Most music festivals are either built around a genre, like Electric Zoo’s EDM, or a location, like Coachella’s setting in the California desert. Last year, when Greenwich Village music venue SubCulture opened, it launched with a festival built around a single instrument: the piano.
That festival was focused on jazz. This year’s SubCulture PianoFest is casting a much wider net. It lasts more than two weeks and features 14 performances including pop singer Edwin McCain, jazz pianist Ted Rosenthal, classically trained EDM collaborator Evan Duffy and Macklemore duet partner Mary Lambert.
amNY spoke with Marc Kaplan, who co-founded SubCulture with his brother Steven.
Where did the idea for PianoFest come from?
The idea came from the fact that both my brother and I loved the piano. We have an amazing piano here from Steinway at SubCulture, and there’s so much that can be done on the piano.
How did you develop your love of the piano?
My brother took lessons as a kid. We had a piano in our house growing up. It was just an instrument that spoke to us. Where a lot of people listened to music with guitars, we listened to rock where the piano was prevalent.
Is there a dream pianist you’d like to see at the fest?
I’d love to see Billy Joel come to SubCulture and play. Billy Joel, Herbie Hancock and Bruce Hornsby. That’d be good.