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Thread: Rudy Cipolla

  1. #1

    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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  3. #2

    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 that lives but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

  4. #3
    Registered User grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
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    Default Rudy Cipolla... one of the greats

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

  5. #4
    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.

  7. #6

    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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  9. #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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  11. #8

    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."

  12. #9
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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.

  13. #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?

  14. #11
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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.

  15. #12
    Sheri Mignano Crawford Mandophile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

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

  16. #13
    Sheri Mignano Crawford 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!

  17. #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:
    Guild D-25NT
    Vega 200 archtop, 1957?

  18. #15
    Sheri Mignano Crawford Mandophile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    I've already transcribed and converted Rudy's titles into Sibelius. These are the titles for sure (there may be others but I made a quick survey today). I'm getting ready to transcribe more after my book is done. This project needs to be completed but I can't get started on the rest of his titles until 2019. Bob Bruen's supposed to bring me a few more boxes to get started. The archive remains with him. Of course, if anyone knows someone in the San Francisco Bay Area where I can store 12+ plastic contains, please PM me no later than December. Thank you. Sheri~

    P.S. I'm more than glad to make these available. I did publish Biondina and La Civetta in my Mandolin Melodies book.
    P.S. the question was raised about publishing them. That would be quite the task. I'm figuring that just doing the titles in mandolin trio/quartet format will be a minimum 3 years. If I transcribe the wind parts, add at least another year.

    Amore Futile
    Biondina
    Chinese Carousel
    Katiouschka
    La Civetta
    Linda
    Midnight in Old vienna
    Midnight (solo mandolin)
    Monica
    Ricordante
    Romance Antique
    Street Scene
    Under Your Window.
    Last edited by Mandophile; Oct-22-2018 at 8:24pm. Reason: more titles added

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  20. #16
    Sheri Mignano Crawford Mandophile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    I'm busy at work transcribing the remaining titles in the Rudy Cipolla archive from manuscripts to readable scores. I should have quite a few more titles available in PDF format by late spring.

    Today, I'm on a fishing expedition. THE CMSA will meet in San Diego this year, toward November, and I'd like to have a group of mandolinists and guitarists signed up to play Cipolla's music. I anticipate that we would rehearse for a couple of days at the convention and present his music on a Saturday. You would receive the PDFs of the sheet music and audio files to help you prepare so that we can arrive at the convention ready to
    rehearse.

    Does that appeal to anyone? Please PM with the instrument you play and level of interest so I can decide how to proceed. I would need mandolins! but also octave mandolin, mandocello, banjo mandolin, guitar, flute (or clarinet on some), drums, bass viol.

    or send email to zighi@sonic.net

    Thank you and Happy New Year, Sheri

  21. #17
    Sheri Mignano Crawford Mandophile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    I'm pleased to put out an announcement about a Rudy Cipolla workshop at the upcoming Classical Mandolin Society of America convention in San Diego, November 2020.
    Please see the attached CALL FOR MUSICIANS! My contact information is on the announcement.
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  22. #18
    Sheri Mignano Crawford Mandophile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    Starting to build a Cipolla archive. Slowly but surely we will be uploading all the transcriptions as easy to read/send PDFs.
    Please use this link to access, view, and download sheet music etc.

    Rudy Cipolla Archive

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0gdel2cmf...DIbTtvx1a?dl=0

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  24. #19
    Sheri Mignano Crawford Mandophile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    If you're a fan of the Dawg, Mike Marshall, Darrol Anger, Bob Bruen, Radim Zenkl, and Rudy, listen to the audio tracks I uploaded from Rudy's Memorial Concert at the Freight and Salvage. (Thank you, David). Also I uploaded the 1987 Berkeley Mandolin Ensemble show on KQED where Rudy is interviewed toward the end of the show. (Thank you, Owen!)
    Plus, I've added more sheet music under consideration for the CMSA workshops and to attract more converts for Rudymusic! Let's show Rudy that we love 'em! I've uploaded articles, tips on reading Rudymusic (he is idiosyncratic!) and more!

  25. #20

    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    It's always interesting when different parts of our worlds collide. Since the early 1990s I've been researching my family history and building a family tree. I'm not only trying to go backwards with my direct line, but I've also worked at adding siblings of my direct ancestors and working those lines forward. My tree currently has well over 3000 people and it's always growing. It's been very interesting and I've learned a ton, but last week took a very unexpected turn.

