A Dynamic Duo, on and Off the Stage

It was via music, not motion, that Julie Benko and Jason Yeager first launched themselves as a married couple to their 107 pals and members of the family. After their June 5 ceremony in New York’s Hudson Valley, the bride and groom carried out “Always,” a music Ms. Benko wrote for Mr. Yeager in the first few months they had been relationship. They finally made their strategy to the dance ground, as soon as their band picked up the tune. But it was essential, they stated, to kick off the festivities with what first introduced them collectively.

“I think really the foundation of our relationship was our friendship and our passion for music and making music together,” Mr. Yeager, a pianist and composer, stated.

The couple have really been a efficiency pair longer than they’ve been a romantic merchandise. When they met, at a Starbucks in Manhattan in 2013, Ms. Benko, an actor and singer, was in want of a piano participant to accompany her at a gig. She overheard Mr. Yeager, who earned a grasp’s diploma in music from the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, interviewing with another person by cellphone and determined, with attribute aplomb, to strategy him.

At the time, Ms. Benko was nursing a damaged coronary heart and wasn’t trying to date. Mr. Yeager felt in another way. He rapidly wrote a love music about their first encounter, “Smiled First,” for his 2014 album “Affirmation.” Luckily, this discrepancy didn’t stymie their inventive connection. They met recurrently throughout this era to play Broadway present tunes and choices from the Great American Songbook collectively as pals.

It took a couple of yr of informal jam classes for Ms. Benko, a graduate of N.Y.U.’s Master of Fine Arts appearing program, to rethink her place. Unfortunately, by that point Mr. Yeager, 34, was unavailable.

Credit…Jörg Windau for Windau Photography

“I went to tell him, I went to one of his gigs with a friend,” stated Ms. Benko, 32. “And I discovered at that gig that he had just started dating someone else.” A few weeks later, she mustered the braveness to share her emotions anyway and quickly after the two grew to become a pair.

The elevated intimacy, which multiplied exponentially once more after they grew to become engaged in 2018, solely improved and expanded their capacity to collaborate. Since embarking on their relationship, they’ve labored on a number of initiatives collectively. These included a cabaret present, “Blame It On Our Youth,” which toured in 2014 in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts; Ms. Benko’s debut album; and a pandemic live performance collection.

Their virtues as a creative partnership mirror their strengths as a pair carefully sufficient that their feedback about one dimension typically sound like metaphors for the different. “Julie’s melodies are so strong that they kind of tell me what they need already in terms of chords,” Mr. Yeager stated of her songwriting, a pursuit she credit him with encouraging and influencing. “They’re there even though they’re not there yet — I just have to listen to her melodies.”

The ceremony, at FEAST at Round Hill in Washingtonville, N.Y., was officiated by Ms. Benko’s uncle, Rabbi Eric Polokoff. Afterward, in a nod to the metropolis of New Orleans, the assembled group paraded round the venue’s property behind Gotham Kings, a jazz band led by the trumpeter Alphonso Horne. “We loved the music from New Orleans, you know like Professor Longhair, Dr. John, and all this kind of second line brass band music,” Mr. Yeager stated.

For the couple and their friends, experiencing music in particular person once more was an excellent pleasure. “A lot of people were saying how healing it was to get to hear such amazing live music,” Ms. Benko stated. “It was really cathartic.”