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10 Amazing Circus Families


10
The Caveagnas
A member of the Clowning Caveagna Family plays the trumpet during a clowning bit on the opening night of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in West Palm Beach, Florida. © Rachel Mummey/ZUMA Press/Corbis
A member of the Clowning Caveagna Family plays the trumpet during a clowning bit on the opening night of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in West Palm Beach, Florida. © Rachel Mummey/ZUMA Press/Corbis

The Caveagna family is on its way to multigenerational circus prominence. A comical-musical clowning group, the fun began in Italy with patriarch Elicio Caveagna. Elicio was both a talented musician and skilled clown, so he combined these two skills in an act he performed for Circo Nando Orfei, a famed Italian circus. Eventually Elicio trained his son, Artidoro, to follow in his clown-musician shoes, and Artidoro, in turn, passed on the skills to his sons Jones and Steve [source: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey].

Today the Clowning Caveagna Family -- Artidoro, Jones and Steve -- performs with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, interspersing trumpet and saxophone tunes with traditional silly clowning antics. The act also has performed throughout Europe, both in circus festivals and as part of other circuses, such as Switzerland's renowned Circus Nock [source: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey].