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Thread: Rudy Cipolla

  1. #1
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    Default Rudy Cipolla

    I recently came across this shot of Rudy that I took, one of a series of portraits I did of him in the mid 1980's. This was taken in his little store in San Francisco where he spent much of his time composing. You can see the sheet music laid out in front of him. He had lots of time to write, as I never saw many customers there.

    I had the pleasure of playing with him in the Berkeley Mandolin Ensemble during that time He was much loved by fellow players and audiences alike. There is a short biography of him on David Grismans' site: http://www.dawgnet.com/acd_html/artists/cipolla.html
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  2. #2
    Registered User vkioulaphides's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    Sweet! There's a hermit's bliss on his face...

    Thanks for posting this, Owen!

    Cheers,

    Victor
    It is not man who lives, but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

  3. #3
    Registered User grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
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    Default Rudy Cipolla... one of the greats

    wonderfull composer... he΄s apreciated over here... by those who know. He lived a full life.
    Olaf

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    ISO TEKNO delsbrother's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    Did you also take the photo that Grisman used for the Acoustic Disc release? It seems like it could've been from the same session (I can't tell if he's wearing the same tie):


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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    Rudy would always be in the audience at early DGQ shows at the GAMH.
    David would introduce him from the stage & Rudy would get up & take a bow.
    I recall Bob Bruen, David & Rudy recording in my art studio, back in the day,
    and Todd Phillips working on his A model Gibsons. Rudy was the elder statesman
    of Bay Area mandolin players......and a very nice gentleman.

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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    No, I didn't take that shot used on the album cover, but it looks like it's at the same location with the same sweater, shirt and tie. I've attached another photo of him writing music with pick in mouth. I've looked at this shot close-up, and it seems to be a piece for the Berkeley Mandolin Ensemble called, "Street Scene," though I don't recall playing it.

    I've also have several other pieces of his that he sent me (one of them for me and my wife when we got married -- my wife made me post this), and several others. I don't know if anyone out there knows these individuals (I don't), but I'd be happy to forward the music to them if they turn up.
    "Theresa's Wedding" for solo piano
    "Gone But Not Forgotten - In memory of Betty Nicholson" for solo piano
    "Monica" for 2 pianos. There is a note that she was an old friend who lived in Fresno, CA.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    I grew up in the neighborhood in San Francisco where Rudy had his shop, the Book Nook on Judah street. As a kid I would go in and buy penny candy and comic books there. Sometimes I would take a peek at the Playboys in the back! Rudy was ALWAYS completely immersed in practicing and composing. You really had to interrupt him when you wanted to pay him, he was so concentrated on his music.

    I only learned to appreciate his music later when I became interested in the mandolin.

    I also remember another great mandolin player named Matteo Casserino would sometimes visit him there and the little music store across the street, Gene's Guitar Shop. He played marvelous Italian tunes and would practice with the shop owner, Gene Mitchell. They played at the famous Cafe Trieste in San Francisco's North Beach. The few Italian tunes I know I picked up from them.

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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    By the way, for those who don't know of Rudy Cipolla, Newsweek magazine once called him "one of America's unsung heroes."

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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    Somewhere in the mid-90s (1996? 97?) the CMSA convention was in San Francisco. The En Masse orchestra (conducted by Keith Harris) played one of Rudy's shorter pieces as part of the final concert in a church somewhere near the Cathedral Hill hotel where the conference was based. Anyone remember what piece we played?

    Rudy came to the concert (with help) but I seem to remember he was almost deaf and blind. I had the privilege of sitting nearly toe to toe with him during the concert. He was in the front pew and I was on the outside of the 2nd mandolin section right in front of him. I was a great admirer of both his music and his creative work ethic. He seemed like a truly good person.

    Thanks, Owen, for sharing the photos and music.

    John G.

  10. #10
    Registered User Nick Royal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    I am hoping some day some of his music will be published so mandolin ensembles can play it. I heard that Bob Bruen has some of his music. Anyone know if there are plans to publish some of his music?

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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    Bob moved to NM several years ago. If I'm not mistaken, he inherited the music, and also has Rudy's mandolins.
    I recall a Rudy Cipolla Memorial concert at the Freight & Salvage, where his music was played using his instruments
    which were played by Bob Bruen, Grisman et al.

  12. #12
    Registered User Mandophile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    a quintessential Rudy pose...and that was on a tidy day!

  13. #13
    Registered User Mandophile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    not sure if this was answered years ago but I know that recently Bob Bruen and I have been busy with getting my transcriptions uploaded at his website. The goal, as it was Rudy's wish, to make all his music accessible. The only hindrance has been decipherment as anyone who has played from his original script know that it takes a Rosetta Stone to decipher much of what he wrote and sorting out the superfluous arrangements and versions has been the #1 obstacle to making it happen. So stay tuned for more!

  14. #14
    Registered User MandoSquirrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    Thanks for that update, many of us are eager to have Cipolla sheet music!
    Elrod
    Gibson A2 1920(?)
    Breedlove Cascade
    Washburn 215(?) 1906-07(?)
    Victoria, B&J, New York(stolen 10/18/2011)
    Eastwood Airline Mandola

    guitars:
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