The festival, which is an annual celebration of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year in the southern hemisphere, was unfortunately cancelled last year due to expense and logistics – but this year it will be “bigger and better”, Mizzi said.
She will perform her seamless blend of folk, jazz and blues as she draws on influences as diverse as Ricki Lee Jones, Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams and Doris Day.
Mizzi said that for her, the festival, which is known for its colour, music and diversity, is really “a celebration of my community”.
“It’s a wonderful community,” she added.
“There’s a lot of creativity in Katoomba.
“Without sounding corny it is a really magical place and magical time during Winter Magic.”
The songwriter, whose voice is a smoky and sultry honey-coated affair, collaborates with band members Alexander Keller on bass, Ian Neil Morrison on drums and percussion, Stephen Waters on lead guitar, Michelle Morrison on piano accordion and Simon Crosbie on harmonica, to sing stories from a life well-lived, to an enraptured audience.
Although Mizzi now resides in Katoomba, she grew up around Cabramatta, at a time when it was composed of many Italians and Greeks.
Mizzi’s parents now live in Bossley Park, near the culturally significant Club Marconi.
Mizzi, whose maiden name is Gioria, is Italian on her father’s side.
Her father, Guido Gioria, migrated to Australia in 1950, from the Fiume region in Northern Italy.
Fiume is now known as Rijeka, having been annexed to Croatia following World War II.
According to Mizzi, her father arrived in Australia after being first sent to Trieste and living for a period in Novara, Piedmont.
Gioria arrived in Australia when he was around nine years old, and ended up in the internment camps.
Mizzi said that her father is still an extremely active member of the Associazione Fiumani Sydney, which maintains a strong musical culture, with choir and harmony-singing a priority.
“I was brought up on a lot of those typical Italian folk songs,” Mizzi recalled.
“It’s all I remember as a child.”
Thanks to the Associazione Fiumani in Sydney and sponsorship from the Giuliani nel Mondo Associazione in Trieste, in 2017 Mizzi’s father was finally able to return home, 67 years after migration.
“It was just fantastic!” Mizzi enthused.
“He showed me all the photos ... in his old village, like where you used to walk down to go to the bomb shelters.”
Mizzi’s father taught her a traditional Italian folk song last year, La mula de parenzo, which she loves.
“Because that’s what I remember as a little girl, all of them around with guitars, singing Italian songs, that’s all I heard,” she said.
Her first album Real People was released in 2018 and received substantial air-play, both locally and internationally.
On the album name, Mizzi said: “I just like authentic people.
“I hate when people have to pretend to be something that they’re not.
“Never be embarrassed about where you come from.
“Just be real – just be you.”
Linda Mizzi is currently working with the band on a new album to be released in 2019.
They will perform at the Civic Place Stage at Winter Magic Festival in Katoomba on Saturday, June 22, at 4:10 pm.
For the full program visit the festival website.