Austin McMahon

Assistant Professor
Affiliated Departments

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Sought out for his versatility, Austin McMahon actively performs in an array of jazz and world music ensembles ranging from trio to chamber jazz and big band. He recently recorded with the Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra (featuring Sean Jones, George Garzone, and John Fedchock), the Macuco Quintet, the Hofbauer/Rosenthal Quartet, and the groups that he coleads, the Lost Melody and Man on Land. McMahon has recently appeared with the Kate McGarry and Keith Ganz Ensemble, Jerry Bergonzi, Carmen Staaf, Noah Preminger, and Kevin Harris, among many others, and has performed at such iconic venues as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Dizzy’s Club, and Jordan Hall, as well as at numerous festivals, theaters, and clubs throughout the United States, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Germany, and France, to name a few.

Career Highlights
  • Recent tour of India with SPEAK: Kathak and Tap Unite (dance) collaboration with jazz and Indian classical musicians
  • Performance at the Kennedy Center with pianist Carmen Staaf (Yamaha artist, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Natalie Merchant)
  • Recent recording with the Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra featuring Sean Jones, George Garzone, and John Fedchock
  • Critically acclaimed recording with David Thorne Scott's Thornewood featuring Peter Eldridge, Paula Cole, Jason Palmer, Walter Smith III, and Sara Caswell
  • Private studies with Tommy Igoe (Groove Essentials) and John Riley (The Art of Bop Drumming)
  • Winner of the ninth annual Independent Music Awards (IMAs) for Best Jazz Song and nominee for Best Jazz Album in the 11th annual IMA
  • Awarded a Certificate of Distinction in Teaching for the “excellence of his work with students and strength of his commitment to teaching” by Harvard University
In Their Own Words

"My main objective in teaching is to impart a sense of joy for the process of learning. While it is important to achieve results, we all arrive at our goals in different ways and at different times. I share engaging ways to practice and study so that when a student is diligent, they will see those results come gradually over time. In some cases, I've witnessed students having 'lightbulb' moments in which a concept that we've been working on for a while suddenly makes sense. That's the joy of learning."

It is my goal as a drummer/accompanist to listen deeply to the music and musicians with whom I'm performing and to provide them with the support and feeling that the music calls for. Listening is key in all areas of musical study, yet ear training is where we refine these skills and where we make the connections between musical sounds that we hear and how to recreate them on our instrument(s), notate, and read them. In the classroom, I share my professional experiences and how these skills have benefited me and my career as a musician."