well since you asked, Jeff;
I ended up playing GHB for a living & as you know, there are a LOT of Italians, & ItalianAmericans in all the big eastcoast cities. Buddy of mine used to work the south philly crowd, but retired out west a few years back. Before he left he said, CHasR, I'm gonna give your number to all these Italians down here, and you're never gonna have a Christmans eve to yourself again..."so I say, yeh, right, sure, thanks pal"', didnt think anything of it, but Lo and behold, I started getting all these calls,
"Can you come and play 'Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle'and some Christmas carols on christmas eve for us?"
next thing I know here I am, in full highland #1 dress, freezing cold Dec 24th, middle of the street with a live nativity (sheep, goats, cow, actors dressed up as the holy family), sparkler on a pole supposed to be the star, about 2-300 people all singins along , in Italian, and at midnight precisely, the big moment, I play 'Tu Scendi'...then into one of the houses wher i saw THE BIGGEST nativity scene (presepiu) with electric light, running water, star wallapaper, dozens of figurines.
SO some of the older folks began to talk to me about the zampogna (which I knew what it was from recordings, conservatory, and bagpipe school), why don t you get one, you could play that, we used to have one many years ago,
Found out how to bring one over, bought + learned it, talked a local bagpiping-oboist into playing ciaramella, and here we are today.
It's a great pipe!
I'm opening a boutique, Brian