Maria Aurigema – Jeff Healey – Love Is Like
Blues Women Anthology ,
Maria Aurigema was born in Buffalo, NY. She is the youngest of four in a family of all boys. Aurigema means golden gem in Italian and there could not be a more fitting title for this talented artist.
Maria experienced an early exposure to life in the entertainment industry. Her multi-talented father, Jay Aurigema, owned a 30 room mansion in North Tonawanda, NY which became the stop-over for many artists and entertainers performing at Melody Fair in the 1970’s.
The DeGraff Mansion still contains a room where the walls are covered with signatures of these entertainers including Anna Marie Alberghetti, Donald O’Connor, Dean Jones, Sylvia Sydney, Martha Raye, John Raitt (Bonnie Raitt’s father) and scores of others. Though Maria was only a little girl at the time, she remembers the frequent late-night parties that filled the mansion.
Maria’s early musical talent was something she shared with her father and was nurtured and developed with the help of her mother. Beginning with guitar lessons at the age of eight, and flute lessons at the age of nine, Maria began her musical journey.
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