From Ann Arbor, MI, and now based in Philadelphia, Oliver Mayman is a vibraphonist, composer, arranger, and educator. Beginning on the drums and piano, the vibraphone was an inevitable discovery as a teenager – the instrument essentially fusing the mechanics of drumming with the harmonic capabilities of the piano. Since then, he has quickly become a distinguished voice on the instrument, redefining its role in music through an inventive technical approach and a discerning creative ear.
He has performed as a bandleader across the Midwest and East Coast at storied venues like Cliff Bell’s, the Blue LLama, and Chris’ Jazz Cafe, and has also been featured in several larger, iconic events like the Detroit Jazz Festival and the World Vibes Congress. Additionally a sought-after accompanist and sideman, he has performed in countless other venues with various groups, and aims to play the vibraphone as a suitable alternative to the piano, capable of fully assuming a rhythmically and harmonically supportive role in any setting.
He also has extensive experience as an educator, teaching a full private studio of vibraphone students in addition to being on faculty at vibesworkshop.com, the largest online vibraphone community in the world. With a unique approach and pedagogical method to the instrument, he advocates his own novel dampening techniques, adaptations of pianistic ideas, and other innovative 4-mallet concepts, in addition to the fundamentals required by any modern musician. In 2022, he authored “Dampening Studies,” a comprehensive method for dampening on the vibraphone.
In 2022, he was selected as a Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition jazz winner. He was also a member of the 2022 JM Jazz World Orchestra, which tours Europe each summer. In 2021, he won the Italy Percussive Arts Society jazz vibraphone competition, the largest of its kind. He also received a Downbeat Magazine student award for outstanding combo (2019) and outstanding soloist (2020) and was awarded second place in the junior open division at the prestigious 2018 M-Prize International Chamber Arts Competition.