George Maurer Group
“Dress smart, act casual, look like you know what you are doing, and wait for somebody to count to four.” That’s the George Maurer Group’s motto, and it fits. The George Maurer Group mixes just the right proportions of refinement and relatability as they play straight-ahead jazz with their trademark lighthearted flair. Their music adds a note of elegance — and a nice dash of energy — to any event, and their repertoire of swinging classics by legends like Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and Cole Porter packs the dance floor set after set.

The George Maurer Group’s seat-of-the-pants musical style and witty between-song banter fill the room with contagious enthusiasm. With an accessible playlist and timeless sound, the musicians can provide all-ages centerpiece entertainment for a dance — even a jitterbug party — or quietly fill the background. The George Maurer Group can adapt to any size room, starting with a four-piece but able to expand to a six-piece variety band or nine-piece big band complete with a horn section. Add choreographed dancers for an all-out theatrical experience.

George Maurer Variety Group
Rock and roll. Motown soul. Dance floor classics. The George Maurer Variety Group does it all. The emphasis here is on variety, and this accomplished group of musicians is about as versatile as it gets. They cut across styles, eras and age groups with a playlist that spans the Beatles, Motown classics, Van Morrison, and Michael Jackson.

The George Maurer Variety Group has been chosen to play the Minnesota State Fair, Northern Wisconsin State Fair, a fundraiser for the Omaha Zoo, Basilica Block Party at St. Cloud’s Basilica of Saint Mary, and the esteemed Holly Ball at the St. Cloud Civic Center.

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About

  • George Maurer, piano
  • Muggsy Lauer, guitar, vocals
  • Jeff Engholm, bass, vocals
  • Richard Witteman, trumpet, vocals
  • Scott Chabot, drums

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, Stacy, own and operate the popular Local Blend coffee shop/music venue in St. Joseph, MN and started the 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 Jazz 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 group on its toes as owner and roast master of coffee supplier Muggsy’s Beans.

Richard Witteman (trumpet) sings with the Half Steps a cappella group and works for Bankers Systems, St. Cloud, MN.

Scott Chabot (drums) is still working on his new house and will drum for food basically anywhere.

Reviews

“With the release, On Track, the George Maurer Group continues its march to becoming one of the preeminent small jazz groups on the scene. Recommended.”

Dave Nathan, critic for All About Jazz

“This was fun. It’s impossible to sit still and to NOT smile when you observe the “teamwork” that propels jazz musicians as they pass off the lead to celebrate one another’s individual talent.”

Steve Waller, Lake Country Journal

“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.”

–Jazz 88 FM (KBEM), Minneapolis)

“…I want to sincerely thank you for the music at Sarah’s and Alex’s wedding…From the moment you started playing on the deck, you and your group provided a focus and a first class music experience that set the tone for the entire evening. From our two-year-old granddaughter to the five grandparents in their late 80’s, no one wanted you to stop playing–even at 12:30 a.m. Each of your musicians is a true professional and you are simply dynamite. I thank you and wish I had a few more kids because I want to keep listening and dancing…Thank you again and again – the wedding would not have been so great without your music!”

–Parent at Wedding Reception

Intro

The following is a sample introduction you might use when introducing the George Maurer Jazz Group to your audience:

“The George Maurer Group operates on a simple motto: “Dress smart, act casual, look like you know what you are doing, and wait for somebody to count to four.”

They believe that jazz shouldn’t take itself too seriously, and they aim to provide entertainment that’s relatable yet refined.

The George Maurer Group plays straight-ahead jazz with a focus on swinging classics by legends like Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and Cole Porter. Their accomplished musicianship, unique style and witty onstage banter have earned them rave reviews and ecstatic audiences across the Midwest and beyond.

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 Maurer Group. Somebody, please count to four!”

The following is a sample introduction you might use when introducing the George Maurer Variety Group to your audience:

“From rock and roll to Motown soul, the George Maurer Variety Group does it all. Their emphasis is on the “variety,” so get ready to hear danceable hits from a wide range of styles and eras. These accomplished musicians are about as versatile as they come, and their playlist ranges from the Beatles to Motown to Van Morrison to Michael Jackson.

The George Maurer Variety Group has been chosen to play the Minnesota State Fair, St. Cloud’s Basilica Block Party, and the esteemed Holly Ball at the St. Cloud Civic Center.

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 to entertain us. Please help me welcome the George Maurer Variety Group!”

Rider

In order to give you the best performance possible, the George Maurer Group provides the following information as a technical rider to their contract:

Artist requests:

  • Stage size needed: minimum 12ft. x 16ft.
  • Electricity: normal household current
  • Artist provides own light and sound