Vanessa Racci Interview With Ciao St Louis Radio



Click the audio link below to hear the Vanessa Racci interview with Ciao St Louis Radio from 3/4/2018

Vanessa Racci’s 2017 debut album, Italiana Fresca, heralds the breakthrough of a fresh sound in jazz: a sweet-and-sour, wide-ranging contralto with a passion and sex appeal born of her Italian-American heritage. On this recording, Vanessa puts a jazzy spin on the Italian songs she sang with her grandfather as a child; “Al Di La”, “Buona Sera”, “C’e La Luna”, “Return to Me” and the lot. The songs are re-invented with modern jazz arrangements ranging from jump swing to lush string ballads to Louisiana Street. Several songs are updated with Vanessa’s own English lyrics. Her producer, the renowned bassist David Finck, has raved about her “natural sense of rhythm and flow, and her wonderful ability to communicate both musical and poetic language.” The songs were arranged by Yaron Gershovsky, long time Musical Director for The Manhattan Transfer and NYC pianist, Glafkos Kontemeniotis.

Birdland, the legendary New York jazz club, debuted Vanessa’s show to a sold out audience June 4th, 2017, which received rave reviews. See some of these below and in the press section.

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La Festa della Donna e La Mimosa March 8, 2018

The 8th of March is International Women’s Day, a festival which will be celebrated around the world. Here in Italy this very popular festival is called  La Festa della Donna. In 1946 the Unione Donna Italiana (Italian Woman Union), whilst preparing for the celebrations of the 8th of March, decided to choose an object to symbolize the event. The choice fell on the bright yellow flowers of theMimosa, which is in blossom at the beginning of March, and since then this plant has become the symbol of La Festa della Donna. The success of the Mimosa as an emblem of Women’s Day is due not only to the fact that it blossoms at this time of year, but also to its bright yellow color, a symbol of vitality and joy which represents the passage from death to life. In addition to this, despite its fragile look the Mimosa is, appropriately, very resilient! It has become a tradition that men will buy small sprigs of Mimosa which they will then offer to women, and part of the proceedings from the sale go to support projects related to women’s causes, such as shelters for women subject to violence, breast cancer research, or co-operatives run by women in Third World Countries.

The Mimosa belongs to the Acacia family and the most popular variety grown here in Italy is the Acacia Dealbata which, given the right conditions, grows to a height of around 20-30 feet. Originally from Tasmania, this beautiful tree has yellow flowers which are very small and bunched together in bright fluffy pompons. According to the Coldiretti (Farmers Union), due to the severe winter that has delayed the blossoming of the trees the quality of the Mimosa flowers is particularly good this year, although actual production is 15% less than last year. The majority of Mimosa trees are cultivated in Liguria on the terraces facing the sea. Here the climate is ideal for these plants which, in order to grow well, should never be subjected to temperatures below zero and must be sheltered from the wind. The Coldiretti claim that the Mimosa industry is beneficial to the environment for two reasons: firstly the trees are cultivated according to eco-sustainable principles, and secondly they are grown on agricultural land that would otherwise be abandoned and subject to erosion. To give you an idea of how popular the Mimosa tradition is here in Italy it is expected that 15 million Mimosa sprigs will be sold this weekend!

To keep your Festa della Donna Mimosa flowers fresh for longer you should cut off the lower leaves with a sharp knife and put them in vase with tepid, not cold, water to which you have added a couple of drops of lemon juice. It’s important to keep the flowers in full light but well away from any heating source as the Mimosa doesn’t like a dry environment.

Finally, I’d like to share with you a few words that I’ve just read on an Italian website dedicated to Festa della Donna, which were written by someone called Giuseppe: Senza le donne finirebbe il mondo: mancherebbe la dolcezza, mancherebbe l’amore di una mamma, mancherebbe il sorriso di una fanciulla, mancherebbe la voglia di vivere … Grazie Donna! Auguri Donna!(Without women the world would end: there wouldn’t be sweetness, there wouldn’t be the love of a mother, there wouldn’t be the smile of a girl, there wouldn’t be the desire to live … Thank you Woman! Best wishes!)

Auguri a tutte le donne del mondo!

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A little slice of Italy in Perryville MO

A little slice of Italy

  • Beth Durreman
Business of the Year
Sal and Vita Galati, (center) owners of Galati’s Italian Restaurant were joined by their family members (from left), Vincent, Stephanie, Vita, Sal, Gabe, Laura and Joe. Daughter Fara was unable to attend. Below, Sal and Vita Galati express their gratitude for the honor. The first ad for Galati’s Italian Pizza and Pasta appeared in November, 1990, in what was then The Monitor.


There is a little Italian Restaurant located on the corner of Main and North St. in Perryville. Galati’s Italian Restaurant is filled with the wonderful aromas of pasta and pizza and other mouthwatering Italian food, happy diners enjoying their meal and each other’s company, and the whole time you will see owners Sal and Vita Galati, serving the customers, visiting with the customers, throwing pizza dough in the air, and making everyone feel right at home in this little slice of Italy in Perryville.

How did Perryville become the home of Galati’s Italian Restaurant? It all began in Italy.

