Maxx McGathey is a Chicago-based composer, pianist, music director, band leader and educator.
As the leader and main composer for the 7 piece ensemble Gramps The Vamp, Maxx is known for his dark, groove-heavy, genre-bending, retro-cinematic compositions. Maxx has performed with Gramps The Vamp in 20 US states, had music featured in the film Call Me Brother (starring SNL cast member Andrew Dismukes), and earned a spot in the Chicago Reader’s “Best Chicago Albums of the 2010s” for the band’s 2016 album The Cave of 10,000 Eyes.
In 2017, Maxx was commissioned by the Chicago Park District to compose a new live score for the silent film Nosferatu to be performed for Chicago’s Movies in the Parks. Since then, Maxx has steadily built a live scoring career, creating three more original scores for the historic Music Box Theater in Chicago, and performing them in multiple cities around the midwest.
In addition to his own creative pursuits, Maxx is a prolific collaborator in the Chicago music scene, having performed, recorded or written with a number of artists like Divino Niño, V.V. Lightbody, David Quinn, and Secret Colours to name a few. Maxx has also written songs and music directed for sketch performances at Second City and other Chicago comedy clubs.
In 2020, the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events awarded Maxx with the selective Individual Artist’s Program grant to support the creation of new original music. In 2021 Maxx was awarded an artist residency at I-Park Foundation in Connecticut, which he used to compose and orchestrate a new solo project for an 11 piece orchestra, currently in development.