Kay Niemann grew up surrounded by the Italian culture of her immigrant grandparents. In her youth she followed her grandparents around listening to the rhythm of their language, experiencing the love of the extended family. She was taught to sing little Italian songs, because to Italian families music is the essence of life. These little melodies danced in her head and helped to create a sentimental feeling for the haunting music of her heritage.
During her youth she found that she could find an expression of her spirit through poetry and music, making it possible to convey her dreams and passions. She would one day visit family in Italy, not once, but three times, thus stirring within her more of these musical Italian sounds.
She grew up in the mountains of Colorado, in the remote but charming small western town of Durango. Not far from here, in the old mining town of Silverton, where the past was ever present, Kay could let her imagination run wild. This would eventually lead her to write a book about her Italian immigrant family who had been saloon keepers in the early days of the west. In 2006 her book, Salone Italiano, was selected for the Son’s of Italy National book list.
While writing the book she allowed her emotions to dictate and inspire music. At this time Kay and her husband were living in Sydney, Australia. When she wanted mandolins to portray her feelings she tracked down members of the Sydney Mandolin Orchestra. They were delighted with the authentic quality of her melody. Theme from Salone Italiano was performed in concert on November 4, 2002.
Encouraged by this success Kay turned her energy to writing more music. Because it was motivated by the story of her ancestors the Italian flavor flows in every song. Opinions voiced from her family in Italy relay the message that her music brings back memories of days past, when each community had its little band of mandolins called “dilettanti” playing in the bars.