A wide-reaching music duo exploring the sounds of American folk, country, bluegrass and pop.
Max Schwartz and Abbi Berry first met in February, 2016 as members of the Grammy Camp – Jazz Session, a program made up of about 30 high school students chosen by the GRAMMY Foundation to perform a week’s worth of gigs in Los Angeles, including the GRAMMY nominee reception and the official GRAMMY Celebration at the LA Convention Center. Abbi was the lead soprano in the Grammy Choir, and Max, the bassist in the Grammy Combo.
The met again the following summer as featured members of the 2016 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, an all-star group put together by the Monterey Jazz Festival. Together they performed around Monterey County and then flew to Japan for a two-week tour. After working together in a couple of settings, they realized how much they enjoyed making music together and decided to form their own group.
The idea behind Mayberry was for these two to have a creative outlet, with only one rule: no music is off-limits! They draw influence from Max’s background in bluegrass music, Abbi’s love for pop, and their formal education as jazz musicians, but they love the challenge of figuring out how to arrange new music for only two performers.
They are currently booking gigs throughout California for the summer of 2019.
To book Mayberry for your event, please fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page.
Max Schwartz is a multi-genre instrumentalist and composer from Boston, MA, now based in Miami, FL, and is highly-acclaimed as both a bluegrass and jazz musician. He first appeared with Grammy Award-winning bluegrass artist Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands at age 16, and toured with Lewis for three years throughout the country. As a member of Laurie’s band, he was featured at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco, Rockygrass Bluegrass Festival in Colorado, a live taping of NPR music broadcast “Mountain Stage” in Elkins, West Virginia, and the IBMA Hall of Fame Induction of Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard in Raleigh, North Carolina last year.
As a domestic touring musician, aside from his time with Laurie, Max has appeared throughout the U.S. with The Page Turners, an award-winning acoustic music duo based in Austin, TX, with Simon Lunche, a rising pop-rock artist from Berkeley, CA, and with the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Orchestra (member in 2015 and 2016) and Combo (2016). He also was chosen to play bass in the 2015 and 2016 GRAMMY® Jazz Combos and was the only common member between those two iterations of the group.
As a jazz bassist, Max already has years worth of international touring under his belt, including a summer tour of France, Switzerland and Italy in 2015, two trips to Cuba in 2014 and 2016, and a trip to Japan in August of 2016 with the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, a national jazz ensemble that is assembled each year by the Monterey Jazz Festival.
Max is currently a student at the University of Miami, Frost School of Music, as the bassist in the Stamps Jazz Quintet. This group of five undergraduate jazz musicians is generously funded by the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation , and will perform in Miami and tour together throughout their four-year tenure, ending in the spring of 2021.
Abbi Berry is an award-winning jazz and pop vocalist, pianist, and guitarist from Burbank, California, currently living in Denton, Texas. She has toured with the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus Concert Choir to countries such as South Africa, Canada, England, and Germany, to Japan with the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, performed at the 2016 GRAMMY Awards with the Grammy Jazz Choir, and has performed with LA’s classical elite, including Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and John Williams in venues such as Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl.
As a member of LACHSA’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble, she competed in the Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey, California during all four years of high school. In 2015 and 2016, while Abbi was student director of the group, they took home 1st place, resulting in the opportunity to perform at the famed Monterey Jazz Festival in both of those years. They also opened the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl in 2015. She was a member of the 2016 Grammy Choir as part of the Grammy Camp Jazz Session, where Max Schwartz was the bassist in the rhythm section of her group and in the Grammy Combo.
Abbi has received honors from the national YoungArts Foundation, including being named a Finalist in Jazz Voice in 2017, and three Honorable Mentions in Jazz and Popular Voice in previous years.
Abbi currently attends the University of North Texas as a vocal Jazz Studies major. She is a member of UNT’s top vocal jazz ensemble, the UNT Jazz Singers, under the direction of Jennifer Barnes. Abigail will receive her Bachelor’s of Music in May 2020.
(photos by Felipe S. Avello and Moses Sparks)