Mraz, George (Jiri)

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Mraz, George (Jiri)

Mraz, George (Jiri), noted jazz bassist; b. Pisek, Czechoslovakia, Sept. 9,1944. A top-notch musician, he benefitted from the fine training in Czechoslovakia. He began his musical studies on violin at seven and started playing jazz in high school on alto saxophone, before taking up the bass. He attended the Prague Cons, in 1961 studying bass violin and graduating in 1966; during that time, he performed in jazz nightclubs. After finishing his studies, he moved to Munich and played clubs and concerts throughout Germany and Europe with Benny Bailey, Carmell Jones, Leo Wright, Mai Waldron, Hampton Hawes, Jan Hammer and others. In 1968, he went to Berklee on a scholarship and played at Lennie’s on the Turnpike and the Jazz Workshop with Clark Terry, Herbie Hancock, Joe Williams and Carmen McRae. In the winter of 1969, Mraz joined Dizzy Gillespie in N.Y. for a few weeks, then toured with Oscar Peterson for about two years. He then played with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orch. for the next six years. In the late 1970s, he worked with Stan Getz, New York Jazz Quartet, Zoot Sims, Bill Evans, and John Abercrombie; he played with Tommy Flanagan for 10 years starting in the 1980s. In the mid-1990s, he performed with McCoy Tyner, Hank Jones and Joe Henderson and pursued his own projects.


Concord Duo Series(1994); Bottom Lines (1997).

—Lewis Porter