Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Mario Abney 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 dialogue, Mario is one of Ohio's hidden jazz treasures. Trumpeter Mario Abney, originally from Chicago, Ill, began his musical career with the piano at age 7. By the age of 11 Mario added drums to his musical training. He continued to hone his percussion skills by playing drums for his church. It was during High School that his interest turned from piano and drums to wind instruments. I've always loved playing instruments, it was just something that seemed to come naturally for me.
Mario credits trumpeter Wynton Marsalis with setting him on the path he would follow unto this very day. I heard a song by Wynton Marsalis from the Tune In Tomorrow soundtrack and I was hooked, I knew the trumpet was my instrument. Ironically is was Wynton himself who later believed in Mario so much that he gave him his first professional grade trumpet. Under the direction of Phill Crews and Mike McGrath of Thornton Township High School, Mario began to focus on the Trumpet. Inspired by his Uncle Arthur, Mario set his sights on college and 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, and the Demolition Crew Reggae/SKA band. I also played drums and Trumpet for the famed Serious Young Musicians (SYM). It became apparent that Mario was well on his way to making his dreams come true as we won the Outstanding Sololist award at the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival in 1997 and 1999-2001. He was a finalist at the 1996 ACT-SO competition in the category of music composition, a member of the 2004 Historically Black College and Universities All Star Jazz Ensemble featured at their IAJE convention, and a member of SYM when they won the talent search at the famed Apollo Theater in 2005.
His career has moved quickly since graduating from Central state in 2005 with a B.S in Music Education and a minor in Jazz Studies. I have had the fortunate experiences of sharing the stage with Latin percussionist Bobby Matos, vocalist Erikah Badu, trumpeter virtuoso Wynton Marsalis, trumpeter Roy Hargrove, jazz legend Jimmy Cobb, jazz steel pan master Othello Molineux, trumpeter Ray Vega, trumpeter Mike Wade, comic genius Dave Chappelle and many other note worthy performers and entertainers.
As a professional, Mario is currently the trumpeter for the internationally known Rolando Matias Afro-Rican Ensemble, the G Scott Jones Freedom Ensemble and his very own Mario Abney Quintet. Mario's debut Spiritual Perception EP gives the listener an insight into the deep grooves and emotion behind his music. Designed as a worship experience, the 5 tracks give snapshots of the supernatural from various viewpoints.