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Italian-American Club offering ‘jam’ nights

July 3, 2014
Lehigh Acres Citizen

You can bring your trombone, your guitar, or just a tremendous singing voice, get on stage, and just perform.

The Italian-American Club on Vincennes Boulevard in downtown hopes the idea will work to get the word out about its new musical offerings this summer as a way to bring people in once the snowbirds return.

The club began to offer Sunday jam sessions from 6 to 9 p.m. three weeks ago, where Music Box Duo appears as the host band to Southwest Florida's best musicians and vocalists, who gather to entertain diners with a combination of jazz, blues, country and much more.

Club members Ralph and Kathy Sangiovanni got the idea to bring more music to the club after Ralph remembered a jam session offered at the Del Prado nearly 30 years ago.

"It was a big thing and this was a venue where I'd like to bring it. It was also to promote live music because you don't get much true live music," Sangiovanni said.

Lacey Saracino, a bartender at the club, had no trouble getting on stage and jamming with the boys.

"I've played with these guys before, and it was icing on the cake to play with them again. These guys are awesome and once the word gets out, people will clamber to get in because it's a wonderful bunch,"Saracino said.

The crowd wasn't huge last Sunday, but those who stayed were treated to great food and music by the core band and anyone who dared get up to perform.

Pauline Paquin walked onstage with her trombone, but most, like Connie Miller, simply brought her voice.

"I'm pleased with it. The room is nice and the type of music they play is good," Miller said. "It's everything from the 50s to the 80s and it will grow if it has time to build."

Harry Drew and Craig Christman played dueling saxophone, Tim Goodman was on keyboards, Jackie Lee Miller played guitar, and Trimble McCullough provided the beat on drums.

They jammed, gave everyone their time in the spotlight, and had fun.

"When people find out about it, the place will be packed, because there are no other places in the Cape to come for this kind of music," Christman said. "It's a good mix of people who come now."

Another promotion the club is trying is Kid Karaoke on Saturday, where kids and their families can come sing their favorite tunes, hosted by Saracino.

Sangiovanni also is starting up a "big band" which will practice at the club before starting to play at the end of July.

Kathy, the club president whose parents, Joe and Grace Raso, founded the Italian-American Club in 1966, said she wanted to bring new interests to the club as a way to draw younger people with younger ideas.

"We want anybody who can play to come down. You can come enjoy the music," she said.

For more information, contact the club at540-0057.



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