Jason "Malletman" Taylor grew up in Brooklyn, NY listening to Lionel Hampton's music. His curiosity was sparked by his mother, who was a fan of Hampton's and would go see him perform at the Apollo Theater. This made Taylor interested in finding out more. However, he played the drums and xylophone before he eventually went on to play the vibraphone, which he describes as being "the most beautiful sounding instrument." He became dedicated to mastering the "vibe" just like the late Hampton, who was so impressed during his first meeting with Taylor in 1981 that he took the young "Malletman" as his protégé and became his mentor. In addition to touring with the legendary Hampton and his 18-piece band, Taylor also lived with Hampton and received the kind of personal training and experience that can only be described as "priceless." Taylor toured the U.S. and Europe with Hampton, which ended with the two of them playing at President Ronald Reagan's Inaugural Gala and Disneyland in 1985. It was during that time when Malletman formed Mallet Records, a record company dedicated to it's mission of "Keeping Real Music Alive." 1985 was also the year that Malletman flew away from Hampton's nest and began promoting his first recording, "Once Upon a Mallet" (1984) which caught the attention of quite a few people. In 1986, Malletman released his sophomore recording, "Good Grief/My Destiny" after which, Taylor returned to his true love - performing. Over the years to follow, he developed his unique live show into one that awed audiences and critics alike. As the 1980's ended, Taylor released the successful "Love Attack" which featured the singles, "Love Attack" and "Pick Me Up." "Love Attack" (The Remix) was number 24 on the Let's Dance! Record Pool Urban Chart in December 2000, placing higher than singles by artists such as Outkast, Lil' Kim, Eminem and Erykah Badu. Malletman went on to record other releases. Taylor is a five-time Grammy ballot-nominee. His nominations include Best Jazz Instrumental Solo for "The Christmas Song" (1998). His current CD single, "Live at Mallet's Place" (2005) features "Once Upon a Mallet," a lively original composition, along with a seductive version of the jazz standard, "Misty." He is currently working his next release, which will offer at least 10 tunes. Malletman is known for his unique presentation of Jazz, R&B and Swing, creating a signature sound that is all his own, which he calls "Vibrafunk." He has been in the company of such greats as Frank Sinatra, Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, George Clinton, James Brown, Miles Davis, Branford Marsalis, Steve Washington, B.B. King, Albert King, Slide Hampton and Bill Cosby, who is a well-known jazz fan. Taylor has opened up for Earth Wind and Fire (2003), Isaac Hayes (2002), Pancho Sanchez (2000), The Manhattans (1996), Najee (1996), Paquito D'Rivera (1996), Pieces of a Dream (1996), Diana Reeves (1995), Maya Angelou (1992) and Cheryl Lynn (1990). Taylor teamed up with the Berger Organization and New Jersey Mayor, Sharpe James to open up "Mallet's Place," a jazz club that launched as a tremendous success in December 2001, whose patrons included Taylor's mentor, the late Lionel Hampton and John Amos ("Good Times"). The club operated until 2003. Taylor also used the venue for special children's events to generate their interest in jazz and educate them about the music that serves as a foundation and inspiration for the music they enjoy today. Taylor became a Yamaha artist and clinician in 1991. He presents music clinics throughout the United States to schools, colleges and churches where he shares his experience and teaches about percussion instruments. Mike Balter Mallets, an Illinois-based mallet company, honored Taylor with his very own signature mallet in June 2005. Malletman continues to perform with his 6-piece band. He became the first artist to play at Bed Bath & Beyond stores with his "Mini Holiday Tour," which ran between September - November in 2004 and 2005. Taylor's music attracts people of all ages. He is currently working on a television show, "Mallet's Place TV" which began airing in May 2006 on Time Warner Cable's local access channels in Staten Island, NY.
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