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Marco Benevento is a keyboardist whose jazz-rooted work has expanded to include indie rock, jam band, and post-rock/experimental influences. Born in 1977 and raised in the northern New Jersey town of Livingston, Benevento studied piano and befriended an aspiring drummer named Joe Russo in a junior-high detention hall. After high school, while Russo migrated westward to Boulder, Colorado, and fell into the hippie jam band scene there, the more jazz-inclined Benevento moved to Boston to attend the Berklee School of Music, from which he graduated in 1999 after studying keyboards under noted jazz pianist and instructor Joanne Brackeen. Following college, Benevento formed a popular Boston-area improvisational outfit called the Jazz Farmers, which continued when Benevento resettled in New York City in 2001. Running into his old junior-high buddy Russo at a Medeski, Martin & Wood gig, Benevento accepted an invitation to perform a series of duo gigs at the Knitting Factory, which turned into a full-time partnership as the Benevento/Russo Duo. Benevento released four albums with Russo: Benevento/Russo Duo, Darts, Best Reason to Buy the Sun, and Play Pause Stop. Tying into Russo's roots in the jam band scene, the duo also spent much of 2006 touring as half of former Phish leader Trey Anastasio's backing band.
In 2007, Benevento began a live residency at the New York club Tonic, which led to the August 2007 release of Live at Tonic, a three-CD set taken from those shows that ranges from traditional small-combo jazz to post-rock/experimental soundscapes. Benevento signed to Hyena Records and released Invisible Baby in 2008 with bassist Reed Mathis (Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and Tea Leaf Green) and drummers Andrew Barr (the Slip) and Matt Chamberlain. It was followed by Me Not Me on Royal Potato Family in 2009 with the same players. Benevento recorded 2010's Between the Needles & Nightfall for Royal Potato Family with Mathis and Barr. The album was tracked at Brooklyn's Trout Studio with engineer Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Akron/Family). Benevento promoted the recording by taking the trio on the road, playing club dates and festivals in the United States and Canada. TigerFace, his next studio album, utilized a wide range of players. It was produced by Tom Biller and Goggin, and released in September of 2012.
After extensive touring and a brief rest, Benevento returned to the recording studio with his trio -- bassist Dave Dreiwitz and drummer Andy Borger -- and producer Richard Swift. For the first time, he decided to sing on one of his records. Inspired by everyone from LCD Soundsystem to David Bowie to My Bloody Valentine, he wrote a series of outre pop songs and collaborated on lyrics with Ween's Aaron Freeman. Swift was released in September of 2014. --
Marco Benevento (born July 22, 1977 in Livingston, New Jersey) is a pianist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, 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, Nathan Moore, 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.
Benevento is a member of Garage A Trois along with Stanton Moore, Skerik and Mike Dillon.
Benevento is a member of Joe Russo's Almost Dead, a Grateful Dead tribute band composed of Benevento, Joe Russo (drums), Dave Dreiwitz (bass), Tom Hamilton (guitar), and Scott Metzger (guitar).
In 2006, Benevento was featured in Bobby Previte's Coalition of the Willing US and European tour.
In July 2006, Benevento toured with Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon and Joe Russo.
Benevento is also a member of the band Bustle in Your Hedgerow, a band that reinterprets the music of Led Zeppelin.