Hailed as “musical explorers” by Rolling Stone, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong—Ormont, fellow guitarist Jeremy Schon, bassist Ben Carrey, and drummer Alex “Gator” Petropulos—first took flight roughly a decade ago at the University of Maryland, and the band has since gone on to play more than a thousand shows across 44 states. Driven by a relentless work ethic and an ecstatic sound, the fun-loving four-piece built their reputation on epic, blissed-out concerts blending addictive funk grooves with psychedelic jams and intoxicating energy. Glide called them “a band that melts faces and pulls no punches,” while Relix praised the group as “joyous” and “dance-worthy,” and Jambase described them simply as a “powerhouse.” Acting as their own independent label, the quartet released four studio albums prior to Presto (including their most recent record, 2017’s widely-acclaimed Pizazz) and racked up more than twenty million streams on Spotify alone. They quickly became festival favorites, too, performing everywhere from Bonnaroo to Electric Forest to Jazz Fest and welcoming top-tier sit-ins along the way from Marcus King and Karl Denson along with members of Vulfpeck, The Revivalists, Umphrey’s McGee and The String Cheese Incident among others. Fueled by their rabid fanbase, known colloquially as The Flock, the band closed out 2019 with some of their biggest headline shows yet, topping it all off with a triumphant New Year’s Eve bash at North Carolina’s ExploreAsheville.com Arena.
In 2016, Karina joined Marco Benevento’s band on bass, replacing Dave Dreiwitz (Ween /Joe Russo’s Almost Dead). In the many U.S. tours, trips to Japan and the UK since then, Karina has developed a permanent and powerful presence in the band, playing headlining shows, festival sets, and opening for bands such as Vulfpeck, Dispatch, The Claypool Lennon Delirium, Guster, and many more.
Aside from her gigs with Benevento, Karina’s musical résumé has almost grown too large to keep track of, but includes highlights we’d be remiss to exclude: a performance on the Today Show with Julia Michaels, a now-famous soundcheck at Madison Square Garden with Phish, playing in the backing band (in front of Howard Stern and co. at Radio City Music Hall) on America’s Got Talent with a flame-spewing helmet on her head, gigs with the Everyone Orchestra alongside members of moe., The Disco Biscuits, Soulive, Robert Randolph, + many more) and finally, the formation of her own band.
Karina put out two singles in 2019: Plants and Elevator, as well as two more in 2020 (City Kids & Dirty South) – the songs have garnered six-figure streaming numbers + air time on Satellite radio. A few live highlights include opening for Khruangbin at The Capitol Theatre, playing moe.down and Hulaween, and a plethora of headlining shows for ravenous fans. The group has welcomed special guests including Nels Cline, Robert Walter, Skerik, + more. And this is just the beginning for the young NYC-based bassist.