Giovanni Vacca (Naples, 1963), took a degree in Foreign Languages and Literature at the University of Salerno in 1988 and a doctorate in Musicology (“Storia e analisi delle culture musicali”) at Sapienza University of Rome in 2009. He received his Academic habilitation degree in 2022. He has worked extensively on traditional and urban music and folk culture in the South of Italy, particularly in the area of Naples and Campania, in relationship to modernization. On the subject he wrote three books (Il Vesuvio nel motore, manifestolibri, Roma, 1999, Nel corpo della tradizione, squilibri, Roma, 2004 and Gli spazi della canzone. Luoghi e forme della canzone napoletana, LIM, Lucca, 2013) and three entries (“Canzone napoletana”, “Tammurriata” e “Tarantella”) for the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of the Popular Music of the World Vol. IX, edited by David Horne, John Sheperd and Paolo Prato (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017). He regularly holds seminars and lectures in Universities (Naples, Rome, Paris La Sorbonne, Torino, Palermo, Università della Calabria, Liverpool, Guildford), festivals, theatres, Conservatories (Trapani, Pescara, Avellino) and music schools. He holds courses on popular music for Masters organized in Italy by Gatm (Gruppo Analisi e Teoria Musicale) and by Università della Calabria. He has occasionally written song lyrics for Neapolitan world music groups such as Spaccanapoli (which recorded Aneme perze (Lost Souls) in 2000 for the British label Real World) and Pietrarsa. With Spaccanapoli he contributed to the film Songs Under A Big Sky (2001), produced by Real World and the National Geographic.
He teaches English and has collaborated with several Italian newspapers and magazines (among others, the newspaper il manifesto, for ten years) and he now writes for the magazine Blow Up. He has a number of academic publishing partnerships (academic essays) in Italian, English and French. In 2014, for Ashgate (now Routledge), he published a book about the English folksinger and playwright Ewan MacColl (Legacies of Ewan MacColl, edited with Allan F. Moore with a preface written by Peggy Seeger). The book is built mostly around the transcription of a long interview he himself recorded in 1987 and 1988 and with critical essays. In 2022 he has published Memorie della canzone francese (LIM), dedicated to the birth of French songwriting (1848 – 1945). He is a member of the Scientific Committee of GATM (Gruppo di Analisi e Teoria Musicale), of the editorial staff of the Academic magazines Etnografie sonore/Sound Ethnographies and Rivista di Analisi e Teoria Musicale (RATM).