Feb 11 Alfonso PonticelliA multi-instrumentalist, Ponticelli won the 1994 U.S.
National Mountain Dulcimer Championship and continues to perform solo mountain
dulcimer and guitar. He has played both banjo and guitar with the Illinois
Philharmonic Orchestra and was invited to perform solo didgeridoo at the
Chicago Symphony Center. Ponticelli has collaborated in Chicago with Arabic,
Irish, bluegrass, Gypsy, Romanian and many other traditional folk musicians.
Ponticelli has had the honor of performing at Chicago’s Millennium Park on its
opening night as well as at every major museum in Chicago.
Ponticelli is the 2009 recipient of the Leonardo da Vinci
award for outstanding achievement in performing arts from Order Sons of Italy
in America and holds a B.M. in Jazz Studies from DePaul University. Ponticelli
has been to Cordoba, Spain (1994) to study with the great flamenco guitarists
Rafael Riqueni and Manolo Sanlucar, New Mexico to study with Chuscales and
Pedro Cortes and has had the great flamenco singer and guitarist Pansequito
join his band for two years. He has performed at the Iridium in New York City
where Les Paul invited Alfonso to play as a special guest with his trio.
Ponticelli shares his education and love of music by
teaching workshops at many festivals, including 13 years at the Midwest Gypsy
Swing Fest in Madison, Wisconsin. He introduced Gypsy jazz to Chicago in the
1990s, when he began teaching a weekly Django-style class at the renowned Old
Town School of Folk Music, where he has taught for 16 years. Alfonso Ponticelli