About Max

Max Schwartz wins new banjo
With Janet Deering and Max’s new Hartford model Deering banjo at Rockygrass 2019

Max Schwartz is a musician, composer, and teacher originally from Boston (now based in Needham, MA) and is highly-acclaimed as both a bluegrass and jazz musician. He has been called “an acoustic master” by the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, has won Downbeat Awards for both performance and composition, is a two-time member of the GRAMMY® Jazz Combo, and was the winner of the 2019 Rockygrass Banjo Competition.

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. Some highlights of their time together include 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. Additionally, he has played in groups with Keith Little, Bill Evans, Nate Lee, Kenny Smith, Tatiana Hargreaves, Tashina Clarridge, Carolyn Kendrick, Jake Howard, Chad Manning and Molly Tuttle, and recently he played bass on John Reischman’s new recordings of “Suzanne’s Journey” and “Salt Spring.”

Additionally, Max has appeared throughout the United States with The Page Turners, an award-winning acoustic music duo based in Austin, TX, 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 has performed at the Grammy Awards, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Monterey Jazz Festival. Max has performed with the likes of John Daversa, Hubert Lawes, Melissa Aldana, Shelly Berg, Ravi Coltrane, and Terri Lyne Carrington. He is a seasoned international touring sideman, with trips to France, Switzerland, Italy, Cuba, and Suriname, as well as 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 earned his BM and MM degrees from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. As an undergrad, he was the bassist in the Stamps Jazz Quintet, a group of undergraduate jazz musicians that is generously funded by the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation. Afterward, he became the Jazz Bass Fellow of the Henry Mancini Institute and served as a teaching assistant to the jazz bass studio professor, Dr. Charles Bergeron.