The Inventions trio brings together the talents of a marvelously gifted cellist and two classically trained masters of jazz and improvisation to present programs that explore the intersection of chamber music and jazz, performing fresh interpretations of classical and jazz themes as well as original works such as Bill Mays’ “Fantasy for Cello, Trumpet, and Piano.” Inventions grew out of Mays’ and Stamm’s long association and duo work together, and the commission of Bill Mays’ three-movement “Fantasy for Cello, Trumpet & Piano,” which resulted in the recording of the trio’s critically acclaimed CD, Fantasy in 2007. The trio’s second CD, The Delaware River Suite, was recorded and released in 2008.
The Inventions Trio is a new perspective on both art forms. Stamm, Mays, and Horn find the chamber music in jazz and the jazz in chamber music. Combining their experiences, these three musicians not only share their music, but also speak to the audience about the art and craft of what they do and how they do it. In this way, they bring the listener into the process as a participant, showing what it means to be alive in both traditions.
Improvisation is the heart of jazz, just as it was a central part of European classical music for centuries. Bach and Mozart paved the way for every great jazz master to assert a unique voice. Have you ever wondered what a conversation between Johann Sebastian Bach and Charlie Parker would be like? We'll never know what they might have said to each other, but we can hear their dialogue in music. In Mays’ words, “Whether playing Borodin or Bird, Bach or bop, the aim is to make the music come alive in a new way, find great melodies, be true to the composer’s underlying harmonic scheme, let the music swing, listen intently, play honestly, always honoring the rich traditions from which we’re drawing and building upon.”
Trumpeter Marvin Stamm, pianist Bill Mays, and cellist Alisa Horn impart a different perspective to the music of composers like Rachmaninoff, Debussy, and Borodin with the melding together of classical music and jazz. Performing this rich repertoire, the trio illuminates the elements that audiences from all genres treasure, sharing their music from the stages of clubs, concert halls, festivals, and performing arts centers throughout the world. Bill Mays, Alisa Horn, and Marvin Stamm explore and give new life to this wide and wonderful world of music.
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Marvin Stamm is a graduate of the well known North Texas Lab Band program. Upon graduation, Marvin joined the Stan Kenton Orchestra for two years, serving as trumpet soloist. After working for a period in Reno, Nevada, show bands, Marvin joined the Woody Herman Orchestra, touring the U. S. and traveling extensively abroad to Europe and Africa. Marvin moved to New York City in 1966 where he spent twenty-three years as a major New York City studio musician, recording with many of the major Jazz and popular artists. During this time, Marvin was also a member of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, the Duke Pearson Big Band, and the American Jazz Orchestra led by pianist/composer John Lewis. He also performed for a period with singer Frank Sinatra and with the Benny Goodman Septet. Eschewing the studio scene in 1990, Marvin currently travels much of the year as a Jazz artist with the Marvin Stamm Quartet, the Marvin Stamm/Bill Mays Duo, and the Inventions Trio. He also appears as soloist with symphony orchestras and performs as a member of the George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band and the Westchester Jazz Orchestra. Marvin has also been involved in Jazz education for many years and spends a good deal of time working with young musicians. Current CDs are By Ourselves - the Marvin Stamm/Bill Mays Duo; The Stamm/Soph Project; The Stamm/Soph Project - Live at Birdland; Alone Together - The Marvin Stamm Quartet.
Bill Mays' artistry is beyond category. With deep roots in jazz, gospel, pop, and classical music Bill’s eclectic career as a pianist, composer and arranger spans more than four decades. Bill has performed on hundreds of recordings, and his concert and recording credits include work with artists as diverse as Ron Carter, Al Cohn, Buddy DeFranco, Benny Golson, Freddie Hubbard, Al Jarreau, Barry Manilow, Shelly Manne, Red Mitchell, Gerry Mulligan, Art Pepper, Bud Shank, Frank Sinatra, Sonny Stitt, Toots Thielemans, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Sarah Vaughan, Phil Woods and Frank Zappa.
Bill’s Hollywood years before moving to New York included keyboard work on numerous movie soundtracks and TV shows, among them Adaptation, Annie, Being John Malkovich, Fargo, Frida, Fur, Gremlins, Interview With The Vampire, Rocky, Sleepless In Seattle, and Superman.
Much respected for his compositional and arranging talents Bill has written saxophone quartets, suites for flute and piano, double bass and piano, music for the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Aureole chamber ensemble, the Woody Herman Band, and incidental music for TV and film. He is a recipient of grants from Meet The Composer, the N.E.A., Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, and is a Grammy nominee, a Steinway Piano Artist and PennPat roster artist. His recent work on Palmetto Records documents his long-standing piano/bass/drums trio with Martin Wind and Matt Wilson (Summer Sketches, Going Home, Live at the Jazz Standard). Palmetto also released the first Inventions Trio CD, Fantasy, featuring Bill, Marvin Stamm, and Alisa Horn and includes his “Fantasy for Cello, Trumpet, and Piano” plus other improvisations on classical themes. Inventions' second CD, The Delaware River Suite is released on the No Blooze Music label. You can learn more about Bill at billmays.net.
Alisa Horn began her cello studies at the age of four. A major inspiration in her development was Peter Spurbeck, principal cellist of the Memphis Symphony, with whom she studied. During this early period, Alisa also attended the Boston University Tanglewood Institute as a member of the Young Artists’ Orchestra, the Aspen Music Festival and School, serving as principal of the Aspen Concert Opera Orchestra, and the Meadowmount School of Music. She received her Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from the University of Michigan in 2003, studying with Anthony Elliott, and in June 2006, completed her Master of Music in Cello Performance at Northwestern University under the guidance of Hans Jensen.
While at Northwestern, Alisa was a regular member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and won second prize in the 2006 WAMSO-Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Association’s Young Artist Competition. Alisa also attended the Henry Mancini Institute, where she was appointed the orchestra’s principal cellist. Alisa and pianist Jue He recorded the Rachmaninoff and Miaskovsky Sonatas for Cello and Piano and were featured on McGraw-Hill's Young Artist Showcase on WQXR-FM in New York City; she recently performed the Miaskovsky Cello Concerto with the Oakville Chamber Orchestra of Ontario, Canada. Alisa also plays in the Broadway orchestra of the 2007 Tony Award-Winning Best Musical, “Spring Awakening.” You can learn more about Alisa at alisahorn.com.