Carmen Rubino - Bio
“The important thing is to find a road that feels right and leads toward your destiny, and then to make the journey special, because it is just as important as the destination.” ~Carmen Rubino
Carmen was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, and has had a strong love of music all his life. His mother told stories of him as an infant crawling closer to the stereo speakers to better hear the music. “When my father was born, his father bought a player baby grand piano for him, ironically, He never played the piano. My siblings took some piano lessons on it, but it did not get played much until I was ten and I started learning". At 16 he began to compose original pieces and explore creatively.
As a teenager, Carmen became entranced with progressive-rock, including Emerson Lake & Palmer, Yes, Genesis, the Moody Blues and Kansas. Two of the primary musical influences in his life were Jethro Tull and the band Renaissance.
“Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull was a huge inspiration and gave me a real love for the sound of a flute. Ian has been inspirational in developing me as a song writer and composer.”
While still in high school, Carmen would hitchhike several times a week to the University of Buffalo, which had a distinguished music school and a group of practice rooms with a Steinway piano in each one. Whenever one of the rooms was free, Carmen would immediately jump in and practice his original music.
“I would hear what the students there were practicing and I tried to copy what they were doing. I started honing my skills and learning music theory.” Carmen also met with a music professor at Buffalo State College who "asked me to identify a series of notes that were played on the piano. I correctly identified them from across the room, and he stated that I have a rare gift called perfect pitch". He then encouraged Carmen to continue pursuing music composition.
“Once when I was practicing piano at University of Buffalo, a woman told me my original music reminded her of Renaissance. The next week she gave me three of their albums; "Prologue" "Ashes Are Burning" and "Scheherazade", I instantly fell in love with their music. These musical acts represent a life-long love affair for me, and they inspired me to want to write more and more music.”
After high school Carmen put together a prog-rock band, EKTRA (Eternity Keeps Time Reaching After), which only played original material. The band members included John Barcelona on Drums, Steve Schiavi on Guitar and Chris Noto on Bass; son of world renowned jazz trumpet virtuoso, Sam Noto. The band played at bars, restaurants and jazz clubs throughout Western New York State, and made several recordings. Rubino also performed solo over the years, at many different venues. At the urging of life-long friend, and legendary broadcaster Lenny Rico, of Casa Rico, often improvising on the piano
Carmen’s musical explorations continued with classical. “I listened to a vast array of classical music, and especially loved anything from the baroque period. My favorites would have to be Bach, and Beethoven. Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’, has always been particularly moving to me”
After further broadening to include a variety of jazz-rock-fusion artists such as Chick Corea, Stanley Clark, Jean-Luc Ponty and Al DiMeola, Carmen has, more recently, been exploring the world of new age music and found Yanni and Secret Garden to be the most influential. He listens to a wide range of artists from Jim Brickman to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and styles from Celtic to modern-classical.