The Future of Neo-Jazz Funk soul fusion
15-year-old Maxwell Friedman is living proof that some musicians are indeed “born with it." At a very young age, his tasteful yet ferociously inspired keyboard playing and compositions are already becoming legendary and his skill, knowledge, taste, phrasing and artistry are already on-par with many accomplished players on the national scene who, without hesitation, call him their peer. One of the youngest players to have ever been endorsed by Hammond Organ, Maxwell has already been invited to share the stage with many musical heavy hitters such as Karl Denson, George Porter Jr., The New Mastersounds, Skerik, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Michael Franti, The Werks, ALO, Scott Pemberton, and many more. This young wunderkind’s star is surely on the rise!
Maxwell was just 9 years old when he first discovered a dusty Hammond M3 in the corner of his piano teacher’s garage. The sensation of moving the drawbars and hearing the Leslie spinning next to him was a magical moment that changed the course of Maxwell’s life and set him on his current musical trajectory. At age 11, he met famed organist Tony Monaco and began an educational journey with Tony as his organ mentor. With the tutelage and guidance of many veteran musicians over the last few years, Maxwell quickly began developing his skills and outlook in every direction possible, and before long was composing his own 21st century standards of Jazz/Funk. At 12, Maxwell even gave a TEDX talk about how music has empowered him in all aspects of his life. Now 15, Maxwell has teamed up with other talented Jazz/Funk players in his home state of Oregon and in early 2018, he launched The Maxwell Friedman Group, featuring bassist Mark Karwan, drummer Connor Streeter and guitarist Gabe "Brother Gabe" Johnson. The band delivers what Maxwell likes to call “Inspired Neo-Jazz Funk Soul Fusion” and this young man not only has shown a maturity beyond his years in leading elder musicians, but also continues to write and create like there’s no tomorrow.
Maxwell has just released his debut album, "Beyond Neblar - Live in Bend" recorded at McMenamins Old St. Francis School in his hometown of Bend, Oregon.
Drummer Connor Streeter began playing with his church band at ten years old after learning from his father. As a member of his high school's Jazz/orchestral bands, he was featured in various musical orchestras including Tarzan, Oklahoma and Oliver, as well as receiving an Outstanding Drummer award at University of Oregon’s 2014 Jazz Festival. Drawing influences from drummers such as Larnell Lewis, Tony Royster Jr., and Buddy Rich, he began, and continues, playing with local band The Cutmen at age 16. More recently, he’s been a member of local Math Rock trio Tang and Maxwell Friedman Group since 2017, and has been working with Ben Rosett (Strawberry Girls, Eternity Forever) since 2018.
Guitarist Gabe Johnson (aka Brother Gabe) has been creating, presenting, furthering and chasing joyous, soulful music for his whole life. In fact, it’s safe to say that musical inspiration is Brother Gabe’s one true religion and he lives every day devoted to the furtherance of the idea that bringing people together through the inspirational force of music is the most effective way to build community, bring joy and inspire human beings.