Eleonora Pieroni Honored at I Giullari Di Piazza Benefit with Actor Armand Assante in NYC
A special performance of 'Tarantata' took place at the benefit which honored veteran actor Armand Assante, Eleonora Pieroni and Jesus Puerto.
On December 4th, the Local 92 restaurant in Manhattan played host to a dinner fundraiser by the music ensemble I Giullari Di Piazza. This storied group has been performing for over four decades, working as artists in residence at the Cathedral of St. John Divine. They have performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, and many more legendary venues.
The event proved more than just another performance. The night stood out as a celebration of Italian American culture. Other notable Italian names were honored at the event, including Emmy Award winning actor Armand Assante, actress and television presenter Eleonora Pieroni, and Soul de Cuba Cafe owner/philanthropist Jesus Puerto.
Pieroni also emceed the event. The Italian actress and recording artist came to international prominence as a model after winning Miss Blue Mare Italia and placing as a finalist in Miss World Italy. Her work is known in both Italy and the United States, which is why New York City Mayor Eric Adams named her Ambassador of Made in Italy and Italian Culture in New York. She has used her platform to raise awareness for the needs of children and women who are survivors of violence, working as a Goodwill Ambassador for several organizations engaged with these issues.
The Tarantata performance and dinner was a triumphant return to in-person fundraising since the pandemic. The centerpiece of the event was I Giullari Di Piazza’s performance of their trademark Tarantella dance. A southern Italian folk tradition, this dance features captivating movements inspired by the tarantula, and it is said to cure the mythical bite of the creature and create a space of healing for all those in attendance.
(Left -Right: Armand Assante, Alessandra Belloni and Eleonora Pieroni)
The entire performance was a richly textured experience that also included magical rituals, drumming, chanting, as well as fully authentic costumes and music. This is the precise kind of presentation that I Giullari di Piazza excels at. It all culminated with a tarantella dance open to everyone in the audience. It was an ecstatic conclusion to a joyful night. The concert featured:
Alessandra Belloni - Artistic Director, Founder and Lead Performer of “Giullari Di Piazza”, Percussions and Vocals
John La Barbera - Music Director, Composer, Guitar, Mandolin, Chitarra Battente
Wilson Montuori - Guitar
Mara Gerety - Violin
Steve Gorn - Bansuri Flutes, Saxophones, Clarinet
Dancers - Francesca Silvano, Peter De Geronimo, Greta Campo
Mark Mindek - Stilt Dancer
Since I Giullari di Piazza has not performed live since 2019, the night took on a special importance. They were not able to celebrate their 40th anniversary with the public, and so this event took on an added significance. It also serves as the beginning of the Holiday performance season for 2022.
To keep up-to-date on what I Giullari di Piazza will be doing next, you can find information at their website. If you would like to learn more about Eleonora Pieroni, follow her on Instagram and on YouTube.