Rocking the ivories
CARBONDALE, Colo. – Piano rock concerts aren’t an everyday occurrence in Carbondale.Marco Benevento is changing that tonight.The rock pianist from Brooklyn is including the artsy mountain town in his national tour, playing PAC3 at 8 p.m. tonight. The show, in support of the release of his band’s new album “TigerFace,” opens with funky reggae dance rock band Roster McCabe.”I love Colorado. I’ve toured here a ton over the years,” Benevento said. “With my band now, we’ve had a bunch of great shows in the last few years – Dazzle in Denver, Telluride Jazz Festival and a handful of others. It’s so beautiful driving around in the mountains. We love coming here.”Benevento and his band are traveling cross-country to bring his eclectic style of piano playing to the masses. He said audiences are treated to a distinctive, high-energy experience at every show. “It’s a total piano rock party every night,” he said.Crediting Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Brian Eno, David Byrne, and Jon Brion as musical influences, Benevento is motivated to grow as an artist with each performance. “I’m always discovering and checking out new stuff,” he said. “Sound, melody, beats, having a good time – I love playing music, so I’m always feeling pretty inspired to sit down at the piano and play.”A Berklee College of Music alum, the 35-year-old composer said he has been playing music nearly all his life.”I starting playing shows in high school, friends’ parties, Sweet 16s and battle of the bands growing up in New Jersey,” Benevento said. “After going to Berklee, I moved to Brooklyn and started playing more shows all over the city. It’s progressed from there ever since.”Benevento said he tries not to have too many expectations as a “rock pianist” as his shows develop.”I just want to be there in the moment and enjoy what I’m doing. As far as being called a rock pianist, I guess the idea is we really want people to know that we’re throwing a full-on piano rock concert. People are dancing and having a good time when they come to see us,” he said. “Since most of the music is instrumental, it often gets called jazz. And while there are plenty of jazz ideas happening in the songs, we’re rocking out up there.”Kevin Calabro, of Calabro Music Media, said Benevento has built a reputation for merging many elements of indie rock, jazz and electro pop within his sound. “In the live setting, he plays acoustic upright piano – no digital keyboards – however, he runs the instrument through a bunch of guitar pedals and a Fender Twin amplifier, while incorporating circuit bent toys and loops into his songs,” Calabro said. “There’s nobody else out there doing what he does in such a groundbreaking, but accessible way.”Highly acclaimed musicians Dave Dreiwitz and Andy Borger complete Benevento’s band. The pair has played with top names in the entertainment industry over the years.”Dave plays bass and fans will know him from his years spent with Ween,” Benevento said. “Andy plays drums and has performed in bands with Tom Waits, Norah Jones, Ani DiFranco and others. I love my band. We have a blast every tour.”Benevento said he is living the dream of playing music for a living. “What I love the most about playing music is that I’m making music,” he said. “What could be better than that?”- Fans can watch Benevento’s new video for “Limbs Of A Pine” at http://www.youtube .com/watch?v=2y_7D0tlagU. The song is the first release from “Tigerface.”
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