Rockwood Music Hall — Divas Three

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Giulia Millanta playing the guitar with her head looking up, Erene Mastrangeli is holding a guitar outside, Ginger Leigh is playing a guitar on stage.
Giulia Millanta (Photo by Seven Pillars Photography) Erene Mastrangeli (Photo from Facebook Page) Ginger Leigh (Photo from sleigh.com)

There was a rumble on the Lower East Side on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. It was the combination of three forces of nature coming together whom I have dubbed the Divas Three — chosen family Erene Mastrangeli, with Ginger Leigh and Giulia Millanta. These three singer-songwriters form an Austin-Italy connection that is brilliant to behold.

Kicking off the evening was Ginger Leigh, who hails from Austin and is fluent in Italian. Happy flows from Ginger who is a talent the size of Texas. The evening began with a bit of country with “Time to Move On,” then “Jetstream,” a torchy tune that speaks to anyone who’s ever had their heart broken. Erene joined to back Ginger up on “Why Are You”, Ginger wrestling with memories, their voices blending like family. Sherr’s Favorite: a capella (see me, using Italian?) “San Francisco Bay Blues” with Ginger moving among the audience, serenading different people and featuring a beautifully long note that had the audience applauding long before the song was done. 

How do you follow up a mini-set like that? Giulia Millanta, that’s how!

Giulia found her way to Austin though she was born in Florence, Italy. Her music is flavored with Tuscan spice and the cheery chords are belied by the luscious darkness of the lyrics. 

Giulia’s “The Guest” was the first selection and in it, I heard bits of Janis Ian with the reflection of Joan Baez and a restless picking pattern that set the scene perfectly. “Fatale” was spot-on with the sense of EuroPop meets classic pop, sprinkled with Italian. Sherr’s Favorite: “Luna la Follia” entirely in Italian speaking of the madness of the Moon and it is delicious! It appears Giulia’s favorite illumination is the Moon.

Erene Mastrangeli is a New Yorker who began in Italy and whose set closed out the evening and began with guest vocalist Mary Edwards, a composer and environmental sound artist whose vocal timbre was smooth honey, matching Erene’s. 

“Let’s Take It Slow” brought us in gently to the beauty of Erene’s writing and the artful blend. Next Erene shared “Love, Shine”, her paean to the Pulse mass shooting in Orlando that continues to occupy many of our thoughts. Today it is still a passionate call to action for us to give one another more love, always more love. Sherr’s Favorite: “Vivere Davvero,” a song in Italian that sounded like spring sunshine and felt like love.

Rockwood Music Hall is a very intimate venue on the Lower East Side. Arrive early for the best standing room and put all of these divas on your calendar. Divas Four, with Mary Edwards. Follow them all on social media and I’ll see you at their next concert.