Today I want to talk to you about a little girl named JO.
She is a beautiful little girl, who stole the hearts of Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, and in particular the heart of Michele Torpedine.
Perhaps many of you will already know her story, but here, on this site, we only talked about it when Il Volo made an appeal for her.
It was July 31, 2019 and this appeal was published on the official Il Volo page, which we also published here on the Flight Crew blog.
The boys said they learned about this little girl who was going to have an operation in America and they appealed to people’s good hearts for a fundraiser for her.
We are talking about Jo, a 3 year old girl, born in Tuscany, with different skeletal malformations, the most serious is the lack of tibias in her legs, a very rare case, not operable in Italy, where she would have been forced to amputate the limbs.
In Florida, at the Paley Institute, Dr. Paley can solve his problem with various operations and physiotherapy, but it takes 500 thousand euros, in addition travel, accommodation, maintenance and car for all months in America.
Jo, is supported by two parents who love her so much, but who don’t have the opportunity to face all those expenses.
For Jo, many artists and many ordinary people made donations , and in this way have allowed Jo’s dream to come true.
Michele Torpedine, took the story of this little girl very much to heart, and in February, while the boys were already on tour in America, he attended an event in Pisa in favor of Jo.
Here is the video of that event.
Michele says he is there for a much more important reason than what his job usually is, he suddenly fell in love with this wonderful little girl.
When he and the boys saw the pictures of this little girl, they were overwhelmed and therefore they will follow her in all her effort, with the hope of seeing her soon run with them.
Look at how much tenderness these images:
Michele writes of her that Jo is their other GRANDE AMORE and also that “It is inexplicable that this little girl must also suffer, but we must think about the ending … when we will see her run together with all the other children!”
The journalist Antonella Pera wrote thus: “Thanks also to the friendship that binds me to Michele, whom I have known for 20 years, we were able to organize this important meeting with Jo and I asked him and the boys from Il Volo to make an appeal. What can I say? Since when I contacted them onwards the donations have exploded. The three boys participated in the evening in connection on the other side of the world, during their tour in the United States. But the compliments, she concludes, also go to Jo’s parents, for all that what they are doing and because despite everything they have been able to make her a serene and joyful child.”
Finally the day of the departure for Miami arrives and Torpedine writes on his Facebook page.
“Let’s start for the big business! Good luck, little Jo!”
“Me and the boys are happy that little Jo will finally have the opportunity to go to America and we are confident that she can make her dream come true. At the same time, I’m sorry that many other children do not have his same luck … who knows how many there are! And a thought goes to them too.”
Easter holidays come and Torpedine sends his best wishes to Jo:
“A special wish for a happy Easter to little Jo who is on the other side of the ocean … hoping to see her again soon and with me the best wishes from Il Volo, Dave Monaco and Nico Arezzo!”
On March 18 the first operation. Jo’s mom Irene wrote this on her Facebook page:
“Dear Jo …
20 minutes ago, you fell asleep and your operation began.
It is the toughest test in the world. I’m scared. Rationally, however, I know that I have done 10,000 km and a lot of uphill road with all of you to bring it here.
Jo was calm, she never cried. The professionalism of a child-friendly institution can be seen.
We keep you updated,
“Hi everyone, Dr. Paley just came out of the operating room. Jo is fine. She hasn’t come out yet, some procedures have to end. Paley has operated on one leg for the time being. The right leg is only postponed in three weeks.
When you see a doctor come to you with eyes that laugh and shine, despite six and a half hours of work and saying to you: THE LEFT LEG, IS PERFECT. THE KNEE BENDS 100 PERCENT.
Dear Dr. Paley, thank you. Thanks for how much you love your job. Thanks for those eyes that have looked into mine.”
Physiotherapies are very hard for Jo.
During an interview Torpedine talks about Jo, and from Miami, mom Irene, thanks him by writing thus: “Thanks to Michele for the words and especially his and IL VOLO’s deeds that never fail. Thanks for being so sincere and familiar in our daily lives.”
The day of the second operation also arrives.
The surgery went well, the road is long, it will take a lot of patience and a lot of physiotherapy, but Jo will be able to walk.
Mum Irene wrote:
“As soon as Jo perceived that she had the other guardian (the brace/apparatus used to support the leg) after awakening from anesthesia, she said to me:
-Mom, is this a tutor? (brace) Yes love, like the other foot. -Yes. (Silence) mom. Are my legs like everyone’s now? Yes my love. Indeed stronger! -Mom. (Silence) but now can I walk with two feet on the ground?”
