Born: October 1, 1963 Primary Instrument: Multi-instrumentalist
An Award Winning Composer(Los Angeles Music Awards Best Jazz Album and Best Lounge Artist 2006), since 1978, Max embraces all styles of music with a keen instinct for the nuances of each genre he excels in. At the age of nine, he performed with choirs, in musicals and plays, taught himself how to read and write music by the time he was 13, and by age 14 he worked professionally playing trumpet in horn sections of bands all over L.A. and bass with members of punk band Verbal Abuse, which was a favorite of Rodney Bingenheimer. He also played with Black Flag members Sam and Henry and met and hung out with The Doors Ray Manzarek and John Doe of X and many others at the Whiskey Agogo. He is somewhere in the mosh pit shots from Penelope Spheeris' Decline of Western Civilization- The Punk Years. In 1984, Jim the Poorman Trenton and Swedish Eagel played his demo tape on KROQ when it was easier to give cool DJs your band's tape without needing to sign a mile of legal stuff!
Legendary giant Doc Severinsen was amazed and encouraged him to pursue music. Upon having looked over Max's first orchestral jazz arrangement for Jazz Orchestra, it astounded him that Max was only sixteen when he wrote it and Doc encouraged him to pursue a career in music! With further training from some of the leading jazz educators/studiomen in Los Angeles, Max went on to play and study with Gary Foster, Clare Fischer, Alan Broadbent, Bobby Bradford, Freddie Hubbard, and even wrote for the Count Basie orchestra! Dick Grove School of Music and Berklee College of Music taught him greatly the art of recording engineering and writing/arranging, respectfully, and Max was among the first pioneers in MIDI and electronic music.
From 1982 to 1994, he performed with top Jazz group, Water Colours, led by Jeff Stetson, playing in all the Jazz venues of the day. His performance strengths are trumpet, voice, keyboards, guitar, bass - and the studio, of course. An internship at Group IV Reording Studios led to working on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Abyss, and Back To The Future Pt 3 among many more sessions including Will Smith, Sly&Robbie, Joe Pass, Ray Brown, and Jon Hassell's Grammy nominated Cityscapes. He has also performed with Oingo Boingo members, Mel E Mel & Whipple Whip(Grand Master Flash), The Jazz Crusaders' Stix Hooper and Joe Sample, War and Tower of Power, Tierra and Los Lobos sidemen, as well as Johnny Martinez(Celia Cruz), and Kingston Ducoeur(Seabiscuit). The list of luminaries Max has worked with is long and accomplished. Manhattan Transfer comissioned one of his pieces in the 80s.
In the 1990s Max enjoyed modest success as an Electronic Dance Music Live Artist and DJ internationally, having played his music in Latin Amearica, Asia and The U.S. As a member of Moontribe he has performed in the famous underground desert Raves on many occasions. Collaborative projects can be found with Treavor Walton on the album Luminescence (Priority Records) and Bassland, on Pacific Rhythm (Harthouse Records), and David DeLaski's Fun For The Whole Family (Moonshine Records). Max also produced Hell To Tha Heavenz & Beyond (Tribe Music).
1998 saw tragedy in Max's life in the form of a wild desert brush fire that destroyed 3/4 of his life's work. In '99 he went to Panama and found success as a DJ and radio show producer with his hit underground program, Psychedelic Lunchbox. In 2004, an old friend staked his return, upon which Max produced seven CD which can be found on amazon.com and iTunes. One of the albums, Return of The Phoenix won L.A. Music Awards Best Jazz Album and Best Lounge Artist of the Year in 2006, proving he wasn't quite done yet, despite a six year departure from music as a homeless person who came back with the help of good friends and family.
The TV show, Byron Allen's Latin Lifestyles currently uses one of his pieces as its theme song. The biggest shows my music is on My Name Is Earl(thank you Mr. Garcia!), Judging Amy, the 1999 Superbowl and the Spearmint Rhino Dance Competition on Pay-Per-View, and TV1 History Special. Many TV bumps and commercials, video games and ringtone contracts also keep things busy. Currently, Max is singing tenor vocals in several choirs including The Randy Van Horne Singers(The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, The Jetsons), and The Encino Community Church Choir.
On the business end, Mr. Vasquez is writing business/marketing/tour plans for choice clients, including Atama Katama and The Kings Of Borneo from Malaysia for their 2011-12 U.S. Tour. Currently, Max produced and has released a Jeff Stetson album, Cycle Of Life, for which he has set this profile up. Max Vasquez is also currently writing a novel based on his amazing adventures as a DJ in Latin America.