Romina Di Gasbarro

Romina Di Gasbarro

 Toronto, Ontario, CAN

A singer-songwriter, soprano, composer, and guitarist - Romina’s music is both old-world expressive and new-world avantgarde. An original and beguiling artist, Romina's voice and songs draw you into a sound that goes beyond categories, blending traditions and creating a sound that is both familiar and personal. Her latest 2017 release, Risorgimento can be purchased through her website:


Risorgimento is Romina's 2017 CD release thanks to the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. A record written in both Italian and English, Risorgimento is a voyage into ancient and modern musical worlds where old stories migrate to current culture. Featured on the record are Elmer Ferrer (guitars), Lucas Harris (Lute, theorbo), Larnell Lewis (drums), Mike Herriott (horns), Ben Grossman (percussion), Drew Jureka (strings), Mark (horns), Roberto Occhipinti (bass, production) and Romina (guitar, vocals).

         Romina’'s discography also includes 2010 debut, Poema and 2004 EP, Little Rome. Romina has worked with JUNO Award recipients and nominees like Andrew Downing (bass/cello), David Occhipinti (guitar), Jean Martin (drums), Aisslinn Nosky (violin), Karen Moffatt (viola) Francesco Pellegrino (tenor), Julia Wedman (violin), Carol Gimbel (viola), Robert DiVito (trumpet), Barry Romberg (drums), Davide DiRenzo (drums), Blair MacKay (drums), and Marco Cera (oboe). She is also a guest-member of Southern Italian baroque ensemble, Vesuvius Ensemble. 

       Romina has performed in venues such as: Koerner Hall, Glenn Gould Studio, Luminato Festival, TD Downtown Jazz Festival, Young Centre Global Cabaret Festival, NXNE as well as opera stages throughout Italy and the US. She has received the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council for recordings and concert production.


In the Spin

Written By: Romina Di Gasbarro

It’s no fun
this place I’m in.
With one word
I’m in the spin.
With everyone, upside-down
and outside-in,
Cross eyed, split-tongued
and peering in.

It cuts my door,
My thick and thin.
It ignores my sign,
‘No tresspassing!’
So I fake my calm,
I smile, I let it in.
Entertain the foe,
The friend, the kin.

Night falls on me
The room grows dim,
And circles trace
My history’s rim.
But just when I think
I’ve given in
I kill The Captor,
The Guilt and The Sin.

But there’ll be no casket,
No Cross no hymn,
No reading from the good book
Of Magdalene.
No Holy water,
For this loss or win,
For it owns me,
It sells me when I’m in the spin.

It owns me,
It sells me,
When I’m in the spin.

All Music and Lyrics by Romina Di Gasbarro
© 2010 Romina Di Gasbarro (SOCAN)

Corner of Heaven

Written By: Romina Di Gasbarro

Corner of Heaven

Well I dreamt I saw the realm of stars
it was 1000 away
in a strange and familiar place.

I saw souls in line for miles and miles
they were, waiting their names
called by their wanted place.

I saw those eyes,
as black as mine.

I was running from the corners of heaven,
I was running past the front of the line,
I was keeping my lover careful,
cause I know I need a little more time.

Well I’m a woman good with wanderlust
and a ticket for space, take me
to any music making place.

I’ve no time for bartering sacrifice
or Mother Mary grace,
no denying this heart of mine.

They say, “There’s time.”
“You can wait.”

Are you waiting in the corner of heaven?
Are you waiting at the front of the line?
Are you losing your turn, your patience?
Are you waiting for my reply?

Off the subway back from Bloor and Jane
I was walking past the Village train
when I saw that face,
the dark familiar gaze.

She was dancing like a marionette
to a window display, I can’t forget
and my heart began to race.
My heart began to race.

Who’s this child, saying my name?
Can I deny,
and post-pone this life away?

I’ll come find you in the corner of heaven,
I’ll come put you at the front of the line,
I will let my lover be careless,
cause I know you’re waiting to be mine.

Don’t worry baby!
I’m coming baby!

All Music and Lyrics by Romina Di Gasbarro
© 2010 Romina Di Gasbarro (SOCAN)


Written By: Romina Di Gasbarro


With one shoulder hiked up around my neck
My legs turned against the warm television set
A man sits in the corner of his little mansion
And he doesn’t know the damage of his philosophy’s expansion but
No one here can help me or judge me in my finding
They’re just here to close me closer, and celebrate my dying.

So I sit in my little room where I’ve made my little study
And I write and listen all day to find my inner harmony
But here one lives by static, as it tries to undermine you
It says, “That’s not what life is like!” as opinions override you
So you try to pace your answers ‘cause you don’t want to fight
You may not know what life is, but you know what it’s like.

So I close myself in closer to my innards inner warning
I enchant the evening and I pacify the morning
And I knock my friends off, in their dreams of softer voyage
Who pump me like a life raft and mount me to keep buoyant
They can’t bear to see the might sharp, refined nor underdressed
They can’t clean up their own acts, but they won’t accept your mess.

So, I close myself in closer to my books, guitar and pen,
I sing for a freedom I was closer to back then
But I can’t resist this storm of theories and abstractions
That explain my delinquencies and excuse my reactions
So that one day when I look behind to judge this woman’s choices
I’ll measure them by the heed of these navigating voices.

But “All is better done than said”, a wiser one said to me.
“Organize your thoughts. Develop by degrees.”
So I work to stupify my curious and fickle ways
That’ll build a testament to these ‘new and improved’ days
Cause, all is better done than said, and so this end must serve,
I must put my thoughts to test and at best, amend these useless words.

