Al (Anselmo) Fabrizio grew up in New York State with two musician brothers. His parents were from Abruzzi, Italy. He reminisces about his early days in Cortland: "It seemed like everybody played an instrument. We'd walk by our neighborhood barber shop in the evenings and hear Nick, and his son Matt playing clarinet duets by the hour. They'd be playing classics and mazurkas-joyous music that touched my heart." He recalls, "Our house was always filled with music-my mother singing along to the radio, my brothers and I playing duets or trios, and on rare occasions my father playing heart-warming melodies on his old mandolin. Whether it was the songs, the mandolin or the way he played, I've never forgotten those hauntingly beautiful sounds."
Al plays the Neapolitan mandolin in the expressive "tremolo" style. Interestingly, his career as a mandolinist did not begin until adulthood shortly after the sudden loss of his brother Ray, a flute virtuoso. At that time, Al made a commitment to keep music alive in the family. With this in mind, he picked up his father's old mandolin. Al explains, "For me, the mandolin became a way of re-connecting with my childhood memories and my heritage, as well as a way to honor the memory of my brother." Carrying on the family tradition, Ray's children, Rita, Carla and Raymond, Jr., are also outstanding musicians and perform in the San Francisco Bay Area.
For much of his adult life, Al left music behind for a career as a graphic artist. He has owned and operated Fabrizio Publications, a graphic arts and publishing company in Palo Alto for the past 37 years. He also taught art for 12 years at both San Jose State University and Foothill Community College.
With the completion of "Serenata Italiana" and "Italian Heartstrings" Al's lifelong love of music comes full circle. He is gratified to be sharing with others this music that is so much a part of him. Fabrizio is a co-owner of Heartstrings Music, LLC., a recording and production studio in Mountain View, California, along with his partner Hugo Wainzinger.