Striving Artists have arrived with an epic project including their own refreshing renditions of the timeless classic Jesus Christ Superstar: A Striving Artists Cast Recording.
Before we jump into the album, let’s allow Greg Luzitano to explain how Striving Artists came to be,
11 years ago I founded a non-profit arts company with my sister, Striving Artists Theatre Company, which produced plays, short films, and podcasts. The idea for the name was to riff on the “starving artist” cliche, but to give it more of a pro-active spin. A few years into our history as a company, we started doing holiday shows in which I would do up new arrangements of typical holiday songs to suit my own style. After three years of doing these shows, there was interest in having a recording of my arrangements, so I started a music branch of the company, kept the “Striving Artists” name as if it was a band, and put out two holiday albums (one with 50 tracks on it cause I don’t know when to say no).”
Joining forces with a hand-picked selection of talented creatives, Greg decided to have various singers take on the various roles throughout the Jesus Christ Superstar story.
Our cast for this well thought out cover album includes Luzitano as Jesus, James Turner as Judas, Jenn Luzitano as Mary Magdalene, Jeremy Benson as Pontius Pilate, Nate Conant as Caiaphas, Matthew Condon as King Herod, Johnbarry Green as Annas, Andy LeBlanc as Peter, Carol Smolinsky as Simon, and Danielle Wood as a priest.
For the music, Nate Goncalo handled the drums and Greg took on duties of guitar, bass, piano, keyboard, and percussion. The band also featured the talented Jessica Hookway on trumpet, Emma Hookway on flute, and Abigail Dickson on violin for a few of the recordings. Greg also acted as the orchestra with his keyboard using EastWest.
Striving Artists’ refreshed and renewed rendition of this classic concept album is as epic, theatrical and jammin’ as the original release.
As I listen to the record, I imagine this crew of top notch talent having nothing but fun as they pour their all into each performance. As the story progresses, you can feel each character developing through each song.
From a production standpoint, Greg Luzitano is a busy man with an undeniably awesome work ethic. He receives major kudos and respect for taking on a project as big as this and doing a fantastic job at paying tribute to the original without taking away from it’s original glory.
If anything, Greg has reminded us that timeless music is…well…timeless!