A little irreverent, a lot talented, Maniacal 4 is dedicated to creating musical performances that not only entertain and engage, but challenge the limits of traditional concert presentation. The lively, acclaimed trombone quartet not only rocks the standard repertoire, but also embraces a wide variety of music from around the world and across eras. M4’s clever, insightful arrangements of music ranging from pop/rock and jazz to classical masterpieces bring new life to familiar tunes, often with a tongue-in-cheek playfulness that belies the technical aplomb of the group’s four, highly-trained trombonists – Nick Laufer, Carl Lundgren, Alex Dubrov, and Matt Jefferson.
The four musicians got together as freshmen at the University of North Texas. Since the group’s official launch in 2006 Maniacal 4 has performed at music festivals on three continents. Concerts frequently feature a diverse cast of guest artists as well as lively improvisations and audience participation, including special requests. Innovative performances of rock blockbusters are audience favorites, and live M4 performances of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Carry On Wayward Son” have gone viral on YouTube and reddit.
While M4 has been lauded as “Four great musicians telling one unified, inspiring musical story after another,” the members of the group are ardent collaborators as well. M4 frequently joins forces with an array of other musicians and ensembles, from concert bands to vocal choirs. Committed to the idea of making music accessible, the members of the group also work frequently with young musicians of all ages at schools and universities across the country. In addition, M4 started a popular YouTube video series called “Hotel Jams” as a way to make music videos on tour, often with people of all ages and from varying walks of life. The videos feature repertoire ranging from Bob Dylan and jazz standards to novelties like “Frosty the Snowman” (this one was cranked out quickly at the top of a Colorado mountain before their slides completely froze in place!), consist of simply arranged songs played by ear in casual, everyday environments, “Hotel Jams” reflects the group’s philosophy that music is a vital part of human experience that should be explored and shared by everyone.
Maniacal 4 is sponsored by Buffet Group USA and DANSR, Inc., and performs exclusively on Antoine Courtois Paris trombones and Denis Wick mouthpieces.