Having just got out of the Italian Navy, Salvatore “Sal” Galati was introduced to Vita DiMaggio through a friend of his, Vita’s cousin.  Vita was on vacation with her family for one week in Palermo, the capital of Sicily, Italy. The two ended up writing to each other, and an engagement was the result.

“My uncle in New York was already working on the process of getting my immigration papers ready for me so I could come to the United States, but then I became engaged to Vita,” said Sal.

Sal was on his way to the United States, but to St. Louis instead of New York.

“While in Italy I worked as a machinist,” said Sal. “When I came to the United States in 1974, my future father-in-law asked me, ‘What is it you want to do?’”

Sal was leery of being able to communicate to co-workers, and the precision of all the measuring required for a machinist job.

Sal explained, “I didn’t have the English language mastered.”

So, from March 1974 to the end of the year he learned the restaurant business in Lawrenceville, Ill., in his father-in-law’s restaurant.

Right before Sal and Vita’s wedding, her father opened up a restaurant for them in Flora Ill,. just 20 minutes south of Effingham. They stayed there for several years. In 1988 they made their first visit to Perryville, but were unable to find a location that would fit their needs.

In 1990, they decided to take their family to Italy.

Sal said, “I wanted my children to experience Italy before they grew up. But the economy was not good; no opportunity for a job that I wanted. We decided, let’s leave Italy behind us, and come back to the United States for good.”

They came to Perryville at that time, and they liked what the town had to offer. They were pleased that there were large and small businesses and that people had jobs.

“The catholic school was very important. Vita went to catholic school and she wanted our children to go, too”, said Sal.

They found the location they are currently in. “It was originally a gas station, but when we got it, it was a satellite dish store,” said Sal.

To get the building ready for the restaurant they had to get rid of the service station pit; otherwise, it was pretty easy to fix. In October 1990 Galati’s Italian Restaurant opened for business, and they have always been in this location.

Sal and Vita guarantee every item on their menu.

“When new customers come in and ask what is good, I tell them everything, I guarantee it”, Sal said. “We put in all of our effort to make everything taste good. So far, no one has ever said, ‘I don’t care for this’.”

“The cream sauce and red sauce are all made from scratch – the dough, the balsamic vinaigrette dressing, all from scratch,” Sal and Vita said in unison.

Sal said, “After so many years in business, many of the people who come in to eat really know us. It’s like a family. Everyone knows you, you can go to the store [pointing to Rozier’s] and hear, ‘Hey Sal, how are you?’ It makes you feel welcome.”

Making customers feel welcome is important to Sal and Vita, as their motto is, “Everybody is Family at Galati’s.”

Sal and Vita raised four children, three boys and one girl. The boys live in Cape Girardeau, and their daughter lives in Michigan. They have 11 grandchildren, nine girls and two boys. They are able to see their sons and their families in Cape Girardeau fairly often, but only get to visit with their daughter’s family twice a year.

Sal and Vita close the restaurant twice a year, once to go to Michigan and the other to go on a vacation where, according to Sal, “they can have some fun on the beach”.

Sal and Vita love all their customers. They have their regulars who come from Chester, Jackson, Saint Genevieve, Cape Girardeau, and of course Perryville and all the towns in Perry County.

As Tom Jones was singing in the background, “It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone,” the Galati’s glanced at each other, and Sal turned and said, “We are very grateful to the community for the support they have shown us the past 27 years.”

Vita said,  “We feel very blessed to be a part of this community and want everyone to know we are eternally grateful for their support.”

Sal came to America from Italy, married a young Italian lady from Saint Louis and together they made a living and raised their family here in Perryville. The Republic-Monitor 2018 Business of the Year  has served Perryville for 27 years, and they are looking forward to welcoming and serving families for many more years ahead.


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Bocce For Bambinos

Saturday, April 21, 2018

11am – 5:00pm

Bow-chee or botch-ee? However you pronounce it, the Bocce for Bambinos event at Milo’s Tavern on the Hill is a wonderful opportunity to give back and have fun! Join the STL Champions for Children, CMN St. Louis’ Young Professionals Board, for a bocce ball tournament and happy hour. Thirty-two (32), four (4) person teams will compete head-to-head in a bracket style tournament for a chance to win big for the kids.

Funds raised will stay local, benefiting St. Louis Children’s Hospital and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.
Don’t want to play but still want to come out and support a good cause? Come spectate for a suggested donation of $10! We’d love to have you!


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STL Symphony Presents: Pines of Rome and Special Pricing for the Italian Community

The SLSO is offering members and friends of the Italian Club of St. Louis a special ticket price of $35 for Respighi’s Pines of Rome on Saturday, March 24 at 8 pm. An optional buffet pre-party is planned at LoRusso’s on Grand at an additional cost. Tickets must be purchased through the Italian Club to receive this price. To make a reservation or for more information, contact Debbie Monolo at 314-458-5209 or at Credit cards accepted; tickets must be paid for at the time of the reservation no later than Thursday, March 15. We look forward to welcoming your group on March 24! *Limited tickets available at this special offer.


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