“Mountain music is in my blood.” When 16-year-old Ettore (pronounced like “Eddie Ray”) Buzzini says this, his meaning is as unique as his take on his beloved bluegrass: while born and raised in a blue -collar neighborhood in the suburbs of Charlotte, NC, his musical roots are a mash-up of mountain traditions, juxtaposing the high lonesome sound of his mother’s native Tennessee Smokey Mountains with the Swiss-Italian folk music of his father’s native Alps. His maternal grandfather gave him his first banjo at the age of 9, and by the time he was 10, he was picking and grinning and holding his own with the older players at the local jam sessions.
A whopping seven years later, Ettore has moved beyond technical mastery of the instrument to develop a unique and instantly recognizable sound. He released his first album at age 15, after a scout from Patuxent Records heard him at a fiddler’s convention in 2021. The album garnered significant airplay and a positive review in the revered Bluegrass Hall of Fame’s Bluegrass Unlimited. Ettore puts hard-driving banjo front-and-center, accompanied by the high lonesome vocals of the genre, and, in true bluegrass tradition, writes lyrics that speak to the human experience — experience influenced by his melting-pot 21st-century world. In true bluegrass tradition, his songs tell stories of the human experience, filtered through the imagination of a young man coming of age. His song themes range wide: a young man’s angst as he grapples with destiny and death; the lament of an immigrant who gets trapped in a cartel; a traditional Italian love song; and the timeless romantic tragedy of ships passing in the night.
The unrestrained youthful energy of his band’s live shows gives them the adrenaline rush of a rock concert, and audiences have used words like “thrilling,” “exciting,” and “breathtaking” to describe the experience.
“I plan to carry this music forward to the 22nd century” says Ettore, boldly stating his aim to place Bluegrass at the highest echelons of the international music scene. With his combination of masterful bluegrass chops, fresh, youthful songwriting, and high-lonesome vocals, Ettore is at the forefront of young traditional musicians who are bound to make the newest generation sit up, listen, and dance.