On the top of the Leroy Collins Parking Garage, after classes are over and the sun has begun to set, the real show begins. Local bands take advantage of the parking garage’s accessibility and use the top floor as a practice space.
The band Green Haven practices at the Collins Parking Garage due to its central location for all the bands’ members: Austin Burdi and Nick Rovello on guitar, Andres Hernandez on bass, Justin Bruno on vocals and Luca Canalungo on drums.
Bassist Andres Hernandez, a sophomore majoring in psychology, formed the experimental rock band alongside the other members two and a half years ago.
“Writing, recording and performing original music with my best friends is one of the most important and rewarding things to me,” Hernandez said. “It lets me put all my creativity into different kinds of creative outlets with other similar working minds and it’s truly amazing to me.”
Guitarist Nick Rovello, who is currently working to save money for school, agrees that music continues to impact his daily life.
“Something that I tend to really enjoy about being involved with music on a daily basis is the fact that you can connect with practically anybody through it,” Rovello said. “It truly is a universal language and there is so much potential to make an impact on your community or an individual’s life.”
The Collins Parking Garage gives the band inspiration through the perfect orange hues of sunset background. The band meets at least once a week to get the creative energies flowing.
“It’s the only place that we get to practice in the open air,” Hernandez said. “Since we start right before it gets dark we get to play right as the sun is setting, which is always a beautiful sight. Over all the garages are just a nice change of environment that gets everyone in a good mindset for a solid practice or writing session.”
According to USA Today, music can improve not only mental, but also physical health. From improving sleep quality and enhancing blood vessel function to reducing stress and elevating moods, music can do so much more than simply make a soul connection. There is no surprise college students are prone to spending hours upon hours listening to music.
Playing from the top of the campus parking garages, the music attracts wandering students to the free show.
“The environment is just great because you can meet so many new people on campus who have an appreciation for local music,” Rovello said. “As well as the fact that you can go there pretty much whenever, also the view is astounding around sunset.”
With influences ranging from Kendrick Lamar to the band Citizen, Hernandez has had quite a journey in his discovery of music.
“What got me into music was partially my dad and partially the local music scene,” Hernandez said. “Ever since I was young my dad would play me all the classics from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. The way he would react to different songs just made me grow into a deep appreciation for music.”
Similar to Hernandez, Rovello found music early in life. After his dad opened the door for Rovello’s discovery of guitar legends such as Jimi Hendrix and David Gilmour from Pink Floyd, Rovello picked up a guitar and never looked back.
“In regards to how I became a musician, it really just happened naturally at a young age as I found that I never really enjoyed trying to fit in with all the other kids when it came to playing sports or something of that nature,” Rovello said. “I just always preferred to express myself in whatever way I could so naturally I just started to gravitate towards learning guitar.”
All of the Green Haven social media platforms, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, are under the name @greenhavenband.
According to CityLab.com, the Tampa/Saint Petersburg area is in the top 25 of the nation for America’s leading areas for musicians and their industry.
With bands like Green Haven writing, recording and performing their original music on the scene, the Tampa Bay area is able to have a vibrant display of the arts. Green Haven has had gigs on and around campus, including the events ArtHouse and SummFest.