International Music & Culture
Cultural survival is very important to Sophia; she has dedicated specific efforts to encourage cultural music and traditions as a way to encourage societal growth & awareness. Working closely with musicians from all walks of life and learning multi-cultural music has opened up communication and awareness to the positive effects that music brings to everyone. Music is the same in every language.
Sophia is so grateful to see first hand what it's like to walk a second line mile as a cultural bearer.
Each second line teaches patience, commitment, overcoming everyday struggles, and unifies the people of New Orleans in a magical way. Sophia includes songs of traditional New Orleans music during most of her performances , and Italian and other folk tunes for international festivals and multicultural celebrations. Sophia can read, write, sing, and speak in French, Italian, and English.
The article by the American Italian Digest, highlights Sophia as a top pick as a someone who will make a historical mark with cultural issues in the city of New Orleans.06/2018
IN THE FAMILY
Sophia was born into a family of music and with multiple pianos in the home. Sophia's paternal grandfather, Narciso Parigi, prevailed as a grand success in Italy for over 70 years in music and in film. Sophia's father, Stefano Parigi, introduced her to his own father's music when she was just a baby by singing to her and by listening to his father's music with Sophia. Sophia's father died with a terminal illness in 2015, followed by her grandfather's passing in 2021. Sophia performed at the commemoration ceremony presented by Commune di Firenze honoring her grandfather and his music by singing his Italian folk song at Palazzo Vecchio.
Narciso Parigi earned international recognition as the "Voice of Florence" for his work on Rai Radio and Rai1Television and for his quintessential performance of the anthem for the official soccer team of Firenze, ACF Fiorentina. "Oh, Fiorentina" has played in Italian stadiums and media stations in Italy for three-quarters of a century. As an active professional musician, she shares in her PARIGI family devotion to the city of Firenze and ACF Fiorentina, the official soccer team for Firenze. Sophia's commitment to preserving generational music and love for Fiorentina has taken on an even deeper personal meaning.
Sophia celebrates her Italian culture by singing Italian folk songs and is committed to the love and longevity of Italian folk and Italian classical music by working closely with the Italian Renaissance Foundation, supporting the work of the American Italian Cultural Center and AWE News for their internet series of "Little Palermo" in New Orleans. Sophia includes Italian folk songs in her regular repertoire while performing publicly and also for events that are tailored to Italian music.
Sophia has a deep love for her birth city of New Orleans and the musical influences of jazz music that date back centuries and current day guardians. With New Orleans culture and music sprinkled throughout schools, venues, celebrations, and in the city streets, the spirit of New Orleans is etched into Sophia's heart. With gratitude and a sincere heart , Sophia 'pays it forward' in her community by fostering communication and sharing with future generations her knowledge of New Orleans music and performance. Sophia teaches and mentors for nonprofits programs and through private tutoring Sophia co-founded and works with New Orleans Brass Band Music Combo.
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Sophia is involved in preserving French culture and traditions brought by settlers to Louisiana from France, spanning back to before the 15th century. Sophia contributed to research related to her French heritage that was used for the recent book featuring her grandfather, his stories ,and their effects on French speaking Louisiana, published in 2021 by Editions Tintamarre and Centenary College of Louisiana.
Sophia maternal grandfather, Marion Marcotte, Jr., was a musician and French humorist who left behind a legacy of French songs and stories starting in the early1950s and popularized through the 1970s, which contributed to the survival of French language and French speaking in Louisiana. Marion's works uniquely captured the French Louisiana accent and dialect in its original spoken form along with his stories of living a country, family life in south and in central Louisiana. Marion's family originated from colonies in France then settled in Canada and eventually settling in Louisiana. The ethnic group became known as les Cadiens in French or in English, the Acadians whose descendants today are called the Cajuns.
Marion's wife and maternal grandmother to Sophia was Italian, her family migrated from Sicily during the Great Depression thru Ellis Island then settled in the New Orleans suburb of Gretna -across the river from the city where the Italian community lived, as they were not allowed to settle in the French Quarter because of their ethnicity..
Sophia's dad was still an Italian citizen when he passed away, It was inevitable that Sophia would become a cultural bearer in New Orleans especially as she learned of issues affecting communities. Sophia uses music to celebrate and welcome people from around the world.