What to do tonight: Check out Marbin's jazz-rock style in North Fayette
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For Danny Markovitch and Dani Rabin, coming up with the name for their band was the tough part. They settled on "Marbin," a combination of their last names.
Coming up with the music is the easier part. Though it involves countless hours of work, it's fun, creative and it just flows.
"If someone showed me something similar, I'd be very surprised," Mr. Rabin said this afternoon. "It's not a focused attempt to make something different. We come from a jazz-rock background, but we're also from Israel. So we grew up listening to sounds and folk music that people in the U.S. don't grow up with.
"We write together and it filters out differently than it would from a guy from New York."
In a recent interview posted on YouTube, Mr. Markovitch called the sound "jazz-rock, with a lot of folk music in it."
"As long as you don't call it fusion, we're fine," Mr. Rabin interjected of the instrumental style. "Fusion is this kind of term where, once you're pegged as that, it's really hard to get shows. We like fusion, but what we do has more of an ethnic kind of vibe to it. ... The truth is it's highly versatile."
You'll be able to sample that versatility from 9 to midnight tonight at Bocktown Beer & Grill in North Fayette's Pool City Plaza on Chauvet Drive. If you miss them tonight, they'll be at Bocktown Beer & Grill in the Beaver Valley Mall in Monaca on Wednesday night.
"If the weather stays like it is, they'll probably be playing outside in the beer garden, which is one of my favorite things to do," said Tera Bevilacqua, Bocktown's district manager. "It's hard to say that one of your favorite things to do is to go to where you work. But in the summer on Tuesday nights in Robinson, being out in the beer garden with some good beer and some good music, some food. It's a nice time."
Ms. Bevilacqua said Bocktown, which opened in December 2006, limits their live music nights to Tuesdays because the venue isn't that large. Which is what makes the outdoor beer garden so useful.
"We're real big on original music. I think that's hard to find in the city," she said. "We require that everyone who plays here play at least an 80 percent original set. It's cool because we have a regular following of people who come who know they're not going to hear the same old, same old."
That is one of Marbin's strengths. With Mr. Rabin on guitar and Mr. Markovitch on saxophone, the group makes every show different.
"We change the set from night to night," Mr. Rabin said. "Almost all of our songs have a jazz structure, so there's a lot of room for improvisation built into the song. That way, it doesn't get old from the band's perspective or the audience's perspective either."
Since forming in Chicago in 2007, the duo has added drummer Justyn Lawrence and bassist Jerryd Gentile. They have three albums to their name and play some 300 live shows a year.
"We've been called the busiest band in the States," Mr. Rabin said in the YouTube interview. "We're playing all the time. If you want people to get to know you, you shouldn't rely on social media and newspapers and talk shows. It's going out and playing for people and giving them an emotional experience. And if you're dedicated to what you do and you love what you do, and you love to travel and you love playing for different people every night. If you give them something that they want or need or react to, they're going to remember you and they're going to support you."
But in our phone interview, I challenged Mr. Rabin. With so many dates in so many cities, can they ever stop to appreciate where they are at any given moment?
"Yeah, sometimes we have to play the show and drive the whole night over to the next one, so you don't really get to see the city," he said. "But we've played Pittsburgh a number of times and we love being in Pittsburgh. We've had your Primanti Brothers sandwiches.
"There's a real sense of community. People are really into the sports teams and they're very proud to be from Pittsburgh. It's a special place."
Perhaps, with another overnight stay here, the guys will be able to get to know us even better.
For those of you interested in getting to know them, you can go to marbinmusic.com. Or you can catch them live -- which they prefer -- for no cover charge.
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If you have a suggestion for something to do some evening, let us know about it and we'll see if we can get some of our friends to join you. Contact Dan Majors at
First Published July 31, 2012 3:48 pm