Cast Members Bio's

Fabio G. Giotta
Accordionist, Bandleader, Musical Director, Vocalist, Master of Ceremonies, Producer, Engineer and Author

Full Bio


Photo by Angela Alioto

Alfredo Tollis – (vocals: Italian Traditonal, Standards) , a handsome, charming Italian gentleman, World War II Navy Veteran, excelled in Football, Basketball and Tennis but did not sing until age 72 until a friend encouraged him to sing at nursing homes, memorials, and other venues. An audience member told Alfredo that Caffe Trieste founder “Papa Gianni” would love him. In April 1999, he introduced himself to Papa Gianni. Alfredo’s renditions of “Oh Marie”, “Innamorata” and “Release Me” are very well received.

Madeline Garcia - "The Lady Who Really KNOWS How To Swing It!" From 1967 to 2006 Madeline Garcia sang exclusively with the Dixon Phirehouse Philharmonics, a well known "Big Band" from the Sacramento, CA area. With this band she has performed on, at and for: cruise ships, Hawaiian Island Hotels, private fund raisers and events shows, Northern California television shows, and Jazz festivals, including the San Francisco based Liberty Ship/Museum S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien. Madeline is also a Gold Card level performer with the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society. Since 2006, she has been performing in clubs and cafes in San Francisco, Sausalito, Berkeley, Monterey, and Sacramento.
Bing Nathan - (bass violin)“The Man With the Trademark Glissando” After studying double bass with Stuart Sankey at the Aspen Festival and in NYC, Bing attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he played in the Orchestra conducted by Igor Stravinsky! Since moving to the S.F. Bay Area in 1965, Bing has played Western Swing, Rock, Country, Rockabilly, Blues, Classical (with several symphony orchestras,) Afro-Cuban Jazz, Dawg music, Swing and early R'n'B, and with his own bands (Bing's Swingin' Thing and The New Bing Thing). Bands include Lost Weekend, Notes From the Underground, Bravo!, Rockin’ Daddy, Cool Papa, Ulysses Crockett, and David Grisman. Some of the tracks he recorded with Papa Gianni, Gianfranco and Fabio Giotta in 1988 are heard in Trieste Records’ album “Senza Te”. Bing's website.

Dave Jess - (bass guitar) A fourth generation San Francisco native, DJ has been playing music in the City from the age of 15, and has been part of the Trieste Musical Family since 1990. His ability to articulate any genre or style and improvise at will has kept him playing the Bass and several other instruments for award-winning producers, famous and not-so-famous singer/songwriters and several tribes of musical friends and creative associates. He is a proud member of San Francisco Musician’s Local # 6 and appears in the 1992 Trieste Music video “Nostalgia dei Sensi-A Documentary” website: http://dj31hz.blogspot.com

David Sturdevant - (guitar, harmonica, back-up vocals, banjo) “Our string Man” joined the S.F. BayArea music scene in the early 1970’s founding the S. F. Medicine Ball Band, specializing in New Orleans R & B, Swing, Dixieland, and Oldies. He joined the Trieste Musical Family in 1989, produces live performance videos (Davideo Productions), teaches elementary/pre-school music, and directs the choir at Plymouth Church in Oakland, CA. Part of the S.F. 49ers Band since 1992, he also serves as bandleader for Papa Gianni at Trieste’s Berkeley location. Website: www.medicineballband.com

Irving Mok- (vocals/baritone-inspirational, semi-classical) “A Voice So Delicious, You’ll Want to Eat It With a Spoon!” was born and raised in Hong Kong, and became a United States citizen in 2002. His mild manner and gracious demeanor is evident as soon as he appears on stage. Since he joined the Trieste Musical Family in April 1999, his solo renditions of Broadway Showtunes “Rose Marie”, “So In Love”, and his duets of Italian-Neapolitan songs and Operatic Arias, delivered through his unbelievable Baritone voice, are well savored by the audience.

Lory Stark-(vocals-opera, semi-classical, showtunes) “The Always Effervescent” popped into the world on a cold December morning in St. Louis, Missouri, singing a song. Part of a musical family, she hopped around, singing all the roles in Peter and the Wolf simultaneously as well as Bizet’s “Carmen” (the title role AND the Toreador!). Performing for “captive” audiences at prisons, Veteran’s homes, and hospitals , and later joining a local Saturday afternoon variety show, she moved on to NYC cabarets, Operas and Broadway. She joined the Trieste Musical Family in 1973.

Owen Davis - (1952-2011, conga drums, back-up vocals) “My cousin from down Fishermans’ Wharf, Onofrio Da Vinci” was the first percussionist to join the Trieste Musical Family in October 2004. “Onofrio” adds a cool, rhythmic groove along with sizzling solos to the Concert’s wide repertory range, playing everything from waltzes and marches to Swing and Latin rhythms. Over the years, he has seasoned his talent performing with acts such as Undisputed Truth, The Temptations, Don Ho, Bobby Enriques, Steve Miller, and Norton Buffalo.

Sheri Mignano - Sheri joined the Trieste Musical Family in the mid 1980’s playing flute, piccolo, accordion, and piano. She is the author “Mandolins, Like Salami”, a history of Italian American mandolinists and composers in North Beach and the S.F. Bay Area. She has collated more than 140 dance tunes played for decades at the Caffe in her book “Mandolin Melodies”, available at Sheri’s website: www.zighibaci.com and the Caffe’s Retail Annex in North Beach. Her mandolin ensemble, Mattinatta di Matteo, plays on Saturday mornings from 10:30am to Noon at the North Beach location.

Two thousand four marked Zighi Baci’s debut at the Cotati Accordion Festival, with a follow-up appearance at the 2005 Festival. Fabio Giotta and Ron Borelli were the guest accordionists. These performances were dedicated to Sheri’s grandfather, Francesco Mignano, who played the button accordion, and to composer and accordion virtuoso Mike Corino, who taught Fabio and has musically collaborated with the Giotta Family for many decades.

Zighi Baci also performs at various Caffe Trieste locations and at other venues in Northern California