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Thread: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

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    Default CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    I have owned this mandolin since 1985, everybody flatters it, so far I haven't seen any other like this, it is a Carmelo Catania, it is a very melodious,Even when I started playing this instruments more than 20 years ago , there were long periods of time that abandoned my mandolin, now I regret all the time I lost not playing it. I was told that it has mahony, and the finished is impressing, and it sound great to me, but I am not an expertise in this instrument so I really don't know. Does anybody know about Carmelo Catania mandolins made in Italy,
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    Carmelo Catania was an instrument manufacturer in Catania, Sicily. Tho not a mandolin site, Fetish Guitars has much information about the company and some pictures of guitars and catalogs.
    Jim

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    While perhaps unrelated, there is also the Fatty Carmelo Consortium currently touting a new disc by my longtime Austin vatos:

    http://www.thegourds.com/

    With a bit of a wink this can somehow all be woven together into coherence.

    Mick
    Last edited by brunello97; Feb-02-2009 at 9:52am. Reason: bad grammar, baby

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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    Thanks for the information.

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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    O. thanks for the information

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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    While perhaps unrelated, there is also the Fatty Carmelo Consortium currently touting a new disc by my longtime Austin vatos:
    Humm...not sure of the connection but I have front row seats for Fridays show at the Egyptian Theater here in Boise. The new CD has some gems too...

    Nice looking mandolin Mandolin Lady!!
    Look up (to see whats comin down)

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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    Thanks, I don't think Fatty Carmelo is related to Carmelo Catania, this mandolin maker is way back somewhere in Italy.

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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    I love them... the ones I've seen played well and looked great.

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    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    I've got a Catania also. It's got the violin scroll head. I got it about 1979 when I was taking lessons w/ Giovanni Vicari in NYC. He had a couple. He was from the town in Sicily. A couple of his students and myself expressed interest so I think four or five of us ordered them. We had the option of flat or round backed. I think everyone went flat. Tho Mr. V had a round-back.
    They were all great. I love mine. It has a steely,shimmering sound, plays great & very elegant. I'll try later to get a picture up. I have to run my computer over for check-up now.

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    Mandopops, I think a lot of us here would love to hear more anecdotes from your experience studying with Sig. Vicari. That must have been an amazing experience. Here is a purported picture of the maestro ca. 1920.

    Mick
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    Last edited by brunello97; May-28-2009 at 10:39pm. Reason: bad grammar, baby

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    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    Brunello97, That really looks like a young Giovanni. I think I've seen that pic before. I have an autographed 8x10 glossy picture of him. I'll try in the next day or two to get a pic of my Catania & Mr. Vicari up.
    I would be glad to put a few thoughts together. Mr. Garber asked also. It was amazing. He was also very warm and generous. Except he wouldn't give me his DeAngelico mandolin. Altho I tried. Where would be a good place to post?
    Thanx for the interest.

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    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    Here is my Catania.

    Ain't it a beauty?
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    Joe B mandopops's Avatar
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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    Here is my autographed photograph of Mr. Vicari.

    He is playing his Martin Mandolin in the picture.
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    Registered User Fran's Avatar
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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    Hi guys, I am a newbie here.

    I just found a nice Modelo 2 Carmelo Catania in very good shape, and only paid a few hundred dollars for it. I got it in a private sale.

    A local shop has an identical mando for sale at $1000... So, keep your bowl-shaped Carmelos, they seem to have gained in market value!
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    "People will be more impressed with your playing than the price of your instrument."

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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    Fran!

    That's my baby. I have one just like it made in 1961. I was looking to sell it but didn't know the value. Incredible!
    Polly

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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    I have a Catania which is very similar to the one in th picture, with the same design. I absolutely love the sound of it as well as the look. I got it for an excellent price, and was pleased when I found out that his mandolins can fetch about 1000$. On the original sticker inside my mandolin, it says that his company was founded in 1936, in Mascalucia. This is a comune in Catania, Sicily. I confirmed this with my own research. He is quite a famous italian mandolin maker, and I suggest you hold on to that instrument and keep playing it, because mandolins of this quality are hard to come by!

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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    I too studied with John Vicari years ago (starting 1958) at the age of 12 to 17. And have a Carmelo mandolin Dated 1955 (flat back/not sure if that's what you call it). He was and to this day my major influence and inspiration. John Tropea

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    Welcome, John! We all would love to hear more about your experiences with Sig. Vicari. What were lessons like (if you can remember so long ago)? Any type of anecdotes would be more than welcome here. As well as pictures of your Carmelo C if you have them. I have a mandola from Catania that I enjoy playing, from Puglisi Reale. They make nice mandolins down there in Sicily.

    Mick
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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    Hi Mick,
    He was a special man who loved his students. At 18 years old I went off to Berklee School of Music. The day I said good bye to him he held me in his arms and cried. I took 3 lessons a week from him from 12 yrs to 18 yrs. 1 on plectrum guitar, 1 on mandolin and 1 on classical guitar. Most of the time he hand wrote the music for the lesson. I always started each lesson with solfeggio from the Pasquali Bona sight reading book (Probably spelled the title wrong). In addition, he always made espresso coffee for both of us. I will rack my brain to remember some other points of my lessons and get back to you. I owe much of my success and musicality to Mr Vicari. If we were in England, I would lobby for him to be knighted so he would be named Sir John Vicari! I haven't played the mandolin for yrs as I am a Funk Jazz guitarist. I will take some pxs of the mandolin and post them after I do some minor work on it. All the best, John Tropea

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    Registered User Bruce Clausen's Avatar
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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    Wow, John, what a way to start out! Just went to your site and realized we've all heard you many times over many years. A great start to a great career. Thanks for checking in here with your memories of Vicari.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    There were a few members of the NY mandolin orchestra who studied with maestro Vicari. So, did he prefer to be called John? I know his listed himself on Italian records as Giovanni and on Spanish ones as Juan.
    Jim

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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    Thanks, John, for those stories. I certainly am familiar with your own work, which is extraordinary, and it is a pleasure to have you here at the MC. (It is kind of like a cafe where one is always meeting interesting people.....) I would love to see a picture of your Catania mandolin. Do you remember where you got it? Was it new at the time? Do you remember what type of mandolin Mr. Vicari was playing at the time? Was it the Martin that Mandopops posted a picture of? Sorry for all the questions, but you guys who form a link back a couple of generations are priceless!

    Mick
    Ever tried, ever failed, no matter. Try again, fail again, fail better.--Samuel Beckett
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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    Thanks for your comments. I love Giovanni dearly. Wish he was still with us.
    Tropes

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    Default Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    I alway called him Giovanni. And he too, called me the same.

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    Smile Re: CARMELO CATANIA MANDOLIN, what you tihink

    Hi I've just bought a Carmelo Catania mandolin today and I think I got a bargain- 92! Whether it is or not is immaterial really as I love it and am now a bowlback convert and the Ozark will have to go. I love the authentic Italian/Sicilian look and the sound is so sweet. It's most definitely a keeper. Just need a hard case for it now! Here's a pic I took already.

    Thanks Everybody, reading this post before buying certainly helped me a lotClick image for larger version. 

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