The happiness of IL Volo and Torpedine, who published this article on the official Facebook page, is accompanied by these words:
“We are happy to have contributed together with our manager Michele Torpedine and other colleagues from the world of entertainment to this enormous success: little Jo will walk again!”
I would say that it is a story that started very badly, but that it will have a very nice ending. Jo will be able to walk.
Of course there will still be moments of tension and a lot of work and pain, but the road is now downhill.
What about Torpedine and Il Volo? One word, fantastic. You are unique people!
You all know the news: Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio have just returned home.
Here’s what Gianluca just wrote and which I translate.
Fiumicino, ore 14.30 Dopo due mesi di tour negli Stati Uniti, sono tornato in Italia, fra poche ore sarò di nuovo a casa.
Ricordo che mentre partivo mi dicevano “Vedrai che il tempo vola… tanto qui non si muove una paglia”. Invece, mentre io non c’ero, le cose succedevano eccome, anche se non mi rendevo bene conto della situazione perché ero lontano ed impegnato. Poi, qualche giorno fa quando Conte è intervenuto in diretta nazionale è stato qualcosa di inatteso che mi ha profondamente toccato. In quel momento, mi ha assalito la nostalgia di casa e soffrivo al pensiero che il nostro paese, il più bello di tutti, stesse attraversando un periodo così critico.
Oggi viviamo un periodo storico che ricorderemo per tutta la vita. Queste emozioni forti, le paure, le speranze… ce le porteremo per sempre con noi, ma la prossima volta che vivremo quello che fino a qualche giorno fa davamo per scontato, lo faremo con un’altra coscienza e avrà tutto un altro sapore. Il sapore di qualcosa che non ci è stato regalato dalla nascita, ma di qualcosa che ci siamo dovuti riprendere attraverso le rinunce a cui siamo chiamati oggi.
#iorestoacasa con la mia famiglia, fatelo anche voi e riflettete su quando valga un abbraccio perché io sono tornato, dopo due mesi fuori, e non posso stringere chi mi è mancato.
Fiumicino airport, 2.30 pm
After two months of touring the United States, I went back to Italy, in a few hours I will be home again.
I remember that while I was leaving they said to me “You will see that time flies … then, nothing ever happens here.” Instead, while I was not there, things did happen, even if I did not realize the situation because I was far away and busy. Then, a few days ago when Conte (Prime Minister) spoke nationally it was something unexpected that deeply touched me. At that moment, homesickness assailed me and I suffered at the thought that our country, the most beautiful of all, was going through such a critical period.
Today we live in a historical period that we will remember for a lifetime. These strong emotions, fears, hopes … we will take them forever with us, but the next time we live what we took for granted a few days ago, we will do it with another conscience and it will have a completely different flavor . The taste of something that has not been given to us since birth, but something that we had to take back through the renunciations to which we are called today.
I stay at home with my family, do it too and think about when a hug is worth it, because I came back after two months spent outside, and I can’t hug those I missed.
This was posted by Piero.
Covid19 is dangerous for those with respiratory problems and we remember that Piero suffers from asthma.
Here is a message posted by Piero after his return to Naro:
Hi friends, sorry if I only write now but it took some time to realize everything that’s going on. I came back yesterday from the United States, we were there since January and believe me that we didn’t get a chance to fully understand what was happening here in Italy. We had the full perception of the emergency just a few days ago and we made the decision to stop the final part of our American tour to return to Italy before all the airlines closed. In these weeks between concert and another we met tens of thousands of people, and before returning to Italy we were informed us about the precautions to be taken. Currently in voluntary isolation, I am here at home, in my own country, with all the necessary comforts. I think I’m lucky for this. I have taken on this responsibility and will pass my quarantine without seeing my parents, grandparents, only with the purpose of protecting them. All of this has made it easier for me to see the reaction of my country, Naro, united right now, with a punctual administration in the information it gives to the citizens. I therefore say to my friends, to those who follow me and anyone who reads these few lines: everyone stay home and follow the WHO information. To face all this looking into perspective because sooner or later it will all pass. And if we stick to these rules it will pass faster. See you very soon, Piero
“And here they are at home welcomed by their tender friends.”
