Outlet for the Arts opens in Torrington

Chaz Devito, owner of The Outlet for the Arts.
Chaz Devito, owner of The Outlet for the Arts.

TORRINGTON — Music is the blood for Chaz Devito, who grew up with an obsession with getting the perfect sound.

“Since I was born I have been always playing with people, it’s just that music is something I have been doing since forever,” Devito said. “I learned guitar when I was 10 years old. Windsor, where I grew up, has a great high school music program. We had a recording techniques class that I took part in during the whole time I was there.”

By the time he graduated from high school, Devito pursued audio engineering at SAE Institute in New York. From there, he went to Manhattan and worked at several different music studios.

He eventually started his first studio, The Outlet Recording Studio, in Windsor Locks and operated it for a year until his landlord sold the studio building.

“But then I found this former church building at 59 Barber Street that was up for sale,” Devito said. “I was also looking at another building up for sale in Enfield, but the sale didn’t work out. I was so discouraged from the whole real estate process, but I sat and watched this church for a while. Nobody was doing anything with it. So I came along and looked at it, met a real estate agent and the rest is history.”

The former church building was built in 1886 and this is where Devito has started The Outlet for The Arts.

“One of the many things that attracted me to this church is when I first walked into the basement and took a tour down there,” he said. “When I walked up the stairs and I started hearing the footsteps just echo through the church, it was the best thing for a sound guy and a musician to hear.”

Devito has set up a full set of instruments on stage and also has set up two professional mixers to record live performances.

“I plan on having a lot of things here, including album release parties, concerts, intimate shows,” he said. “To me, live music is very important. Everybody loves live music. There just aren’t enough venues and outlets to perform around here. You have a lot of musicians around and they struggle to find somebody to let them perform. Some of the places around the state are too big to sustain small music. When you have musicians who are trying to grow and start from scratch, it’s tough. You have theaters that seat 1,500 people. It’s hard for a young artist to come in and fill 1,500 seats.”

Devito said that he chose Torrington to open up a studio and concert venue because he has a history with the area.

“I used to work at the Warner Theater and started doing sound there when I moved back from New York,” he said. “I used to drive regularly from Windsor to Torrington to work there. But also, I just love Torrington’s downtown area. I think the music scene is great, but it has slowed down over the past few years. But the art scene is starting to boom and that is a great thing. When it comes to this part of the state, I tell people that, to me, Torrington is the Northampton of Connecticut. It just needs to grow a little bit more and get a little bit more exposure. That’s because people don’t travel here a lot. People that I know from back home tell me that 45 minutes is very far away from me. But, people will drive for two hours to New York to see a concert. I think we just need more entertainment that’s worth it for people to take a drive to see.”

Devito added that there will also be art showcases and other arts-related events at the Outlet.

“It’s not just music here, it’s going to be a true Outlet for the Arts,” Devito said.

For more information go to theoutletforthearts.com

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