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Rock Island Sound Celebrates 10 Years Of Making Music

Paul Bessolo of Rock Island Sound.
Paul Bessolo of Rock Island Sound. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- For 10 years, Paul Bessolo has been providing Westchester musicians with the sound and equipment they need.

Bessolo, who lives in Bronxville, is celebrating 10 years in business as owner of Rock Island Sound. Rock Island Sound is at 6 Main St. in Tarrytown and 619 Milton Road in Rye. 

A native of Argentina, Bessolo moved to the United States in 1992 to play music. He decided to go into retail and opened the location in Rye before expanding to Tarrytown six years ago. In 2012, Bessolo opened a music school at 54 Main St. in Tarrytown.

Rock Island sells instruments, picks, amplifiers, effects, everything a musician needs to rock out. 

"We also offer group lessons, private lessons and semiprivate lessons in all instruments," Bessolo said. "We even offer lessons over Skype."

Bessolo and his store have been a lifesaver for many musicians set to play a gig who realize they don't have all their equipment. Musicians performing at the Tarrytown Music Hall, including Jimmy Vaughan have often gone across the street to get what they need before a performance. 

"We recently helped out a group that was performing in Rye," Bessolo said. "They had come all the way from Texas."

When Vaughan came into the store, he taught one of Bessolo's students how to play a few guitar chords.

Having the perfect sound that everyone can hear is essential for musical success, Bessolo said.

"You can write good songs but no one will listen if the sound is bad," Bessolo said. 

Bessolo's store in Rye has survived both Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy, with an 1896 Steinway piano remaining intact through two floods.

"I love being in Rye," Bessolo said. "We have a lot of students who take lessons."

Tarrytown is a very artistic community, Bessolo said.

"They support their community and their musicians," Bessolo said.

Seeing a student learn how to play their instrument is a wonderful feeling for Bessolo.

"I love giving the passion of music to someone," Bessolo said. "Hopefully it's something they will have for the rest of their life. The gift of music is a wonderful gift."

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