Mario Abney

Thu, May 23 2019, 8:30pm - $10 - Tickets

Doors open at 7 pm. 

Chicago born and raised jazz trumpeter Mario Abney, now of New Orleans, fuses traditional and extended trumpet techniques in a most inventive way. His strikingly personal instrumental vision endows the music with an infinite array of tonal color. Recognized for his ability to create pure musical dialog, and hear music in a universally spiritual way, he is definitely one of New Orleans most pioneering young jazz musicians. Trumpeter, composer and bandleader Mario Abneyʼs musical career began with his introduction to the piano at age 7.

Influenced by his uncle Arthurʼs piano playing and the musical background of his church, Abneyʼs love and fascination for music grew. By age 11 Mario added drums to his musical experiences. He continued to hone his percussion skills by playing drums for his church. It was during high school years that his interest turned from piano and drums to wind instruments.

Marioʼs first experience hearing jazz was the music of trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. After jazz trumpet peaked his interest in music Mario began to absorb the music of Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and all the great trumpeters who pioneered the music. During his sophomore year Mario picked up trumpet and under the direction of John McFadden, Mike McGrath, and Phill Crews of Thornton Township High School, Mario began to focus on the trumpet.

During the weekends Marioʼs mother Ora Abney would often drive Mario his best friend and several other young musicians to the historical Chicago Jazz Landmark Fred Anderson’s The Velvet Lounge. Known for the most inspiring and creative jazz jam sessions in the nation, this is where Mario and many musicians like him self got their first experiences on the stage in a real performance. The sessions at the Velvet Lounge were key in Mario and many other Chicago musicians careers and musical development. Inspired by his Uncle Arthur, his experiences at church, jazz trumpet recordings and the
sessions at The Velvet Lounge Mario set his sights on a career in music.

With a band scholarship in hand, Mario attended Central State University, Ohio, majoring in Music Education with a minor in jazz studies. “During my college years I became involved in the jazz scene in Dayton playing trumpet in several professional ensembles such as the Afro-Cuban Jazz ensemble, Babalu, the Chicago based House of Twang, The Afro-Rican Ensemble, SYM, and several other ensembles.

In 2001, after several years of playing as a side man Abney was inspired to lead his own Quintet. During a performance at the Dayton RiverWalk festival in 2007 Mario became interested in going to New Orleans after hearing the Hot 8 Brass Band perform. By spring of 2008 Abney and two members from his quintet moved to New Orleans to absorb its rich musical culture and become part of the music scene. During the first year of his residency in the Crescent City, Mario was invited to perform with renowned artists Charmaine Neville, Ellis Marsalis, Delfpheo Marsalis, Irving Mayfield, Bill Summers, George Porter Jr. and many other outstanding New Orleans musicians.

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