Local band thinks ‘Outside the Box’

By Katie Engell
February 5, 2009

Megan Pellegrino

known as Outside the Box, consumes most of the time of one of Cabrini’s most artistic students. Francis Valentino is a sophomore communication major.

If Valentino is not in class or doing schoolwork, he can often be found working with his band as a skilled drummer.

Valentino has been playing the drums for 12 years and meshes perfectly with the other members of the increasingly popular band.

His band members include guitarist and singer Jeff Cafone, New York University, keyboardist Mark Masefield, Boston Architectural School, and bassist Warren Thieleman, City College of New York.

“My main interest is music, but I don’t want to underestimate the value of a college degree,” Valentino said. “Sometimes it’s difficult to focus on school knowing I’d much rather be spending time working with the band.”

Cabrini plays host to students with a variety of interests and talents.

Many of these students express themselves on and off campus as a way of promoting their individual abilities. Musicians of all kinds can be found around Cabrini’s campus.

They all share the similar dream of musical success.

Even though the band members of Outside the Box don’t attend schools that are close in proximity, they still manage to come together quite often.

Valentino’s band members share the same mentality and understanding that school needs to come first, even if music is their passion.

He and his band members sometimes play three shows per week and somehow find time to practice.

“School and music are equally important to me, but I would love to make a career out of my favorite hobby,” Thieleman said.

Outside the Box is a blues-based American rock band from the Jersey Shore. They play year- round and have recently opened for or shared the bill with artists such as Johnny Winter and several members of Conan O’Brien’s Late Night Band.

A few other of their recent highlights include opening for Southside Johnny, a blues rock legend, at the Count Basie Theater in New Jersey. The band also shared the bill with rock legends Gov’t Mule this past July.

Gov’t Mule is made up of members of the Allmans Brother’s Band and various other legendary musicians.

In the summer of 2008, Outside the Box also had the opportunity to hold the house band slot at the famous Stone Pony Club in Asbury Park, N.J., where Bruce Springsteen began his career.

“The best experience for the band was being on stage with Southside Johnny. This proved to us that we’re capable of playing with musicians of a high caliber. It was a really great moment,” Valentino said.

The band plans to have another busy year of performing and recording.

In February of this year, Outside the Box will be traveling to Memphis, Tenn. for a show at B.B. King’s Blues Club. They will be competing in a national blues competition amongst other rising artists.

Plans are also in the works for a full-length album, which should be out sometime before the summer.

“I’m very happy about the direction the band is going. I’m hoping and I’m starting to really believe that the future will hold great opportunities that we will definitely take advantage of,” Masefield said.

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Katie Engell

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