Carl Restivo is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, record producer, audio engineer and music instructor. A graduate of New York University, Restivo moved from New York City to Los Angeles in 2006 to work as the Music Director of the School of Rock in Hollywood, California. Restivo has built a solid resume with some of music’s big names and has written tons of music for video games, TV and movies.
In 2016, Restivo and Marisa Gariano opened the Paramount Academy of Music, a non-profit music school in Studio City, CA that focuses on developing and coaching young artists, songwriters, and musicians of all genres. Along with Marisa‘s husband Rodger Gariano, the team shares the vision of wanting build a new strong music community and to encourage and embrace creativity with kids to learn to write their own songs. “We provide a very positive and fun, as well as super-serious, environment for the kids to thrive.”
Saturday’s show will showcase small groups of young men and women performing the music of Tom Petty, Iron Maiden, and Janet Jackson, with special guest Nuno Bettencourt performing on “Black Cat” – a song that he actually played for Janet Jackson in 1990. Restivo filled in for bassist Pat Badger in 2004 for an Extreme tour in Portugal and later with Satellite Party in 2007. Carl and Nuno have also done countless charity shows and jams over the years.
This Saturday’s performance marks the first time the academy has worked with a choreographer, Christina Chandler, who has toured with Rihanna, Pharell, Taylor Swift, and many more. “The kids devoured the choreography and we are excited to unveil it Saturday.”
The Songwriting Program will feature kids performing their original songs in between each set. “These kids have had songwriting lessons and will perform the song they have been writing the last few months. I worked with a student named Jesse Bergen, who performs regularly around the Los Angeles area with his original band Diabology, and is rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with at PAM.”
The eclectic mix of music will also include some Alternative Rock, some “Sweet Crooner” songs, and more diverse genres.
The “Future Pro” band will also bring down the house with some Zappa, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, R.E.M. and The Dead Milkmen.
The school doesn’t want any musically talented child who wants to get better at their instrument or as an artist or songwriter to be turned away because their family can not afford to send them to their school. There is a scholarship program in place to make sure that donations and funds raised (including the funds raised at this and other upcoming shows) go directly to the kids in need, in order to attend the school.
Restivo is most proud of the kids who “take music seriously and are ravenous for musical knowledge and eat songs for breakfast lunch and dinner. Our scholarship program is also something I’m extremely grateful for. Kids who can’t afford to come can get financial aid. That’s huge.”
As the school continues to grow, they are not losing the “intimate, small school feel. The faculty knows all the students and parents and are building a community that will be around for a long time.”
The soft-spoken and humble Restivo has been Tom Morello’s right hand man for the last 10 years. He has been working on his upcoming solo project that should be coming out very soon. “Not only did he trust me enough to sing and play on his album, but also produce certain songs. You will hear the result soon. Whatever he needs, I have his back, whether it’s musically or as a friend. As a huge Rage Against The Machine fan, working with him has been nothing short of an absolute pleasure.”