COMMON KNOWLEDGE is a Chicago-based harp and guitar duo. Since 2013, harpist Michael Maganuco and guitarist Alex Sokol have provided live ambient entertainment for a wide variety of special events including cocktail receptions, dinner parties, weddings, and galas. Their diverse musical style is a blend of traditional Jazz, Brazilian, Classical, and Popular Contemporary. They have performed at venues across Chicagoland including The Museum of Broadcast Communications, Chicago Botanic Garden, The Peninsula Hotel, Salvage One, Venue SIX10, Lacuna Lofts, Michigan Shores Club, and Sepia Restaurant. Common Knowledge specializes in creating unique and sophisticated musical environments customized to each private event.
Michael Maganuco currently performs as principal harpist of Evanston Symphony, Dubuque Symphony, and Lakeview Orchestra. He has previously performed with Civic Orchestra of Chicago, New World Symphony, New England Philharmonic, and at summer music festivals including Tanglewood Music Center, Chautauqua Institute, and Eastern Music Festival. Michael is also a published composer and arranger. His original solo harp composition, Awakening Stillnesses, was recorded by French harpist, Agnès Clément, on her debut solo album, Dance. Michael has arranged extensively for the harp, as well. His collection of Astor Piazzolla tango arrangements can be heard on Ann Hobson Pilot's album, Escualo, released by Harmonia Mundi. Michael graduated summa cum laude from Boston University with Bachelor’s degrees in harp performance and composition, and earned his Master’s degree in harp performance from Northwestern University.
Alex Sokol is a musician and visual artist born and raised in Glencoe, IL. He studied Audio Design and Production at Columbia College Chicago and after graduating began working for Blue Man Group as a Sound Engineer in 2012. Alex now performs in Blue Man Group as a Chapman Stick/Bass player and around the city in a variety of contexts including as a soloist (guitar/vocals), in his hard-rock project SOKOL, and as a guitarist in harp/guitar duo Common Knowledge. He also produces music, sound design, and video for local bands and artists, as well as for film and commercials.