Lou Carlozo

Lou Carlozo is award-winning journalist who spent 20 years reporting for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Chicago Tribune. He began writing for Fra Noi in 2007, and claims maternal and paternal southern Italian lineage. The monthly Lou&A columnist and a music reviewer/writer, his work has appeared in Reuters, Aol, The Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor and news outlets around the world. In 1993, he was a Pulitzer Prize team-reporting finalist for his contributions to the Tribune’s “Killing Our Children” series. He resides in Chicago with his wife of 21 years, a hospital chaplain, and their teenage son and daughter.

Weekend rocker Carlo Caprio

Carlo Caprio would certainly forgive you if you thought his rock band’s name was Scivoloso Quando Bagnato. After all, that’s how Slippery When Wet translates into Italian. And the Oak Lawn native Ñ aside from being a formidable frontman and lead singer Ñ is also a first-generation Italian American who speaks the mother tongue with a Napoletano twist. Aside from his immediate kin, “Most of my family still lives in Italia,” says Caprio, who turned 41 in November. “Growing up in an Italian household was a great influence, just knowing my parents came to America from another country. I remember …

Read More »

Playwright Paul Barile

Paul Barile has so many talents you need a smartphone app to track them. He can dish a blues guitar licks one minute, and dish dirt on Italian beef sandwiches via his culinary blog the next. And when he’s writing poetry, or acting, or getting ready to release a new novel, he’s a playwright who tackles the stage like no other. “I feel blessed to be able to do this — to do all of what I do,” says Barile, 50, a Berwyn native who lives on Chicago’s Southwest Side. “Having a strong and loving Italian family was instrumental in …

Read More »

Actress Paula Scrofano

For Jeff-award winning actress Paula Scrofano, the journey to accomplished actress began from childhood; growing up in the Cleveland area, she was surrounded by art, music and the magic of Italian culture — which explains how she learned at least a dozen songs in Italian by her high school years. The daughter of a Sicilian father (from the town of Augusta) and a Czech-Hungarian mother, the Riverside, Ill. resident stars as Frau Schmidt in “The Sound of Music.” This Chicago-area production of the award-winning Rodgers and Hammerstein musical runs through Jan. 8, 2013 — you read correctly, 2013 — at …

Read More »

Soprano Jamie-Rose Guarrine

Opera owes much to Italian culture, but you might be hard pressed to find young, talented Italian Americans carrying the torch in large numbers these days. So it’s a good thing soprano Jamie-Rose Guarrine has stepped up. At the tender age of 33, she’s turning heads for her work with the Sante Fe Opera, the Chicago Opera Theater and the Utah Opera — where Opera News praised her portrayal of Susanna in “Le Nozze di Figaro” as “light, flexible and vibrant — well suited to the part of a scheming maid and romantic ing?nue.” “I was extremely fortunate to grow …

Read More »

Drummer Dan Leali

There’s a long tradition of great Italian rock drummers, from Dick Boccelli (Bill Haley and the Comets) to Carmine Appice (Rod Stewart) and Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa). That’s the old guard; make way for the new: Chicago’s Dan Leali has performed with everyone from Grammy-nominated artist Peter Himmelman to jazz-funk group Liquid Soul (with whom he shared a Grammy nomination for the 2000 recording “Here’s the Deal”). And if you’ve seen Leali play, look out: Here’s a guy who does it all, from sweet finesse timekeeping to powerhouse throb to demolish a brick wall. “My older sister had had a …

Read More »

Writer Debbie Di Verde

Chicago native Debbie Ippolito Di Verde, who now resides in Antioch, definitely has much going on in many facets of the arts. Whether she’s appearing in national commercials, working on her first young adult novel, or completing a master’s degree, she’s found myriad ways to grow and express herself — even as she hones her various ambitions. Di Verde has Sicilian roots on her father’s side, from the town of Santa Catarina Villarmosa. (Her mother is of Polish heritage.) Her grandparents came through Ellis Island, and soon thereafter moved to Taylor and Loomis in Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood. “Many of …

Read More »

Educator Sister Mary Ventura O.P.

If the worth of a life is measured in the lives one changes, then Sister Mary Ventura O.P. is pure gold, and an example to all who work with children and young adults in the name of literacy. A teacher for 67 years, Ventura directs the Essential Learning Solutions lab at St. Bernadette Catholic Academy in Evergreen Park. She could’ve rested on her laurels long ago, but Ventura still puts in 10-hour work days. She’s worked at the , lab for the past 20 years. Sister Mary has received many awards over her prolific career, but the one she calls …

Read More »

Cutting-edge director Thom Pasculli

It’s a big deal to have your new work premiere at the Steppenwolf Theater. Then again, Walkabout Theater Company’s Thom Pasculli has ambition and talent that set the stage for big things. As director of “The Wild,” he’s fashioned an experimental production you must see to appreciate. Inspired by the work of playwright Charles Mee and Walkabout’s physical training practices, “The Wild” is the world premiere of a devised laboratory theater performance that confronts distant realities and their infringement on our daily lives. But it moves, too, incorporates erotic dance and the dealings of seductive demi-gods as they encroach on …

Read More »

St. Mary’s Services E.D. Joanne Bratta

Joanne Bratta’s work defines “calling” in a way that’s both inspirational and admirable. As the executive director of St. Mary’s Services in Arlington Heights, Bratta helps women deal with one of life’s most daunting challenges: unplanned pregnancies. “We do option counseling to help them make a choice on what they want to do,” says Bratta, who started officially with St. Mary’s in 2012, but has a professional relationship with the adoption agency stretching back more than two decades. “Option counseling focuses on what the woman wants, not what we want. We educate them about adoption and explain that it’s relationship …

Read More »

Violin virtuoso Joseph Genualdi

His mother played piano, his father the bass — yet Joseph Genualdi always knew he’d blaze his own trail as a violinist. The incendiary moment dates to age 5, when his parents took him to one of his first concerts. The artists, repertoire and location escape him. Yet Genualdi (who paternal family hails from Altavilla Milicia, Sicily) remembers how the violinist left an imprint that, half a century later, still hasn’t faded. “After the concert I said to my parents, ‘I want to play violin, I want to play violin,'” recalls Genualdi, now 59 and a professor at the University …

Read More »

Want More?

Subscribe to our print magazine
or give it as a gift.

Click here for details