Music Notes: Rock Pianist Marco Benevento Visits SubCulture This Friday

Marco Beneveto

Pianist, producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Marco Benevento is a staple on the experimental rock and jazz scenes. Having performed with his band at Carnegie Hall, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, SXSW, and Celebrate Brooklyn, among others, Benevento is no stranger to life on the road and has spent the last 15 years creating music in several different bands and as a solo artist. Describing his music as “rock piano with a twist,” Benevento has toured with such acclaimed artists as Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon of Phish, released over six albums, and is currently working on an upcoming album to be released in September.

Having played multiple times at Bowery Ballroom, Benevento is excited to return to New York  this Friday to perform at the new venue, SubCulture, which opened in September 2013. Located in the basement of Lynn Redgrave Theater, a socially conscious performing arts center on Bleecker Street, the venue’s goal is to “showcase eclectic yet accessible performances and genre-defying music.” The venue is a great place to catch unique performances, despite its “cozy” feel when the retractable chairs are out and there’s no dance floor or standing room.

Benevento’s music career took off in 2002 when he moved to New York and lived in Bushwick. “I had a loft out on the Halsey stop on the L train on Eldert Street and we’d have crazy parties and play music all night,” he says.

He played gigs around the city almost every evening with various different musicians, and eventually formed an organ and drum duo with Joe Russo, releasing several records before forming a band with Matt Chamberlain and Reed Mathis in 2007.

Benevento released his last album, Tigerface, in 2012 with the single Limbs of a Pine. The album is his most pop-influenced yet, with a variety of synths and electronic additions to his usual classical/jazz mode.

“I like upbeat music. I like to see the crowd dancing,” says Benevento. “For a while my band played jazz rooms, but now we play bigger rooms with bigger production so it’s nice to utilize all of that to create a party. I use drum machines to write music as well as synthesizers, so the piano, bass and drums are surrounded by various other colors and textures in our live show.”

For his upcoming  album, Benevento is focusing on singing. Having worked with Richard Swift (the Shins, the Black Keys), Benevento says that lyrics have opened a new door in his musical life.

“Richard [Swift] really brought out some good performances in my band. Same style of songwriting – more on the rock side than on the jazz side – but now most of my new tunes have words,” says Benevento.

For a more instrumental track, check out Benevento’s 2011 song, Greenpoint

Friday, April 18 // $25 in advance, $30 at the door // Shows at 7:30pm and 10pm // 45 Bleeker Street

Wolfbat Wave & Summer Jam Coming to the LES Saturday

This Saturday, a free art workshop will be held at Sara D. Roosevelt Park, featuring famed graphic artist and sculptor Dennis McNett, a Brooklyn artist who has created mythical larger-than-life masks, screen prints and 3-D pieces throughout his career.

Dixon Place Premieres Artificial Afrika – A Tale of Lost Cities

Head on over to Dixon Place this weekend to catch the premiere of Artificial Afrika – A Tale of Lost CitiesGrammy Award-winner and Living Colour founder Vernon Reid’s multimedia journey through the Dark Continent. Reid merges music, hip hop, film and visual arts to explore and compare the notion of  Africa—a continent with a multiplicity of cultures, languages and peoples—with Afrika: “a country of the mind, a notional landscape encompassing everything from Aunt Jemima to Tarzan, filled with our fear and desire and hope and despair.”

Joining Reid are collaborators Akim Funk Buddha, MC, dancer, beat boxer, throat-singer, martial artist, choreographer, and then some, and Leon Lamant, DJ, drummer, filmmaker, and producer.

Fridays and Saturdays in February, 7:30pm.  Dixon Place // 161A Chrystie Street // 212-219-0736 // $15 in advance online $18 at the door $12 students/seniors

Weekend Kids’ Pick

Outer Child and Six Stories Told at the Living Room this Saturday.

Take the kids to see Outer Child and Six Stories Told this Saturday at The Living Room. The show, from 3 to 5 p.m., features music for and with young children. The band’s founder, Emilie Cardinaux, lives in the East Village and teaches music workshops to students age 4 and up. Tickets are $10 per person.

For more family-friendly events, please visit our kids page.

Weekend Kids’ Pick

Andy Roo & The AndyRooniverse performs at The Living Room this Saturday.

On Saturday, September 10, Andy Roo & the AndyRooniverse is performing a kid’s show at The Living Room, 154 Ludlow. The 1pm show is a musical journey to a town of animals, including Silly Sal the Salamander, monkeys climbing trees, and a platypus. AndyRoo & the AndyRooniverse is the children’s music project of singer-songwriter Andrew Karnavas. Tickets are $5. Find more information for LES kids on our kids page.

Weekend Kids’ Pick

New Village Music Festival Saturday in Tompkins Square Park.

On Saturday, July 23, Tompkins Square Park plays host to the New Village Music Festival. This free outdoor community concert features local musicians and performing artists. The event is billed as one that pays homage to traditional music while promoting elements of new fusion music. On 7th Street, between Avenues A and B, from noon to 6pm. Click here for a full listing of performers.

Be sure to check out our Kids Page for more event listings and our fabulous Kids Calendar!

Weekend Kid’s Pick

Brooklyn Kids Rock at the Living Room this Saturday

Graduates from the Brooklyn Kids Rock school will be performing this Saturday, June 18 at The Living Room (154 Ludlow). The kids of BKR have spent 10 weeks writing original material and covering bands like the Romones and the White Stripes, and now will have the opportunity to perform on stage at one of the Lower East Side’s esteemed live music venues. Doors open at 2 and the show starts at 2:30. Kids are $3, adults $4.

Weekend Kid’s Pick

The Bossy Frog Band is live in concert at the Educational Alliance this Sunday.

Nothing rings in Spring better than a funky, upbeat concert led by a banjo-playing certified music therapist.  On Sunday, March 20 from 11-2, the Educational Alliance is hosting The Bossy Frog Band at the Mazer Theater (197 East Broadway). The show is interactive and kids are encouraged to dance in the aisles. The cost is $10 per child or adult, babes in arms are free. All proceeds help support the Educational Alliance Preschool.

For more information about this or other kid’s events, please visit our kids page.