Drummer Austin McMahon performs regularly with Jerry Bergonzi’s Quartet and has recently performed and/or recorded with Sean Jones, George Garzone, Joe Lovano, Lionel Loueke, Ben Monder, Lage Lund, Kate McGarry, Noah Preminger, The Fringe, Jason Palmer and Grace Kelly. He has appeared as an opening act for Grammy award-winners Dianne Reeves and Esperanza Spalding.
On tour, Austin has performed at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center and many, many Jazz Festivals across the country and internationally.
McMahon is the winner of the 9th annual Independent Music Awards for Jazz Song Category and Nominee for Best Jazz Album in the 11th annual IMA’s. His debut CD Many Muses was selected as a CDBaby Editor’s pick and described as “subtle, reverential to tradition, and thoroughly new.” He was recently featured on NPR JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater, WLRN Miami (NPR station) and live on WGBH radio, Boston, MA.
Austin currently teaches in the Jazz Department at New England Conservatory Preparatory and Continuing Education Division, Boston, MA and was a Teaching Assistant for Jazz Improvisation at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA for six consecutive years. He has given masterclasses at Harvard University, University of Miami, University of Mainz (Germany) as well as numerous colleges and high schools throughout the US.
Austin is also the co-founder, producer and recording artist for the burgeoning record label Fractamodi (fractamodi.com) and has recorded on over forty commercially released albums in the past several years.
We talk to Austin about his development as a teenager, studying under both Tommy and Sonny Igoe, his approach to improvisation, listening to the essential recordings, his favorite drummers, playing uptempo, his future projects with Fractamodi and much, much more!