"Masterful use of space and pacing"
- Mike West/The Washington Post
Lauded as D.C.’s “major jazz French horn
player” by the Washington Post, and named
one of 2023's "artists to watch" by DCist,
Abe Mamet is a composer and instrumentalist
committed to using his music to ground
himself, his fellow musicians, and his
audiences more deeply in the spaces they
occupy daily. That commitment involves
exploring the use of the French horn in
groove-oriented improvised music (informed
by the traditions of jazz/creative music/Black
American Music), and expanding the technical
and theoretical limitations of that instrument.
In March 2023, Abe will take part in 577 Records' "Sounds of Freedom" Residency in Canale Monterano, Italy.
Abe Mamet was born in Denver, Colorado on September 2, 1994. At the age of 8, he began playing the French horn, which continues to be his main instrument today.
Whereas many French horn players only find jazz and creative music after restlessness with the world of classical and chamber music, Mamet has been immersed in this world almost since his beginnings on the horn. Encouraged by his grandfather, a jazz musician active in mid-century Philadelphia, Mamet pursued jazz and improvisation shortly after picking up the horn in elementary school. Bolstered by the untold blessing that is a robust and well-funded public school arts education, Abe's connection to jazz deepened. Particularly under the direction of Keith Oxman at Denver's historic East High School (fellow alums include Bill Frisell, Philip Bailey, and the late Ron Miles), Abe found himself entering airspace occupied by only a few before him - as a French horn player with jazz as his main, if not only, focus.
While a student at Colorado College, Abe received a student-faculty collaborative research grant from the Mellon Foundation to work with Professor Ryan Bañagale to study the history of the horn in jazz, and to transcribe work from its most important forebears, including Julius Watkins, David Amram, and Willie Ruff. Through that project, Abe was introduced to the living core of musicians associated with the French horn in jazz, and became connected with David Amram, Morris Kliphuis, Tom Varner, Vincent Chancey, and John Clark. After graduating from Colorado College in 2017 with a degree in Political Science and History, Abe relocated to the East Coast. In 2018, he began formal lessons with John Clark, placing him squarely in the lineage of horn players influenced directly by the work of Julius Watkins.
Today, Abe is a sought after horn for hire, and an active member of the East Coast's jazz/BAM/creative music scene. He has worked with a number of artists in both large and small band settings: Artists and groups include Il Volo, Frank Lacy, the AFree Symphony, and Robert Lee "BJ" Simmons. In April 2021, Abe won the Northwest Horn Symposium’s competition for best jazz hornist. In November 2021, Abe released his debut album as a bandleader through LMB Records, the self-titled "Abe Mamet Trio," available exclusively on Bandcamp.