Marbin’s jazz fusion sounds at Trolley


Marbin (L-R) Dani Rabin, Blake Jiracek, Danny Markovitch, and Jon Nadel.

By Katie Fender

The Israeli jazz fusion group Marbin is one of those bands everyone wants to be the first to discover. Marbin creates a unique type of music that when someone hears it they think, I need to tell a friend about this. It didn’t take much looking to realize that people are genuinely excited to recommend this group. They’re something of a cult sensation online. After reading people’s reactions to their music and live performances, I felt a little bit bad that I hadn’t discovered them sooner. Thankfully, word got out about Marbin and they’ve been creating albums and performing live for over a decade. For 250 days a year, Marbin takes their show on tour and some lucky people will get to be the first ones to tell their friends about this group.

Word of mouth helped make them the fusion sensation they are today. The band started with guitarist Dani Rabin and saxophonist Danny Markovitch, who met in Israel. Both grew up near each other and met in 2007 after Rabin gradated Berklee College of Music in Boston, and Markovitch had just finished his military service as an infantry sergeant in Israel. They briefly performed together in their native land before they decided to head to Chicago to pursue their music careers together. They self-released their first album, Marbin, in 2009. The name “Marbin” is a fusion of the names Markovitch and Rabin, the original members of the group. Marbin began expansive touring in 2011 and today the band consists of Rabin and Markovitch plus Blake Jiracek on drums and bassist
Jon Nadel.

Rabin describes their sound as progressive jazz/rock fusion with heavy Israeli jazz influences. Listening to their songs, there is definitely a lot of rock influence in the guitar riffs and the drums, but what makes their sound so unique is the addition of the saxophone, which creates the jazz fusion sound. Marbin has taken a “do-it-yourself” approach, as they manage themselves and write their own music and melodies. Rabin says that about once a year, they get together and sit down for about an hour to write music that will become what they use for their next album and live performances. Then they’ll repeat that process when needed. To date, the band has recorded and released eight albums.

In terms of inspiration for the writing process, hard work and a finished product is the real driving force behind what actually inspires them. “There’s this famous quote that goes, ‘Inspiration is a word invented by people who don’t have deadlines,’” said Rabin. “We’re not really one of those bands that need the perfect moonlight or the right bottle of wine, or have to wait to channel the universe. It’s a lot of elbow grease, and writing is an activity. It’s not a process of waiting. So you just write and write and write until
it’s good.”   

Marbin has toured in every state except Hawaii, and has also performed in Mexico and Colombia. Traveling has become a huge part of their success as a band as it allows them to spread the word themselves about their unique sound.  “A lot of people that go into our business, which is playing music for people, get into this mindset that you need to sit in a studio and record albums for people to listen to at home because of the popularity of recorded music CDs and downloads, but the best thing about music is going from place to place and playing music that you wrote for people,” said Rabin.

Marbin has opened for all kinds of bands and musicians, but the most memorable for Rabin was Allan Holdsworth. “That was a real experience opening for him, but I’m not too nostalgic for those days,” said Rabin. “It’s more fun to have your own performance and people.” Their hectic tour schedule is no surprise as this band is a must-see act. The passion of these guys is obvious on stage, with the guitar riffs and solos, and the jazzy sound of the saxophone mixed with the drums and bass.

For over a decade this band has been making music and performing live all across the nation making a lasting impression everywhere they go. With the internet, and an unlimited amount of music available at our fingertips, it’s refreshing to see a band build success on live performances. Marbin is a passionate band that is truly dedicated to playing live for their fans. Dayton is lucky to be hosting them again.

Marbin will be performing Friday, April 20 at 9:30 p.m. at The Trolley Stop, 530 E. 5th St., Dayton. For more information, call 937.461.1101, or visit trolleystopdayton.com. More information about Marbin can be found at their website, marbinmusic.bandcamp.com

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Reach DCP freelance writer Katie Fender at KatieFender@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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