We have to stay at home and then the people, who cannot meet, in Naples did this, everyone on the windows and on the balconies to make their voices heard, because nobody is alone.
At the beginning and end of the video, they sing the anthem of Mameli, the Italian national anthem.
Here in Italy, everywhere they are putting up signs with this writing:
ANDRÀ TUTTO BENE (IT WILL BE WELL) !!!
And tonight we will light a candle at the window to tell our doctors, nurses and police personnel that we thank them for their hard work.
On February 18, there was a nice radio interview, also broadcast on the web, by Radio Cerrano (a local Abruzzo radio) where Ercole Ginoble,Gianluca’s father, was a guest. It was a delightful and fun interview.
At a certain point Ercole called Michele Torpedine by phone, and he said a lot of really sensational news on the next appointments of IL VOLO.
But let’s go in order. Here is the video of the interview.
At first Ercole says that as a young man he also worked in the first private radio stations, in the 70s / 80s.
The announcers, together with Ercole, retrace the years of IL VOLO’s career.
Then Ercole confirms that Il Volo is now in concert in the US.
Ercole says that for the third time they sold out at RCMH and also in many other theaters.
He confirms it is very demanding to be a parent of Il VOLO, especially the first few years where they were taught to follow them always and everywhere, since they were minors.
He says there is also a lot of fun, but also a lot of stress, in fact he says that on the last South American tour, in 30 days they took 20 planes.
One of the announcers says that the strength of IL VOLO is also the great friendship between them, and Ercole confirms that Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca spend most of the time together and therefore their friendship is real.
They also talk about Sanremo and the horrible treatment by the press room of last year.
Then Ercole calls Michele Torpedine by phone and after the greetings and pleasantries, Michele says very important things, after the world tour, which I summarize as follows:
There will be a third date for Verona.
They will be sent for an event on March 27th in Assisi, with the Pope.
There will be a second tribute to the Three Tenors and will take place in Piazza S. Pietro in Rome.
These news has really amazed everyone, for the moment I think the events are still being implemented, but we really hope that they will become reality.
I was amazed, St. Peter’s Square, it’s a truly wonderful thing. An event which is impossible to miss!
For those who don’t know what kind of program La Academia is, here’s a nice clarification comment by Mahuli Liliana Maresca.
Thank you so much for your kind words, Liliana!
“This is one of the most important shows of Mexican TV. THE ACADEMY is a school of art of music and performers. A weekly competition in which students are evaluated and must attend the hard daily training. The results are shown in the Sunday exhibition of judges , teachers and public evaluation. I am sure they have been invited as an example of professionalism, moral values, respect and, finally, what dedication can lead to their careers. I have said it many times, they are making the youth, the world, tremble – touching the hearts, creating a change, The Era of IL VOLO.”
It is well known that Michele Torpedine was born in Minervino Murge, a small town in Puglia. In the days of late July, by taking advantage of IL VOLO’s passage for the two concerts in Puglia, Michele Torpedine was awarded honorary citizenship.
Here is a nice article published in GAZZETTA DEL MEZZOGIORNO.
Minervino, the manager of IL VOLO, honorary citizen: party with the trio
The honor to Michele Torpedine, celebrated in his hometown and accompanied by his 3 pupils
“I always thought it was a small country town with few inhabitants. Instead it is an extraordinary community, alive and vital, industrious, kind. I am really moved, and above all proud of being born in this land.” Starting from … Minervino Murge, the internationally renowned manager and music producer Michele Torpedine, who in the 1950s, in swaddling clothes, had left the “balcony of Puglia” to move with his family to the north.
An amazing career of Torpedine, discoverer of talents, producer, manager (from Zucchero and Bocelli, passing through Lucio Dalla, also collaborator of Pavarotti), who returned to Minervino yesterday in the company of “his” three young pupils of Il Volo, Piero-Ignazio-Gianluca, arrived in Puglia for the expected concerts of Barletta and Lecce: in the packed hall of Palazzo di Città, Torpedine received the Honorary Citizenship, welcomed by the mayor Lalla Mancini, the Council and the Municipal administration, by numerous authorities (such as the president of the province Pasquale De Toma, the bishop Monsignor Luigi Mansi, Bruna Piarulli, the regional councilor Francesco Ventola) but above all by his fellow citizens, who among the applauses have named him “ambassador of Minervino Murge in the world”.
