Ron Onesti

Ron Onesti is the president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans and the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, chairman of Casa Italia and a board member of the Italian American Veterans Museum. He is the founder and president of Onesti Entertainment Corp., which runs five entertainment and dining venues across the Chicago area and produces concerts, special events and festivals nationwide. Among the latter are Festa Pasta Vino on South Oakley Avenue, Festa Italiana on Taylor Street and Little Italy Fest-West in Addison. He was inducted as a cavaliere into the Ordine della Stella d’Italia by the president of Italy

Bowling legend Carmen Salvino

One of the greatest bowlers of all time, Carmen Salvino recently celebrated 70 years of unparalleled success in a sport he loves and helped to transform. In baseball and in life, “three strikes” are typically a bad thing. But for world-class bowler Carmen Salvino, it’s just another day at the office. He began his career as a professional bowler at 19 years of age, and 70 years later, he’s only now looking back at just how many pins he’s knocked down. Carmen was born in the Taylor Street neighborhood of Chicago near Flournoy and Ashland. His father was from Calabria …

Read More »

Pop-opera superstar Pasquale Esposito

With 11 albums, four PBS specials and a host of world tours under his belt, the popular crossover crooner has devoted his career to fanning Italy’s brilliant musical flame. He was born in Naples, Italy, but has become a favorite son of Americans from all ethnic backgrounds. Pasquale Esposito is a pop-opera tenor, a PBS superstar, and a successful recording and touring artist. For more than two decades, he has kept the classic songs of Italy and the nation’s vocal icons relevant and exciting for today’s audiences. The youngest of five siblings, Pasquale grew up listening to Enrico Caruso. He …

Read More »

Charting a new course for Christopher Columbus

I’m so proud to be writing to you as the new president of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans. It’s a sacred trust I take as seriously as anything I’ve ever done. I have big plans for our venerable organization, and there will be plenty of time to share those with you in the coming months. Right now, though, we need to bear down on a time-sensitive matter of the utmost importance. As you know, Christopher Columbus has come under increasing fire both locally and nationally, with statues toppling across the country and Columbus Day getting the axe at …

Read More »

Community bids addio to George Randazzo

There are pillars in the community. Those individuals who stand for something. Those who truly make a difference in the lives of all whom they touch. George Randazzo, the founder and president of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, was one such person. We lost George on July 28. He was 77. George was born on Oct. 21, 1941, and grew up in the classic Chicago Avenue Italian neighborhood. An extremely proud U.S. Army veteran, he served 11 months in Vietnam. In 1977, he founded the Boxing Hall of Fame. He threw a grand inaugural gala, with every …

Read More »

The power of pasta

With red sauce running through my veins and olive oil on my skin, I love as much as any Italian American. And through the years, as I grew my career in music, I brought backstage with me as much of the pasta-and-meatball experience as I could. What started with my grandmother in Chicago’s Little Italy on Taylor Street where I was born has turned into a part of my rock ’n’ roll business model. Sadly I never met my grandparents. My Nonna Sabina came over from Naples in 1911 to start a new life in America. She died two weeks …

Read More »

A Cubs’ Tale

  Every Cubs fan has a story. Especially now. The Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees may have been dubbed “America’s Teams,” but the Chicago Cubs have long been the “little brothers” of the power baseball teams of each decade. The team’s overall performance always came in a distant second to the tradition of a neighborhood park with ivy-covered brick walls, personality-filled bleachers and hot-dogs, peanuts and beer cuisine. Heck, as the earliest active sports club in America (1870), it was 118 years before they even hosted a night game! With Cubs fans literally all over the world, and …

Read More »

Chicago finally gets to Cleveland

  I can’t believe it! Rock super group Chicago finally made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! This is epic! For so many years, the fans have clamored for this moment, me among then, and justifiably so. According to Billboard, Chicago was the leading U.S. singles charting group during the 1970s. They have sold over 40 million units in the U.S., with 23 gold, 18 platinum and 8 multi-platinum albums. Over the course of their career they have had five No. 1 albums and 21 top-10 singles. The band is second only to The Beach Boys with …

Read More »

The tour that changed music forever

  I just love going to Nashville. I mean, for the most part, it’s really like you would think it would be … almost a “Hee-Haw” parody of itself in some ways. The touristic sections are filled with cowboy hats and boots, Grand Ole Opry concert replica posters everywhere and scores of Garth Brooks wannabees walkin’ the streets with six-string guitars over their shoulders. But it surely does have its own magic, and if you keep an open mind, you don’t have to be particularly partial to country music to appreciate the historic nature and the sincere warmth of the …

Read More »

Peterik a “Vehicle” for a generation

If you want to “fly under the radar” at an airport, I wouldn’t suggest you walk with rocker Jim Peterik. His signature look of bright purple hair, buckle-studded vinyl jacket and jeweled cowboy boots is an open invitation for folks to stare and approach. More often than not, he gets “You look like somebody … who are you?” But there are many more who know him from 50 years of performing, writing and recording in the music industry. We are sitting on a plane together as he and I were asked to co-host another PBS Television special, this time on …

Read More »

My evening with the Queen of Italian cinema

Even though I was born in the early ’60s, I was brought up in a World War II household. My dad was an 18-year-old sergeant in the U.S. Army fighting Hitler’s brigade in Anzio, Rome and Southern France. My mom was born in Florence, Italy, and watched American tanks roll by her house on a daily basis. By the time I came along 21 later, the war stories at the kitchen table were shared regularly, often ending in an argument about Mussolini pre Hitler vs. Mussolini post Hitler. It was a complicated battle that my younger sister, brother and I …

Read More »

Want More?

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

Click here for details