Italian-born mandolinist Rudy Cipolla plays continentally inspired folk and bluegrass that encompasses American, European, and Eastern elements. The San Fransisco resident has won prominent friends in bluegrass circles, including David Grisman, who appeared on two of Cipolla's finest works, 1997's Portrait of an American Original and 1999's Mandolin Maestro. Cipolla also befriended Bob Bruen, which resulted in a longtime collaboration and his introduction to Grisman. These friendships were mutually beneficial, as Cipolla's work gained added prominence and his followers studied his distinctive picking technique and songwriting skills. Cipolla's albums also include playing by friends like Evan Marshall, Radim Zenkl, Kaila Flexor, and Third Ear, cementing his position and influence in the progressive bluegrass scene.
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