In reality, everything is born on the internet: thanks to the social networks and the “I like it”, some time ago some relatives of Torpedine contact their sister Liliana. And so Felicia Angiulo, cousin of the manager’s mother, and then Vincenzo and Nella, together with Mattia and Luigi Spineto(all with different degrees of kinship) intertwine with contacts and memories, unpublished photos of the good old days, memories faded and the desire to meet, to talk about each other and hug each other.
The occasion arrived as if by destiny: the Il Volo concert in Barletta, the decision to confer Honorary Citizenship by the city council. Everything perfect, including the presence in the Hall of the “three tenors”(actually two tenors and a baritone)extraordinary boys who besides their voices also have a great gift of sympathy and humility.
“Minervino Murge is the birthplace of many personalities who, in different sectors, have achieved important successes in their work sector, the result of commitment, passion and also genius – said mayor Mancini – and Michele Torpedine is without doubt one of these.”
Also presented was the autobiographical book of the manager “RICOMINCIO DAI TRE – From Minervino Murge to the White House”, Giuseppe Tucci, president of the Pro Loco, gave him the original volume “Minervinesi distinguished in the world”, also containing the biographical profile of Torpedine. Then the flavors of the Murgia, with Torpedine and Il Volo “To the south of the soul”.
But here’s how the award ceremony took place.
And here is a service aired during the regional newscast and I translate for you.
PR = Il Volo, one of the bands launched by the manager Michele Torpedine, from Bologna, originally from Puglia, received today the honorary citizenship of Minervino Murge.
He is the manager of the IL VOLO group, tonight in concert in Barletta, we talk about Michele Torpedine, a Bolognese from Puglia, in particular Minervino Murge, who today gave him honorary citizenship, the service is by Alessandro Trevisani.
I = We will change, Minervino (laughter)
AT = When they arrive, the city council becomes a show. Il Volo is in Minervino Murge to accompany Michele Torpedine, the manager of the three singers, receives honorary citizenship, from the municipality where he was born 67 years ago.
I = We don’t sing, we came only for our manager, for Michele, we are happy ….
AT = Do you feel a little Pugliese too?
I = A little Pugliese, it is strong to say, but Puglia is a land that we love so much, we love coming so much.
MT = He was over 60 years old, I didn’t come, I was six months old, when they took me away from here, and I never came back.
They (Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca) made me understand that in the musical environment, there is also the good part, the positive part.
AT = In his career, Michele Torpedine, produced, launched and re-launched artists such as Zucchero, Gianna Nannini, Lucio Dalla, Giorgia and Andrea Bocelli, but in Minervino, the eyes of the people, are all for Ignazio, Gianluca and Piero, that this evening will perform at the Fossato del Castello di Barletta.
Are you ready for the Barletta concert?
P = Yes, yes we are ready.
AT = The first song on the lineup?
P = We can’t say.
Girl = Magnificent, fantastic. AT = Where are you from? Girl = From Milan. Woman = I would like to hug that gentleman there, who is above (Torpedine). Woman = They are very nice. I = But you have it with me ?? (he jokes) Man = We wish the guys of IL VOLO, to keep their feet on the ground, and never to take flight with their heads. P = The appeal I make: Minervino Murge, capital of European culture (applause).
And here is what Massimiliano Bevilacqua writes, present at the ceremony.
Impossible to describe with images the emotions experienced on this day. The conferment of honorary citizenship on our fellow citizen Michele Torpedine, beacon of the fantastic boys of “Il Volo”, witnessed the strong bond of the well-known manager with his hometown. The presence of civil, political, ecclesial and military authorities honored the Municipal Council of Minervino and all citizens. Thanks to the Minervino family members of Michele Torpedine, who gave unforgettable moments and rediscovered the great value of the family. A day dedicated to music, which Michele Torpedine brought to the world with Minervino in the heart. Music expresses feelings, represents our emotional part, but above all it unites. Today Minervino has taken off. That it is only the beginning of a path of growth that sees us all involved in overcoming divisions and in considering the beauty that surrounds us with different eyes.
It took more than 60 years for Torpedine to return to his hometown ……. but how wonderful it is to come back and be received with all the honors, in that town, from which his family had to leave, in search of fortune.
Even Ignazio, Gianluca and Piero, were close to you, in this happy moment, because they too, are part of your family affections.
Congratulations, Michele Torpedine.
And here is a summary of the entire day published by Torpediniera.
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.
Come in and share the love of life, friends and Il Volo!