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Benevento in Prospect Park, Brooklyn 2008
|Birth name||Marco Vincent Benevento|
|Born||July 22, 1977|
|Genres||Rock, experimental rock, psychedelic rock, experimental music, indie pop, jazz|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, singer, composer, music producer|
|Instruments||Piano, Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer Electric Piano, Optigan|
|Labels||Royal Potato Family, Ropeadope, Hyena|
Marco Benevento (born July 22, 1977) is a pianist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer who has been a member of the New York experimental music rock and jazz scene since 1999. He is the founder and recording engineer of Fred Short, a recording studio in Upstate New York.
Benevento was born in Livingston, New Jersey in 1977. He began playing piano at age seven. In his early teens Benevento was drawn to his four-track recorder, synthesizers and making home recordings. Benevento attended Ramapo High School and performed with various rock and experimental bands in Northern New Jersey and New York City. He graduated from Ramapo High in 1995 and Berklee College of Music in 1999.
Benevento has been a regular on the New York City contemporary, experimental jazz scene with his involvement in the Jazz Farmers (1999-2001), the Benevento Russo Duo (2002–present) and his own band (2006–present). Benevento has studied under and played alongside other keyboardists including Joanne Brackeen, Kenny Werner, John Medeski and Brad Mehldau. He has recorded and collaborated with musicians such as Matt Chamberlain, John McEntire, A. C. Newman, Rich Robinson, Stuart D. Bogie, Annakalmia Traver, Andrew Barr, Billy Martin, George Porter, Joe Russo, and Mike Gordon.
Benevento's first studio album as a pianist, Invisible Baby, released in 2008, was nominated for Independent Music Awards Jazz Album of the year. Me Not Me, his second release, is a mix of original songs and covers such as "Heartbeats" (The Knife) and "Golden (My Morning Jacket). Benevento's third album, Between the Needles and Nightfall, was released in 2010 and his fourth album, Tigerface, was released in 2012. Tigerface features singer Annakalmia Traver of the band Rubblebucket and drummer John McEntire of Tortoise. Throughout all of his recordings Benevento plays an acoustic piano that is amplified by using pickups and effected with various effect pedals. He also makes use of circuit bent toys, drum machines and other synthesizers. Performances with his band include SXSW, Celebrate Brooklyn, Carnegie Hall, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, the JVC Jazz Festival, Pickathon Music Festival, and the Newport Jazz Festival.
The Royal Potato Family
In 2009 Benevento began his own record label with manager Kevin Calabro called The Royal Potato Family. Bands on the label include Yellowbirds, Super Human Happiness, Nathan Moore, Wil Blades, Billy Martin, Surprise Me Mr Davis, Garage A Trois and The Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey.
Benevento Russo Duo
Benevento is one half of the Benevento Russo Duo, an instrumental indie rock, experimental Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer Electric Piano and drum duo that he formed with drummer Joe Russo in 2001. The band makes use of samplers, loops, circuit bent toys, guitars as well as glockenspiels to augment their sound. The Benevento Russo Duo have performed at events like Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Fuji Rock Festival, Bonnaroo, Wakarusa, High Sierra Music Festival and have drawn reviews at publications ranging from Rolling Stone to Pitchfork Media.
A fan of circuit bending, Benevento uses modified electronic toys to compose music. When playing with his band Marco amplifies the piano with guitar pickups and other effects. He has toured and performed with a modified acoustic piano, toy piano, Yamaha CP60, speak and spell, glockenspiel, Rhythm Ace Drum Machine, wurlitzer and Rheem Organ. Benevento's equipment includes a Casio sampling keyboard, effects pedals, a Hammond organ (with bass pedalboard) and a Wurlitzer electric piano.
- Live at Tonic (2007, Ropeadope)
- Invisible Baby (2008, Hyena Records)
- Me Not Me (2009, The Royal Potato Family)
- Between the Needles and Nightfall (2010, The Royal Potato Family)
- "Escape Horse"/"Fireworks" (7" single, 2011, The Royal Potato Family)
- TigerFace (2012, The Royal Potato Family)
- "Swift" (2014, The Royal Potato Family)
- Marco Benevento and Joe Russo (2002)
- Darts (2003)
- Best Reason to Buy the Sun (2005) Ropeadope
- Live From Bonnaroo 2005 (featuring Mike Gordon) (July 18, 2006, recorded live in 2005)
- Play Pause Stop (2006) Reincarnate/Butter Problems
Garage A Trois
- Power Patriot (2009) The Royal Potato Family
- Always Be Happy, But Stay Evil (2011) The Royal Potato Family
- April in New York (2007) Bobby Previte DVD, independent