With the advent of social media, came a slew of people trying to convince their followers that they’re the greatest singer or model or photographer that ever lived, but those claims are worthless when there’s no way to prove if they’re true. Dante Mazzetti of the Spaghetti Westerners doesn’t have that problem; in 2017 both the North Fork and the Hamptons recognized his talent and declared him Dan’s Best of the Best Male Musician. And on Saturday, March 3, he’ll showcase that incredible talent at a charity concert located in Sag Harbor’s exclusive Masonic Temple.
Dante, as he’s branded himself for his solo career, realized at a very young age that music is his passion. While growing up in Manhattan, he’d spend his afternoons listening to his father’s expansive and ever-growing record collection. “I was always being exposed to great music,” he remembers fondly.
By the time he was 10 years old, he was taking intensive music lessons, and by 14, he was out performing at open mics. He was particularly entranced by the raw Blues sound of Slim Harpo, Otis Redding and Howlin’ Wolf, which served as the inspiration for his own musical style.
His sound combines groove-laden soul with acoustic folk-rock featuring gritty vocals and numerous instruments, most played by himself. Dante is a modern one-man band. During his recording sessions he’ll perform one take with his trusty guitar, then one with his bass, then mandolin, then drums, then harmonica. By the end of the session, he’s created a full song that sounds like a five-piece band, but that’s not all he does to earn that one-man band title. During a live performance, he switches between his guitar and mandolin, while also playing harmonica and strumming a bass with his feet.
He first began performing on the East End as part of the Spaghetti Westerners, a three-piece American Roots band, and he fell in love with the area, especially the water. Now Dante performs solo in venues all over the North Fork and Hamptons, the next one being the Masonic Temple in Sag Harbor. The indoor setting is more intimate than he’s used to, and he can’t wait to get up close and personal with the audience. He says cheerfully, “We’ll all be having a good time, like we’re hanging out in my living room.” This charity event, part of The Masonic Winter Music Series, will benefit the Mason’s Pierson High School Scholarship Fund and the Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry, with all proceeds being divided between these two noble causes.
Raising money for charitable causes has always been important to Dante, and he’s done his fair share of benefit concerts for organizations like Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, The Surfrider Foundation and the New York Fire Department. He may not make any money from performing these types of events, but that doesn’t quell the joy he gets from doing them. “It’s not about profit. It makes me feel good to attach my music to charity,” he says.
Dante performs at the Masonic Temple (200 Main Street, Sag Harbor) on Saturday, March 3, from 8 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $20 at the door and include wine and refreshments. All of the proceeds will go to the Mason’s Pierson High School Scholarship Fund and the Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry.
To check out his music and other upcoming events, visit his website at dantesongs.com