The musical duo describe themselves as “somewhere between an Italian wedding band and a French revolution.”
Consisting of Ross Harrington on saxophone, clarinet and vocals, and Andrew Scott on accordion and vocals, the duo have an international repertoire which features many Italian, French and German classics, plus kids novelty favourites such as Postman Pat and Under the Sea.
Their heartwarming and lively renditions of Italian hits include Ehi Cumpari, Funiculi Funicula, Tu Vuò Fà L'Americano and Volare, while French favourites feature La Vie En Rose.
Another popular hit is the German show tune from 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music, Edelweiss.
Harrington said that the duo started back in uni when they were both studying jazz.
Scott inherited an accordion off his aunt, who was a collector, and they started busking around town.
“We started doing gypsy jazz,” Harrington said.
“Actually, I did some woofing in Italy, on a farm near Bologna, where you work basically for food and accommodation.
“When I was leaving, a family there gave me a present of a Renato Carosone CD.
“He was a big influence on our music, as well as Louis Prima, an Italo-American.”
The duo play regularly around Sydney’s inner west, busking often in Newtown and playing at jazz folk venues like Marrickville’s Gasoline Pony and Glebe’s The Little Guy.
Although the crowds love the international jigs, such as Italian tarantella C’è la luna, Harrington said that the kids classics are also popular.
“Postman Pat is always a good one which gets everyone going,” he enthused.
At the National Folk Festival in Canberra the pair expects to play a usual repertoire, while enlivening their performance with some back and forth banter, and a comedic undertone.
“When we’ve got a listening audience, we make it more of a show,” Harrington explained.
He said that the folk festival is “just amazing” and features a session bar with many local and international musicians jamming into the wee hours of the morning.
“There’s a lot of families and young people there,” Harrington said.
“It’s an all age’s type of event – it’s very wholesome.”
This wholesome event sits in stark contrast to current stigmas which are circulating toward NSW and ACT festivals.
When asked about the origins of the name, Bella Donna Gorgonzola, Harrington laughed.
“Beautiful woman, stinky cheese... well, it’s not something that makes a lot of sense,” he admitted.
“We were just throwing names around with my parents.
“My dad said that we need something which is a bit silly, but memorable.
“We don’t tend to take ourselves too seriously.”
Bella Donna Gorgonzola will play at the National Folk Festival in Canberra, which runs from April 18 to April 22.