Born: September 1, 1985 Primary Instrument: Piano
Max Haymer, 23, was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He began his classical piano studies at the age of seven and was introduced to jazz piano at the age of 14. He continued to study both classical and jazz through high school and won numerous awards playing music from Bach to Stravinsky and Copland (who continue to influence his jazz playing).
Max was awarded the Bill Green Scholarship from the L.A. Jazz Society in 2002 and was a finalist in the inaugural Horace Silver Piano Competition in 2003. In 2005, Max won second prize in the Montreux Jazz Festival Solo Jazz Piano Competition in Switzerland. Because of this, this past January he was able to participate in a master class with Kenny Werner at IAJE in New York, and perform at Dizzy's at Jazz at Lincoln Center. In May 2006, Max was named a Future Star by the Orange County Performing Arts Center receiving a scholarship and a performance at Founder's Hall.
Max received his Bachelor of Music degree as a Jazz Performance major at the University of California at Irvine, where he studied piano with Kei Akagi and worked with Darek Oles, Bobby Rodriguez and Charles Owens. Max has performed with numerous artists such as Ernie Andrews, Justo Almario, Andrew Heringer, Brian Swartz, Munyungo Jackson, and Barbara Morrison. He continues private studies with Tamir Hendelman in Los Angeles. Max has also acted as assistant musical director for the UC Irvine main stage musicals, Kiss Me Kate and Seussical, and was Musical Director for Urinetown the Musical in June 2007 . This Fall, Max was the Musical Director for Musical Theatre of Connecticut's John and Jen.
Max appeared with Dr. Bobby Rodriguez at the Watts Jazz Festival last October, appeared with Concord recording artist Erin Boheme in Orlando, Florida. Max also performed with Dr. Rodriguez at the Luckman Theatre for a Latin Jazz Christmas. In 2006, Max debuted his own trio at Catalina Bar and Grill as a part of their Young Artists series, and was asked to perform there again for Buddy Collette's 85th Birthday.
In 2008, Max came out with his debut album Pickpocket Witness, which is available at CDBaby and itunes.
Awards:2nd Prize at 2005 Montreux Jazz Festival Solo Piano Competition OCPAC Tomorrow's Rising Stars Winner 2003 Horace Silver Piano Competition Finalist 2007 Phillips Jazz Piano Competition Finalist
Los Angeles-born pianist Max Haymer may not be familiar to you, after all the young 22 year old musician does not have much of a discography. If the music on Pickpocket Witness is any indication of what we can expect from Haymer in the future, then prepare to brace yourself because you're for a treat. Offering a repertoire of original contemporary jazz presented in a dynamic straight ahead fashion, Haymer performs like a wild man on the keys pounding them into submission on the title tune and demonstrating his piano chops in style.
Performing with a trio that include bassist Nick Schaadt and drummer Cale Giachello, the group play seven exciting new charts starting off with the riveting “No Dice” where the pianist quickly establishes himself leading the music and playing in a crisp lighting speed mode that grabs your attention from beginning to end. Haymer is essentially an assertive player but also displays a lighter side as found on his beautiful ballad “Silver Dawn,” a soft cushy number that Haymer treats with tenderness as drummer Giachello uses the brushes.
Other highlights on this dynamic recording include the sophisticated “Asymmetry,” “Groove Sensei” where bassist Schaadt takes his turn in the spot light with some nice bass line work, “Webs” an intricate piece of music that challenges the listener and finally “Goodnight” one of the lighter jazz numbers that features the pianist for one final time leaving a lasting impression.
I was quite taken by the music of Pickpocket Witness and even more impressed by young Max Haymer, a gifted jazz pianist and star in the making. The album is a clear winner worth repeated spins guaranteed to please critics and audiences alike.
Year: 2008 Label: Mac Swell Music