Interview with Joe Marcinek – Performing at Southgate House Revival on 11/15, Madison Live on 12/3


Joe Marcinek (Solo Set)
Southgate House Revival, 111 E 6th St, Newport, KY
Free, 9:30pm show

Joe Marcinek Band (Jason Hann, Reed Mathis, Holly Bowling)
Madison Live, 734 Madison Ave, Covington, KY
8pm doors, 9pm show, 18+, $15, Buy Tickets

Joe Marcinek Band is an ever evolving mixture of original compositions and incredible musicians. Each show has a slightly different lineup and interpretation. The music is a blend of jazz and funk with a cerebral emphasis on groove and improvisation. Joe Marcinek Band is an ever evolving mixture of original compositions and incredible musicians. Each show has a slightly different lineup and interpretation. The music is a blend of jazz and funk with a cerebral emphasis on groove and improvisation.

Recently the Joe Marcinek Band performed for former president Bill Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative at the Field Museum in Chicago. The group has featured many prominent guests including Bernie Worrell, Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident, Eoto) Erik “Jesus” Coomes (Lettuce) Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band) Mike Greenfield (Lotus) Borahm Lee (Break Science) Steve Molitz (Phil Lesh and Friends, Particle) Joey Porter (the Motet, Juno What) Fareed Haque, Scott Metzger, Nate Werth (Snarky Puppy) Garrett Sayers (the Motet) Allie Kral (Yonder Mountain String Band) Freekbass, and more!

Cincy Groove: When did you realize that you were going to focus on music as a driving force in your life?

Joe Marcinek: There was a few key points in my life. After taking a Music Theory class in High School I realized that I wanted to go to college for music. Then after graduating I got a job at a corporate music shop and realized that life was not for me.

Cincy Groove: Why did you decide to have a revolving door of musicians play with you instead of a regular lineup?

Joe Marcinek: I play in another band where it’s a set lineup. So this band I wanted to do something different. Plus my drummer Pete Koopmans had moved back home in the fall of 2011. I was booking gigs with him and hiring a bass player and keyboardist. The guys we had also played in other bands so the lineup kept changing. That did offer us the opportunity to play with some really great musicians but we couldn’t always get the same people. So when we stated playing Chicago and away from Northwest Indiana we started using musicians from Chicago. As the band started playing other cities and doing multiple gigs in a row we were able to fly in artists from all over the country.

Cincy Groove: I know this is a hard question, but who have been some of your favorite artists you have played with?

Joe Marcinek: I’ve loved every lineup JMB has done so it’d be hard to pick my favorite because each one is so unique. But there are a few who have played with us more than once. Steve Molitz (Particle, Phil Lesh and Friends) was the first bigger guest I had out and has probably done over 20 gigs with us. So there is a certain vibe that he brings that I really enjoy. Jason Hann has only done one run with us but he was so much fun and brought this great energy. Playing with Vinnie and Jim from Mor was really amazing too. Just to turn around and realize I’m playing with Moes rhythm section. But probably the highlight of my musical life was having Bernie Worrell out. We actually got to do 2 runs with him. Unbelievable!!!!

Cincy Groove: What has been some of your more interesting or unique experiences you have had on the road?

Joe Marcinek: The first run we did with Bernie was pretty interesting. The first night we headlined a festival in Michigan and it was so good. So we were all pumped for the second night which was another outdoor festival. This time though turned out to be another story. It started raining and lightning really bad. So just as the band before us was finishing lightning struck a tree not 5 feet from the stage. Pete our drummer was walking right by it and got hit by a piece of wood from the tree splitting in half. So the Lightning ended up blowing out the power and making it impossible to play our set. Bernie will tell you his ears are still ringing.

Cincy Groove: How do you feel about the music industries current business model compared to 30 years ago?

Joe Marcinek: I just turned 30 so I can really speak on the music industry then. But for the world as I see it is a new industry. As an artist your able to bring your music directly to your audience. There’s no big advance given by a record contract so everything you make you have to earn. Music is such a huge part of everyone’s lives and we can’t imagine a world without it. So if your able to put the time in, work hard and hustle, there can be a meaningful life in this business.

Cincy Groove: How are you able to coordinate and figure out who will be in your lineup?

Joe Marcinek: The Internet has made the world a lot smaller and just about anyone is within your reach. If you take the leap of faith and just ask nine times out of ten if offered a gig a musician wants to play. That’s what we do and all we want to do. So the deciding factor usually comes down to schedules and who is available.

Cincy Groove: Since your music is mostly improvisational, do you ever rehearse?

Joe Marcinek: In the early stages of forming the band we had a few rehearsals to work out my original tunes but everything now is show up and play. If there’s a new cover with a new guest we might run over it in sound check but part of the fun is going out there and figuring it out on stage. There is this energy and everyone is paying close attention and listening to where the music wants to go and that is when the magic happens.

Cincy Groove: What other bands do you or have you played with?

Joe Marcinek:  I’ve been playing with Fresh Hops since 2008. I play keyboards with a grateful dead tribute band in Chicago named Terrapin Flyer. I try to take every gig that comes my way if possible. There’s a bunch of amazing bands out there who’d I love to play more with if I had the time.

Cincy Groove: Who would you like to perform with that you haven’t had a chance to yet?

Joe Marcinek: The first guest I reached out to was Kyle Hollingsworth from the String Cheese Incident. It hasn’t worked out yet but I still have hope! Joel from Umphreys too but his schedule is insane. Maybe one day I can get Herbie Hancock…

Cincy Groove: What shows coming up are you looking forward to?

Joe Marcinek: I’m really looking forward to December 3rd at Madison Live. I’ve heard really good things about the venue and we have an amazing lineup for that show. Jason Hann, Reed Mathis, Holly Bowling, and we are working on some other surprises for the night!