Time for change.
Time for change.
So hard to change,
But I don’t want to stay the same.

Don’t want to change.
So hard to change
But I don’t want to stay the same.

All Music and Lyrics by Romina Di Gasbarro
© 2010 Romina Di Gasbarro (SOCAN)

The Piano

Written By: Romina Di Gasbarro

The Piano

The piano was coming today,
coming to grace my living room stage.
The boys were ready for the turn
In the stairwell of narrow turn.

March, April and May
waiting for that mahogany case.
How could the lid be closed so fast?
For an old lady that came to bust my ass.

She said, “You can’t play in the day, and
you can’t play at night.
We’ve got night shifters and day shifters
and we’ve all got a right.”
One day, I’m gonna have my say.

It’s no fun,
this place I’m in,
with house coat ladies under my skin.
With peeling eyes and ears for pins,
and seething is the sin I’m spinning.

The piano was coming today,
coming to grace my apartment space.
The boys were young and eager to learn
in the stairwell of no return.

March, April, May and June,
listening to that foul buffoon.
God I hope I’m outta here soon,
with his rhyming off his Landlord’s tune.

No parties.
No pets.
No smokers.
No rundowns.

No singing
No stomping
No fighting after

No babies.
No laughing.
No loving out
too loud.

No dancing.
No playing.
No pianos
in this house.

All Music and Lyrics by Romina Di Gasbarro
© 2010 Romina Di Gasbarro (SOCAN)

Wild, Wild Animal

Written By: Romina Di Gasbarro


Sown the seeds of delusion
Born the bows that conceal
Cut off from introspection
Now you are what you fear.

A gigantic phantom
A cameleon of dreams
A holy mask of the theatre
Gold paint at the seems.

I’m a Wild, Wild Animal
Spearing through the green,
Bolting panicked away from you
From what my eye has seen.

Make me a promise of folk songs
Knit me a spider’s desire
Come and stuff me with clover
Burn my mouth by the fire

Bathe me in honey and sandlewood
Heat my legs with your hands
Come recite me your stories
Build me your character of sand.

For I’m a Wild, Wild Animal.
Spearing through the green,
Bolting panicked away from you
From what my eye has seen

Fill me with stars and rivers
Shooting through a hot heart
Should my stay heat your mindset
Let my eyes no part

For I’m a foolish woman
I can see through these lies
You invent your own story
And I chose to comply

Cause I am willing to let you
Pay a weak woman’s fees
When my wisdom to save myself
Falls by desire’s disease

I’m Wild….
in the green.
Bolting panicked away from you
But for nights like these.

All Music and Lyrics by Romina Di Gasbarro
© 2010 Romina Di Gasbarro (SOCAN)

Love Life Sentence

Written By: Romina Di Gasbarro


He’s gonna take his mother’s name
Things are never gonna be the same
He’s gonna stand up to that man
Take his place, gonna take a stand
Brothers, sisters don’t approve
One of his erratic moves
Just another debut.

He’s gonna be his father’s son
Hard to care for anyone
Build him a statue of glittering gold
He says, “What about me? I’m so all alone!”
Give him your love and it’s not enough
Give him your life and he’ll rough it up
Make that good boy tough.

Don’t they make a beautiful pair?
Can’t you see them both just standing there?
With her long, white gown
Spinning round and round
There’ll be flowers, and tear drops
And love songs and diamonds,
Just in case.

He’s gonna be a good woman’s man
Have the whole world in his hand
Stroke her brow with a mother’s touch
Break her down so he can be her crutch
Hold her high so she can see
All that she won’t ever be
If she doesn’t break free.

Can’t deside to go or stay
Can’t remember to blame
Are things gonna stay the same
Maybe people can really change
All the things you must deny
To look yourself back in the eye
He gonna make you tell lies!

It’s the theme of a beautiful life
With love and danger intertwined
All the blurry lines that once defined
Between love, duty, wrong and right.

Ridi Pagliaccio
Sul tuo amor infranto
Ridi del duol
Che t’avelena il cor…

Father, father be our guide
Be our leader be our pride
It’s a contorted love affair
The more he hurts, the more she cares
He won’t kill her in the litteral sense
He’ll just scare her half to death…
It’s a love-life sentence.

All Music and Lyrics by Romina Di Gasbarro
© 2010 Romina Di Gasbarro (SOCAN)
(except excerpt from Pagliacci aria, "Vesti la giubba" by Ruggero Leoncavallo.)


June 2010.

1.Corner of Heaven
2. In the Spin
3. Love Life Sentence
4. Wild, Wild Animal
5. Scent of Your Pillow
6. The Foolish & The Good (None Hit Wonder)
7. The Piano
8. Rain
9. Changes

*All music, lyrics and string arrangements by Romina Di Gasbarro. Copyright of Romina Di Gasbarro (SOCAN).

Little Rome (2004)

1. Name Me!
2. Chocolate and Cinnamon
3. Grey Painter Suite
i. grey painter
ii. a song sung
iii. in cold may

*All music, lyrics and string arrangements by Romina Di Gasbarro. Copyright of Romina Di Gasbarro (SOCAN).

Little Roma was made possible through the assistance of The Canada Council for the Arts.


Set List

Original Songs:

Corner of Heaven
Made of Sky
Love Life Sentence
Wild, Wild Animal
The Foolish & The Good
The High Seas
Scent of Your Pillow
The Piano
In the Spin
The Little Prince
Name Me
Chocolate and Cinnamon
Grey Painter

Two 40 minute sets.