Musician of the Week: Mike Marchese

Mike Marchese

Year: Fourth

Major: Jazz Studies

Hometown: Albany, N.Y.

1. What is your instrument of choice? Why?

Guitar, mainly gypsy guitar. I didn’t really think about it when I picked it up but I’m glad I did because it’s capable of a lot of things. It’s used to play harmonies and melodies and percussion, in some cases.

2. When and how did you start playing?

2004, when I was a sophomore in high school. My friend had a guitar and I wanted one so I got one.  I took lessons from this guy who was really into metal. When I was a kid I never thought I could play like people on T.V. but he really inspired me to play and then I went to Schenectady Community College (SCC) after I took lessons with him.

3. Do you write your own music?

Not really, no. I don’t write songs but I’m constantly making up music when I play with people.

4. Who are you currently listening to? Do you incorporate them into whatever music you play?

Jim Hall, Bill Evans and David Bowie. I’ve been listening to them a lot and learning their solos by ear.

5. What are you involved in on/off-campus that is music related?

I’m in a trio with Vince Tampio and Chris Dayton called the Post-Modern Jazz Trio and we play at Mohonk and Beacon and 36 Main, places like that. I play with Ben Basile in his groups too. I’m also doing Tommy in the Spring. I was also involved with the 2009 SUNY New Paltz Holiday Special. I’m  currently planning my senior recital. It’s going to be at Shepard Recital Hall featuring Vinnie Martucci.

6. What do you plan on doing with your degree?

Right now I’m trying [with a group of musicians] to get jobs at resorts and cruise ships. I want to travel and play and go somewhere. That’s about it though, as far as I thought about it.