The late Carlo Spinazzola (1970-2003) was one of Cape Breton’s better-known singer-songwriter-musicians in his day. Lesser known, perhaps, was that Carlo’s creative talents ran very deep. In addition to his music, he was a poet and an artist.
Later this month, 10 years after his untimely death, CBU Press will officially launch a collection of Spinazzola’s poetry and art in a book titled The Blue Room.
By turns funny, crude and, above all, moving, The Blue Room is the work of a true artist. Gathered from notebooks written throughout Spinazzola’s lifetime, the book is a portrait of a young artist of our generation.
“To get a sense of the significance of Carlo Spinazzola’s work,” writes Otis A. Tomas, in a foreword to the book, “it is important to see it in the context of the full breadth of his artistic undertakings.”
He continues: “His life and his work spoke the same honest message, and this honesty gave all of his endeavours a depth, commitment and truthfulness that is unmistakable. Carlo and his blues lived together, and together they created for us a powerful legacy of words, music, art and memory.”
Whether his inner torments instigated his creativity or were what he, and we, paid for his gifts is a moot point, for in the end Carlo succumbed to his demons. In 2003, the blues carried him away at the age of 33.
The Blue Room will be launched through a number of events. Carlo’s brother Angelo Spinazzola, a popular local musician and entrepreneur, and friends are planning a musical launch and community event during the Celtic Colours International Festival. This launch and ceilidh – “Tales from the Blue Room” – will take place on Friday, October 18, at 3 pm at the Gaelic Singers Hall, Gaelic Singers Hall, 43594 Cabot Trail, Breton Cove. The event is being sponsored by the Cabot Trail Writers’ Festival. There will also be launch events in Halifax on Monday, October 21 at The Carleton Music Bar & Grill, 1685 Argyle Street, and in Sydney, Cape Breton Fudge Company will host an event on Thursday, October 24, 7-9pm.