Whether he's performing music, curating art or creating pieces that tells personal stories through video, Rocco DeLuca considers himself, first and foremost, a storyteller.
"Everyone has a story to tell," the Long Beach, Calif. native suggested. "It's just a matter of finding the best way of getting the story told."
Best known for being an indie rock singer and musician, DeLuca has worked with a diverse group of artists that has included everybody from John Lee Hooker, Slash and, even, Johnny and June Carter Cash.
He will be giving a concert during Artoretum, a benefit to support the music programs at the Sioux City Conservatory of Music.
The Sioux City-based Port Nocturnal will open for DeLuca in a concert taking place from from 6 - 10 p.m. Saturday at 200 West 45th St., the home of Ron and Gia Emory, founders of the Conservatory of Music.
Prior to the concert, attendees may walk the Emory's 11-acres property and check out some large-scale sculpture from many up-and-coming artists from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Art is important to DeLuca, who said his vision has been influenced by Latino paintings, Delta Blues music and, believe it or not, Sioux City's very own El Forastero Motorcycle Club.
Motorcycles and music just go together," he said. "We both represent outlaw culture."
It seems like visual art has a way of stimulated your aural art. Would this be fair to say?
Absolutely. I've help to exhibit art shows in which many of the artists were friends of mine. I can score music that would represent each piece of art.
That's amazing. Do you dabble in art, yourself?
Yes, I do. Whenever I embark on concert tour, I'll produce movie-like trailers to promote it.
Is this what you call your "27 Transmissions" project?
Not exactly. With '27 Transmissions,' I'm working with my friend Lauren Schneider, a filmmaker. Together, we're creating a place where sound and the visual meet. For instance, one of the piece combines a drum performance with a monologue by a gentleman named Ron Arrington. Ron was a former member of the Black Panthers, who now finds himself homeless.
Talk about everyone having a story to tell. I bet (Arrington) has a powerful one, right?
I definitely think so.
Looking at the list of people who've inspired you artistically is staggering. It seems they rub the gamut from (classical musician) Pablo Casals to (record producer, guitarist and songwriter) Daniel Lanois.
You know what? I still get goosebumps when I see Daniel Lanois in concert.
If you had to choose the art medium that best represents who Rocco DeLuca is, what would it be?
For me, it all comes to the aural. I'm all about the sound and that is how I like to tell my personal story.