Local Music in Florence

January 29th, 2016 9:00 PMtoFebruary 12th, 2016 9:00 PM

By Jordan Burns (James Madison University)

Florence is a small town but has very good live music options in a number of local bars and pubs.  Live music has been a big part of my life throughout my undergraduate career in the United States. When I arrived in Florence for graduate school I was anxious to discover the local music scene, as well as the best venues for regular shows. I quickly met a musician friend who introduced me to various places and people involved in local live music. My musician friend, Derek James Mattuchio, is a Boston native that has been living in Florence for several years. He introduced me to the local Florentine music scene. Derek’s repertoire includes classic and obscure covers, original songs, and a wide variety of improvisation. He typically does a few shows a week, always pushing himself to make each one a different experience as he has a loyal fan base to keep interested. Derek also includes a number of other musicians in his shows to keep things fresh. This collaborative performance style makes for a great opportunity to discover other local performers and show opportunities. I attended a show of Derek’s at Finnegan’s Irish Pub on Via San Gallo, and met a man that organizes an open mic night every other week. As a guitar player myself this was a great opportunity for me to meet new people outside of my school group and develop my skills as a performer. I quickly learned that this was not your average open mic night, with a barrage of mediocre guitar players fighting over who gets to play “wonderwall”. This open mic night had a number of highly skilled performers, some with incredible voices and original songs. But the relaxed atmosphere of the pub put a beginner performer like myself at ease. The open mic night has recently evolved into scheduled performances every Friday night. Finnegan’s has become the destination for people who enjoy seeing a lineup of several musicians, and for anyone looking to get a change of venue from the typical bar scene in Florence. Finnegan’s has an exciting lineup scheduled for the next few weeks, which I have included below:

January 29 – Simon Jon Batten with Jordan Burns (myself) opening: Simon is a superb singer-songwriter from Oxford, UK. He can silence a rowdy pub within the first line of a song. I am very excited to open for him, and even more excited to get the opportunity to see an entire set performed by him.

February 5 – Patti DeRosa (www.pattiderosa.com): is a singer songwriter from New York. Her voice, songwriting, and guitar ability blew me away the first time I saw her sit in at one of Derek James Mattuchio’s shows. She found her way to the Finnegan’s open mic night as well, and now has a scheduled act there.

          February 12 – Open Mic Night. The open mic night is always a good time, and as I have said a great opportunity to see a number of artists. New performers and additions to the audience are always welcomed and encouraged.

Derek James Mattuchio has weekly shows at various venues, but he regularly plays at a bar called Superfox every Wednesday night. Look for him on Facebook for more details regarding live music. Finnegan’s will continue to host the open mic night every three or four weeks, and it always makes for a fun evening for musicians and spectators. If you are interested in playing, but could not bring a guitar with you to Florence do not “fret”, because there are always plenty of guitars to go around. Finnegan’s is a good starting point, but there are many other musical options in Florence you just have to know where to look.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply
  1. Patti says
    27 January 16, 8:40am

    Wow Jordan! Grazie mille for your kind words and for including me in your article about the local Florence music scene. It was a lovely gift to receive on my birthday! :-) And grazie to Derek for bringing together so many friends and musicians! See you at Finnegan’s! (ps – Though I was born and raised in NY, I lived in Boston for many years and that is where I relocated from. Happily living here in Firenze now!).

    (reply)

Leave a Reply