    Through my Ancestry account, I received a message from a woman who was seeking photographs and information for a book she was writing a book about a well-known mandolin player named Rudy Cipolla. I immediately recognized the Cipolla name as being the maiden name of my great-grandmother but I had no recollection of a Rudy and my first thought was she saw the same name and is hoping I may be related. But before I wrote back and said I couldn't be of any help, I took a minute to check my tree. Sure enough, in my tree was a Rudolfo Vincenzo Cipolla (21 Sep 1900 - 8 Jan 2000). It turns out Rudy Cipolla was a first cousin to my great-grandmother.

    In today's mail was a package. Inside was this Fall 2007 copy of The Fretboard Journal. Mixed in with articles about Earl Scruggs, David Bromberg, and Fylde Guitars was an article about Rudy written years ago by Sheri Mignano Crawford, better known around here as "Mandophile." David Bromberg is one of my guitar heroes. I'm feeling immense family pride to see Rudy's name across the top with Bromberg's. I'm so incredibly grateful to now own a copy of this issue.

    I never met Rudy. Never knew anything about him other than his name and the usual information about his birth and death and I'm feeling a bit cheated because he and I would have had so much in common (I'm primarily a guitar player but recently I've been dabbling in bouzouki, a mando cousin of sorts). But I'm feeling quite proud to know I share a bit of the same blood with Rudy Cipolla, my first cousin, three times removed.

    I don't post here often but I wanted to publicly acknowledge Sheri's kindness. She's given me quite an education in the past week and connected me with some cousins from Rudy's branch of my family. I'm just winning all over the place thanks to her.

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  27. #21
    Sheri Mignano Crawford Mandophile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    It's always great to hear how Rudy lives on in so many ways. While working to accomplish something for the sake of his enduring melodies, I ran across this book written/published by one of his older mandolin students in 1994. I've attached the introductory page to "The Space Between the Notes" which were Rudy's very own words--his philosophy on life and on music.

    What an inspiration Rudy continues to be--never dogmatic, always openminded and great fun to be with. A big thank you to all of Rudy's old and new friends and fans! Let's keep the space between the notes as a vital part of his music.
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  29. #22
    Sheri Mignano Crawford Mandophile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    new titles uploaded to the Dropbox! Enjoy! and let me know if you've got plans to perform his music anywhere. That'd be great! Thanks~
    RUDY CIPOLLA FOLDER--access, view, and download everything!

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0gdel2cmf...DIbTtvx1a?dl=0

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  31. #23
    Sheri Mignano Crawford Mandophile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    Just uploaded Rudy's most beloved title: "La Civetta" You'll find the conductor's score and individual parts. I reduced a full symphonic score to these parts:
    Mandolin 1, 2, 3; Mandola 1,2,3,4; Mandocello 1 & 2; Guitar 1 & 2; Contrabass; Flute 1 & 2.
    You'll find duets, trios and more! Play Rudy's music in a small or large ensembles. Lots to choose from! Don't forget that you can download everything
    including MP3 files of Grisman and other mandolinists at the Rudy Cipolla Memorial Tribute Concert.

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0gdel2cmf...DIbTtvx1a?dl=0

    Download the Index to the titles below (also in the Dropbox folder)

    There are other parts in Civetta; in particular, I would like to find someone who can play castanets and/or snare drum. The castanets are great with this Latin rhythm. PM me if you know of someone attending the CMSA convention who'd like to learn a percussive part. Thanks!

    Hope everyone is safe and finding time to play music, especially Rudy's music!
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  33. #24
    Sheri Mignano Crawford Mandophile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    just uploaded two new Cipolla titles: "Cipollyana" and "For the Giotta Family" "Cipollyana" was composed/arranged in the summer of 1970 for Ken Culver's Portland (Oregon) Mandolin Ensemble. It is dedicated to Grisman and Janice Bain. Rudy's immigrant parents arrived in Portland in 1908 when Rudy had just turned 8 years old. Rudy left Portland in 1940 and moved to San Francisco.
    The Giotta Family title was for the vocalizing Giotta family who held--and still hold--family concerts on early Saturday afternoons. Founded in 1956 by Papa Gianni Giotto, his wife Ida, daughter Sonia, sons Gianfranco and Fabio were the regulars for decades. It was every Saturday until the early 2000s. Papa died a few years ago but Ida (now in her mid-nineties) and daughter Sonia still sing. Fabio no longer plays or sings and his older brother Gianfranco died in 2000 (if I recall correctly).

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  35. #25
    Sheri Mignano Crawford Mandophile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rudy Cipolla

    just uploaded "Theresa" SCORE and PARTS and an updated index of Cipolla titles now available as easy to download PDFs.
    The link allows you to browse and download everything!
    Hey, if Newton can be productive during London's plague...well...I can do likewise! Tempus fugit when you're having fun transcribing with Rudymusic.
    How's everyone doing? Give Rudy a little practice time and you won't regret it!

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