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RICH ROOTS <br> TONY GALLA SINGS ITALIAN SONGS, HIS FIRST LOVE

WHO: Tony Galla

WHEN: 8:30 tonight with Bobby Militello, 7:30 p.m. Saturday singing Italian songs.

WHERE: The Tralf, 622 Main St.

ADMISSION: $20 in advance; $22 day of the show

INFO: 851-8725

Tony Galla has returned to his roots, and the world is the richer for it.

After a long career of singing everything from blues to rock to gospel (he was one of the founding members of the '60s R&B band Raven), the Buffalo-born Galla found himself in Los Angeles. He has sung at all kinds of celebrity functions, including events for Brooke Shields, Danny DeVito, Jimmy Stewart and Jay Leno.

It was in L.A. that, a few years ago, Galla experienced a kind of epiphany. His heart began returning to the Italian songs he used to hear as a boy, the songs his grandfather would listen to on the radio. During his days at the University at Buffalo, Galla had studied with the great baritone Heinz Rehfuss; he returned to that classical style. This time, though, his goal was to sing Neopolitan love songs.

Italian singing is a passionate, demanding genre. It takes amazing technique, not to mention extraordinary vocal power and stamina. But Galla is up to the challenge. He has just released his second CD of Italian songs on the Mombo record label, called "Dal Mio Coure A Te."

When he visits Buffalo this weekend, Galla is going in two different directions. Tonight at 8:30 p.m., he'll be joining saxophonist Bobby Militello and other jazz players for an evening of jazz and blues. Saturday at 7:30 p.m., backed by an Italian ensemble, he'll indulge his passion for Italian songs.

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