academy & attended classes Le Cordon Bleu and the International Culinary Center/French Culinary Institute. In 2009, Tene had the honor of spending time at the White house with chef Sam Kass and doing a little harvesting in the White House Organic Garden. Chef was voted 2014 Chef of the Year and was Chairman of Les Toque Blanches International- Monterey and the American Culinary Federation (ACF), Central Coast and President of the National Chapter of ACF Central Coast. In 2009, Tene built a hospitality company with over 350 employees, and was the Co-creator & Co-founder of LiveTraxs Digital Events, a music tech company.

Born and raised on the Monterey Peninsula, Tene Shake is the authentic “Local Real Estate Expert” with “Local Knowledge” of real estate on the Monterey Peninsula.  Growing up in Monterey and Carmel Valley, he attended local schools and had the privilege of living in luxury estates as well as often visiting his brother’s homes in Pebble Beach, including one located on the famous 17-mile drive.  Tene has a passion for real estate, buying his first home at age 19.  While navigating through complex commercial real estate deals, Tene has been involved in over $50 million of real estate acquisitions. Tene follows in the tradition of giving back instilled in him as a young man by his Mom & Dad that simply taught him “you receive in order to give”. When Tene is not working with real estate, he can be found managing the Grotto Fish Market/Kokomo’s on Old Fisherman's Wharf.

Tene is proud to support over 300 charities and organizations including Salvation Army Monterey Peninsula Corps, Monterey County School Districts, Meals on wheels, Rancho Cielo, Boys & Girls clubs Monterey, SPCA, Cooking for solutions, Mission Acts, Dorothy’s Kitchen, CASA Monterey, and feeding the homeless. One of Tene’s most humbling experiences was meeting Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India in 1991 and spending a half day with her visiting the areas of the poor and homeless she visited often. Tene lives in Monterey County with his wife, Tracy. January 2023 marks the celebration of their 41st wedding anniversary.

Festa Italia Information: (831) 633-4444 or email mail@FestaItaliaMonterey.org