Joe Buono and Tristan Clarke “started off as two guys playing toy instruments in the basement” in Jacksonville. Now, the duo is the internationally acclaimed musical act, the Melodica Men.
Buono and Clarke joined host Melissa Ross Monday on First Coast Connect for a live studio performance.
Buono and Clarke shared how the pair started playing a fun yet obscure instrument called the melodica.
“A melodica is like a cross between a keyboard and a harmonica because you have to blow into it to make the reeds inside vibrate,” Buono said.
Buono discovered this instrument at his grandfather’s house a year ago and introduced it to Clarke, who thought it was “hilarious.”
“So much fun to play, so easy,” Clarke said.
WATCH | Melodica Men perform at WJCT studios
In September 2016, their “Rite of Spring” video went viral and gained over 1.5 million views in one day, Clarke said.
“It was a crazy day, because before that the most views we had was like 4.2 thousand or something,” Clarke said. “And then after the first hour, it was around 12k and Joe and I were already freaking out.”
Clarke is a graduate of the Juilliard School and plays principal trumpet with the Jacksonville Symphony, while Buono has earned two master's degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and is currently composing and teaching.
“Find us on Facebook and Instagram,” Buono said. “Facebook is our big platform, and we have our website now.”
LISTEN | Full interview on First Coast Connect