A piano. A bass. A guitar. That’s all you really need to stage an evening of fun. Well, you might want to include the guys who play the instruments, too.
The George Maurer Trio knows how to jazz up a small space with a big sound — or a not-so-big sound, if that’s what the occasion calls for. So tight they can afford to keep things loose, these experienced musicians are versatile, adaptable and utterly unflappable.
The trio adds a bit of class to any venue and puts their jazz-infused touch on virtually every musical style. They’re at their best covering American swing and pop but are happy to have their way with everything from Gershwin to the Beatles, and about the hippest version of the “Peanuts” theme song you’ll ever hear.
Adept at making themselves comfortable in unique performance settings, they have gigged on the swaying decks of riverboats and competed with buzzing mosquitoes in steamy park band shells. They have held down big concert halls and tucked themselves into ballroom corners at wedding receptions, partially eclipsed by potted plants. Regardless, they’ll perform with ease, style and smiles.
They also form the core for the George Maurer Group and Variety Group.
- George Maurer, piano
- Muggsy Lauer, guitar, vocals
- Jeff Engholm, bass, vocals
George Maurer is best known as one of Minnesota’s premier jazz pianists, but his musical collaborations have taken him around the globe as a performer, arranger and composer.
He has shared the stage with Eric Clapton, arranged music for the Chiffons and written two original scores for the Saint Paul City Ballet. George put his skills to work in spring 2011 as he worked on the world-class Minnesota Orchestra’s “’80s Rewind!” show co-arranging four songs, leading the band, directing the vocalists and playing keyboards for shows at Minneapolis’s Orchestra Hall and with the Florida Symphony.
His repertoire includes indie movie soundtracks, 15 CDs, arrangements for everyone from gospel choirs to rock icons and an always-full itinerary of George Maurer Trio, Group and Variety Group performances. He has developed a well-traveled pop side gigging around the country with bands like the Crickets and pop star Bobby Vee. He music directed, arranged and performed at a Buddy Holly tribute at the House of Blues on L.A.’s Sunset Strip, where he worked with rock legends like Clapton. No stranger to the theatrical stage, George has performed and music directed a long list of shows, including “RENT” and the Chanhassen Dinner Theaters’ “Altar Boyz” and “Swing!”
Armed with an uncanny ability to interpret, arrange for, and produce and perform numerous musical styles, from traditional jazz to bebop, classic to modern rock, to country and beyond, George is called upon often to be a hired gun for numerous recording and theatrical ventures.
Jeff Engholm (bass) wears many hats as a bassist, singer, songwriter, engineer, conductor, producer, venue owner and resident granola cruncher.
Primarily a bass player, he works mostly for the George Maurer Trio, Group and Variety Group. Jeff also plays in Blimp, a Led Zeppelin tribute band, and is a singer/songwriter in the Collective Unconscious.
Jeff teaches audio production classes at St. Cloud State University and is also a recording engineer at Rockhouse Studios in St. Joseph, MN, where he has engineered and produced CDs for his own groups and many others. As an independent producer, Jeff has put together productions of “Carmina Burana”, “African Sanctus”, and the Beatles album “Abbey Road.” Jeff arranged and conducted a 24-piece ensemble production of the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” which sold out to concert halls from St. Cloud to Zumbrota, MN.
Jeff and his wife, Stacie, own and operate the popular Local Blend coffee shop/music venue in St. Joseph, MN and started St. Joseph’s Minnesota Street Market food co-op.
Muggsy Lauer (guitar & vocals) has been playing guitar since age 12 when he started learning John Denver songs out of a songbook.
His love of jazz developed in high school, and he spent 17 years doing a weekly jazz radio show on KVSC-FM. Muggsy started singing jazz in the George Maurer Group and marks it as one of his most favorite contributions to the band.
Muggsy is also a member of Collective Unconscious and a mainstay of the popular Monday Night Jazz show at St. Cloud’s Veranda Lounge. In addition to his musical work, he keeps the trio on its toes as owner and roast master of coffee supplier Muggsy’s Beans.
“One of Central Minnesota’s sparkling contributions to the arts.”
–Dale Connelly/Jim Ed Poole/ MPR’s The Morning Program
“Jazz beyond suburbia…and then way out…”
–Leigh Kamman, host of The Jazz Image on Minnesota Public Radio
“The George Maurer Group has a refreshing energy to their performances with an irreverent style and sly musical humor.”
–The Dakota Bar & Grill, St. Paul
“The diverse backgrounds of all these players make for a concert experience that’s pure entertainment.”
–Jazz88FM (KBEM), Minneapolis
The following is a sample introduction you might use when introducing The George Maurer Trio to your audience:
“The George Maurer Trio is composed of three well-dressed friends who play jazz the way it was meant to be: with instruments.
With just a piano, a bass and a guitar – and, of course, the musicians who play them – the trio is here to entertain us with jazzed-up versions of songs from a variety of musical styles. They’ll treat you to the hippest version of the “Peanuts” theme song you’ve ever heard, as long as you promise to do the Snoopy dance.
The group’s members have shared the stage with Eric Clapton, Bobby Vee, Dick Clark, the Crickets and the Minnesota Orchestra. They have performed for members of Congress and the White House. They have played Carnegie Hall, the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Dakota Jazz Club, Orchestra Hall and the Ordway.
And they are here today for your listening pleasure. Let’s welcome George, Jeff and Muggsy, the George Maurer Jazz Trio.”
In order to give you the best performance possible, The George Maurer Trio provides the following information as a technical rider to their contract:
- Stage size needed: minimum 8′x12′
- Electricity: normal household current
- Artist provides own light and sound
- Theater owners may request stage plot: firstname.lastname@example.org