Riverhead jazz guitar player Matt Marshak describes his style as an eclectic mix of blues, soul and groove. So it’s only fitting that Rhythm & Home, the new 70-piece collection he helped inspire and collaborated on with Pulaski Furniture of North Carolina, embodies these themes.
“Basically, they took my music and translated it to furniture terms and designs,” Marshak said last month. “This was a really cool vehicle to bring my music to a wider audience.”
Marshak, 42, was playing with his four-piece band at the 2013 Downtown Jazz summer music festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., where Pulaski Furniture president Page Wilson happened to catch one of his performances. Evidently inspired by what he heard, Wilson soon approached the Long Island native, who released his eighth album last year, about collaborating on a furniture line.
“As an artist, you get approached for lots of offers and ideas and people generally, in the spur of the moment, talk a lot,” Mr. Marshak said. “But I soon realized, when [Wilson] said ‘We’ll fly you down here,’ that it was legitimate.”
In October 2013, Marshak traveled to Pulaski Furniture’s headquarters in High Point, N.C., to discuss his vision for what would eventually become Rhythm & Home.
“We exchanged ideas, they sent me renderings and it blew me away,” he said. “It was beyond my expectations.”
Musically, Marshak’s mark is everywhere in the furniture, which became available at retailers around the country this month. On Long Island, the line is sold at Furniture Plus in Westbury.
“We are pleased to be partnering with Matt Marshak for our Rhythm & Home furniture collection,” Mary-Price Furr, Pulaski Furniture’s vice president of marketing, said in a statement. “Rhythm & Home brings a unique medley of casual living and easy lifestyle to today’s homes. And, like Matt and his music, it has a fresh and fluid mix of contemporary and urban styling.”
The collection includes a nightstand designed to resemble a “vintage tube guitar amplifier,” Marshak said, and an accent chest features the “flame top” look of a classic Les Paul. The hardware on one of the dressers was inspired by the bridge of an electric guitar, he said.
“They’re truly unique pieces for anybody, but especially for a musician or guitar player to have in their home,” Marshak said.
The Rhythm & Home line offers two collections: Modern Harmony, which is made with walnut veneers and has walnut finishes, and Vintage Tempo, which is made with primavera veneers and features low-sheen charcoal finishes. There are about 35 pieces in each collection, including bedroom sets, dining room tables, nightstands and armchairs.
Marshak, who played at the Dubai International Jazz Festival and was one of Santana’s opening acts last year, thinks of his furniture collaboration as “throwing good energy out into the universe.”
“I tell up-and-coming musicians that whether it’s five people or 5,000, you should put on the same show with the same energy and the same attention, because you never know who’s in the audience,” he said.