It all began with Madonna for New York jazz duo
If you go to see Benevento and Russo play at Henflings Firehouse Tavern in Ben Lomond this Saturday, you might be astonished that two people can put out so much sound.
This organ-and-drums duo from New York combines jazz, rock and funk styles, and the music is so infectious that Henflings will be clearing the tables from the dance floor to allow the audience room to groove.
Marco Benevento (Hammond B3 organ) and Joe Russo (drums) grew up in New Jersey and attended the same middle school. There, they learned to play their respective instruments and played together in the school jazz band. However, their musical connection extended beyond the school gates.
Russo was called to play at a birthday party for Madonna and went to Benevento to see if he would be interested in playing.
“So I learned Borderline and Open Your Heart, and we did the duo. That was our first duo gig.”
The booking agent for the club that held the party then offered Benevento and Russo the chance to play at some other clubs. After trying out a few different band formats with other musicians, they decided that the organ-and-drums-duo-formula worked the best.