The idea of showcasing Italian musical groups from the beginning of the 20th century until the 1960s was born from a donation we received from a member of the public: the first photo of the slideshow was kindly granted to the IHS by one of our readers, and depicts the Capri Orchestra.

At the beginning of the 1900s, many Italian musicians established Latin-inspired orchestras and bands throughout Australia, to perform at dances, engagement parties, picnics, Italian days and other functions.

Many will remember the Mokambo Orchestra founded by the Ceresoli brothers, a group that gave life to many nights at Carlton’s La Cumparsita Hall, as well as the Labb’s String Band, five musician brothers from Viggiano, Basilicata, who arrived in Australia in 1893.

At the time, Basilicata was one of the poorest regions in Italy and many residents migrated to Australia, bringing with them the art of the arpicella, a traditional Lucanian instrument.

The slideshow features a selection of vintage photographs depicting some of the myriad Italian groups that animated the era with their melodies.

Do you recognise yourself in one of the photos in the slideshow above, or do you know the story behind any of the moments captured?

Send the IHS an email or write to them at: CO.AS.IT. Italian Historical Society, 189 Faraday Street, Carlton, VIC, 3053.

For more information, visit the IHS website.