Over 50 years Serving Espresso in San Francisco

Our Music


Our cafe has a long-running, rich musical tradition about it. The entire Giotta family has been performing across Northern California since their arrival in this country in 1951. Eldest son Gianfranco and sister Sonia performed in talent competitions, shows, operators, and on radio during their childhood in the 1950s along with their parents, Papa Gianni and wife Ida. Gianfranco sang professionally and pursued a musical career before deciding to settle into the family business.

Papa Gianni, Mamma Ida, Fabio and Sonia Giotta have frequently appeared on local, national and international television and radio, in films, and in print and Internet media since the 1950s, and the cafe has been a popular set for movies and television work. Interested parties, please e-mail: triestemusic@aol.com or call 415.550.1107.


The NEW Caffe Trieste Saturday Concert is the longest-running show in the city of San Francisco. It has evolved from a small family show with a guitar and mandolin ensemble into an Italian-flavored version of the Lawrence Welk show (one of the Giotta Family’s favorite television indulgences from the 50s through the 1970s). Wonderful local singers such as Irving Monk and Alfredo Tollis bring new facets of jazz, show tunes, balance, as well as songs by Piaf, Weill, and Dean Martin to the Trieste repertoire.

Some Caffe Trieste celebrity aficionados.

This musically humble, yet powerful Concert has been graced with scores of awards, accolades, and reviews from local, national and international print and television media. The Caffe’s extensive archive safely preserves these treasures which number in the hundreds and date back several decades. Here are a few:

The San Francisco Bay Guardian, July 1999
“Original “Best of” Winner – 1974, “Best Singing Wait Staff”

SF Weekly – Best of 2003
“Best Afternoon Opera – “Saturday Live at CaffeTrieste”

The San Francisco Bay Guardian, August 1999
“Best Saturday Afternoon Entertainment.”Trieste Thursday Night Concert Series-North Beach

Over the years, the Caffe has also received many other awards from The Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, Citysearch.com, San Francisco Focus Magazine and others.


The early 1960’s brought the youngest and only American born member of the Giotta family – – . Since age four and a half, he grew-up singing and playing music and performing professionally, often with his brother Gianfranco and frequently along with the entire family. Collectively, the Giotta family has performed on concert stages such as those of the Fairmont Hotel-San Francisco, Lousie M. Davies Symphony Hall, the San Francisco Opera, Club Fugazi, Luther Burbank Center-Santa Rosa, the Masonic Auditorium-San Francisco, Herbst Theater-San Francisco, the Palace of Fine Arts Theater-San Francisco, and dozens more.

Various members of the family have also performed at many major social and musical events such as art, film, and music festivals and private gala events across the bay area. One such event was a private party thrown in honor of the birthday and wedding anniversary of Luciano Pavarotti.

Papa Gianni sings traditional Italian songs and Opera along with wife Ida. *Because of eldest son Gianfranco’s untimely passing in 1999, now M.C.’s the show and maintains his brother’s vocal tradition with English and Italian renditions of ballads, show tunes, and standards originally made famous by premier Italian-American singers such as Frankie Laine and Frank Sinatra, while sister Sonia specializes in Country/Western, Italian ballads, pop music of the 1950’s and Swing. Fabio also plays his classic Petosa Series II electronic accordion, as well as bass guitar and directs the band.

The NEW Caffe Trieste Saturday Concert can consist of accordion, organ, piano, guitar, mandolin, bass guitar, string bass, bass violin, slide trombone, trumpet, flugelhorn, flute, piccolo, harmonica, washboard, banjo, spoons, bongos, congas and just about any other low-tech instrument (except for Fabio’s Petosa Series II electronic accordion). Well known Bay Area favorites such as David Sturdevant, Dave Jess, and Jon Otis are “regulars” with the band. Duo accordions are not unusual at the concert. Noted Bay Area accordionists such as Ron Borelli and Ron Sfarzo often join Fabio and the band. Our 3 hour show now starts at about 2 p.m. $7.50 per drink/1 drink minimum per person. No cover charge.

Over the decades, there have been many veterans in the Trieste Musical Family, such as soprano Lory Stark, who absorbs the audience with her powerful renditions of Grand Opera arias and classical Italian songs in several languages.

Trieste Artists
Cast Member Biographies

*Dave Baioni-accordion, piano (1950 – 2012)
Ron Borelli-accordion, piano
Ned “Eddi” Boynton-guitar, bass guitar
*Owen Davis – (1952-2011, conga drums, back-up vocals)
Gavin Jones Audio Engineer (Duvateen Sound, www.duvateen.com)
Dave Jess-bass guitar, drums
Richard Mayers-percussion
Irving Mok-vocals
Bing Nathan-bass violin
Jon Otis-percussion
Lory Stark-vocals
Alfredo Tollis-vocals

Special guests consisting of famous and not-so-famous singers and musicians are asked to step-up to the stage area and join-in. On one occasion, two members of THE DRIFTERS were sitting in the audience and quietly, but very obviously, enjoying the concert. It wasn’t long before Papa Gianni asked them to come up and do a number or two.

As of March, 2004. the Caffe’s seating and stage area arrangement have been reconfigured to be more audience friendly. As it was in the late 1960’s and periodically during the 1980’s, the audience now enjoys the same Caffe Trieste ambience with an added bit of Cabaret flavor. The “new” stage area is set against the beautiful Fishermans’ mural depicting a scene in Sardegna, the house sound reinforcement system has been completely revamped (engineer included), and the performances have never sounded or looked so good.

Trieste Records came into existence in 1981 with the introduction of our first LP Saturday Live at Caffe Trieste. Upcoming albums include a collection of favorite Trieste Concert duets and solos performed by octogenarians, Ida and Papa Gianni, a new, expanded version of Saturday Live at Caffe Trieste, and vocal and accordion instrumental collections by Fabio and Sonia.

Petosa Accordions
Manufacturer, distributor of acoustic and electronic accordions and related items, sales & service

Quality and Craftsmanship since 1922

Fabio plays his Petosa Series II
and directs the band, April 2013

Fabio and his Petosa Millennium,
with the Ron Borelli Band, 2004

Ron Borelli plays his Petosa

Dave Baioni playing our restored
1954 Petosa Grand accordion.