Button Masher
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Button Masher

Baltimore, Maryland, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2021 | INDIE

Baltimore, Maryland, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2021
Solo Electronic Jazz




"The View from LA featuring Button Masher"

This is a radio show. Click the link to listen. - Jazz.FM91

"Live version of iconic ‘Sonic’ theme gets all the gold rings"

Friend of the show Bianca Richardson (@b.richdrumz) teamed up with Jake Silverman, the musician behind Button Masher (@_Buttonmasher) for a chiptuned arrangement and live performance of one of Sonic the Hedgehog’s most memorable songs.

The duo released a teaser for the song ahead of the full release of “Green Hill Zone Theme” and spoke to KTLA about what inspired the project.

Check out B.richdrumz here and Button Masher here. - KTLA 5

"Meet Jake Silverman | Keyboardist, Composer, and Producer"

We had the good fortune of connecting with Jake Silverman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jake, why did you pursue a creative career?
When I was about 4 years old, my grandmother had passed away and we inherited her piano. I took a liking to the instrument even before I had any idea of how to play it. As a kid, I had a very difficult time in school. I had trouble paying attention and performed poorly in class. I was socially inept, and as a result was bullied a lot. The piano became a means of escape from the troubles I faced so frequently in school. As I got older, my relationship with the instrument only deepened. By my senior year of high school I was a regular performer at the jazz clubs in DC and Baltimore. When I was on the band stand with my friends, I felt a strong sense of purpose. Since then there has been no turning back for me.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My project “Button Masher” brings together the harmonies, rhythms, and compositional forms of modern jazz with the sound design and aesthetics of video games from the 80s and 90s. I have also recently expanded the project to include singers from a variety of genres. Many people have very deep feelings of nostalgia for these old games. Particularly for games that were released on the NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis. Packaging my music with these aesthetics has been a winning formula for me and has allowed me to grow my social media presence at an astounding rate. This process was not easy and has required me to try many different approaches to my production, composition and presentation. Along the way, I’ve learned to put quality over quantity and to never release anything until it sounds and looks exactly how I want it to.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Unfortunately, most of my favorite places to go in LA are closed at the moment but if they were open, I’d take them the Blue Whale, the Baked Potato World 8 Video Games, Barcade (in Highland Park), Plan Check in Santa Monica, Tenno Sushi, and Silverlake Ramen.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to thank my first jazz teacher Benny Russell. Without him, I may have never fallen in love with music the way that I did. Benny ran our local jazz ensemble. After our rehearsals we would sit around listening to music, talking, joking, and just bonding as musicians. Without him I’d be nothing. I also must thank my parents. Without them I would have never found Benny and would not have made it very far outside of my home town. They have made my entire career possible and instilled in me the work ethic necessary to make it as a musician. - SHOUTOUT LA

"Art & Life with Jake Silverman"

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jake Silverman.

Jake Silverman is a jazz organist, pianist and educator. After an early history in classical and jazz piano and organ, Jake received a Bachelor of Music (BM) in Jazz Performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music (MM) in Jazz Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, and his Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Jazz Studies Performance from the University of Southern California. He has maintained an active performance career for the past 10 years. He has had the distinct pleasure of studying and working with Jazz legends such as Dan Wall, Billy Hart, Gary Bartz, Jay Ashby, Phil Markowitz, Jim McNealy, Dave Liebman, Alan Pasqua, Russell Ferrante, Bob Mintzer, Peter Erskine, and others. Jake hopes to teach at the college level and perform.


Jake started playing piano at the age of 6. He studied classical and jazz piano under Scott Knight for 12 years, and jazz performance with Benny Russell, Blake Meister, and Greg Hatza. Under Benny Russell’s direction, Jake played piano in Maryland Conservatory of Music’s Youth Jazz Ensemble from 2005-2007, and in Harford Community College’s Jazz Ensembles and Jazz Combos from 2007-2009. Jake had the extraordinary opportunity to study jazz piano and B3 organ with Greg Hatza, a true master of both instruments. Jake was selected as the pianist in Maryland’s High School All-State Jazz Ensemble under the direction John D’earth and Jim McFalls in 2009 and under the direction of Jeff Jarvis in 2010. In 2010, the Maryland Higher Education Commission honored Jake with a Distinguished Scholar in the Arts Award.


Jake was a Jazz Studies major at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Jake was awarded a merit-based Conservatory Dean’s Award. At Oberlin, Jake studied jazz piano and organ under the mentorship of Dan Wall. Jake also had the great fortune to interact with and study under Bobby Farrazza, Billy Hart, Jamey Haddad, Jay Ashby, and Gary Bartz. Oberlin provided Jake with a rich mix of performance and teaching opportunities. He played in numerous small combos and the Oberlin Conservatory Jazz Ensemble.


Jake attended graduate school at the Manhattan School of Music and obtained an MM in Jazz Performance where he studied with Phil Markowitz. Jake began the DMA program in Jazz Studies Performance at the University of Southern California in 2016, where he studied with Alan Pasqua and Russell Ferrante.


Through his ensemble performances, Jake has performed at Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music, Miriam A Friedberg Hall at the Peabody Institute, and Towson University’s Center for the Arts. Jake has performed in ensembles and combos at a number of jazz clubs in the Baltimore-Washington area including the Kennedy Center with the Victor Provost trio, An Die Musik, Club 347, Twins Jazz Club, and Columbia Station. While completing his BM at Oberlin, he performed at a number of venues in Cleveland, including the Bottlehouse. In 2014, Jake toured Italy and played in various venues with Bobby Farazza and other Oberlin musicians. While working on his MM at the MSM, Jake performed at a number of venues in New York City, including Showman’s Jazz Club with Jerry Weldon. While working on his DMA, Jake has performed at a number of venues in the Los Angeles area, including the Blue Whale with Bob Mintzer and Peter Erskine.


Jake has mentored many college students through Oberlin’s mentored course credit program, at Manhattan School of Music, and at the University of Southern California. Through Oberlin’s collaboration with the Jazz Academy at the Solebery School, Jake served as a mentor to young aspiring high school jazz musicians from Camden and Trenton, NJ. In addition, Jake has served as a teaching assistant at the University of Southern California for Alan Pasqua and Jason Goldman, teaching courses in Jazz Elements, Jazz Theory, Jazz Arranging and Concert Jazz Orchestra.


Jake completed his DMA in Jazz Studies Performance at the USC in May 2019. Jake hopes to teach at the college level and perform with his electronic music project.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
Button Masher is my solo multi-media project that brings together two things that I’ve always been passionate about: Video Games and Jazz. For this project, I use my Nord Organ as a midi controller for Ableton Live and play along to pre-programmed drum tracks of my own making. For the visual show, I am collaborating with various pixel artists and game developers in order to capture the retro aesthetic that was popular in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
Being a great musician isn’t enough to be successful in this business anymore. Brand yourself strategically and in a way that will garner the attention of other people besides your artist/musician colleagues. - Voyage LA


Origin Story-2020
16 bit.WAV-2020
Super Songforce- 2021
Button Masher 64-2021



In recent years, I have created my own multi-media project called Button Masher that brings together jazz and video game music. This project has received widespread recognition on social media from general audiences, as well as from notable jazz musicians. For this project, I use Ableton Live to recreate and utilize the sound design of retro video games. Just as jazz builds on early popular music, my Button Masher project extends retro video game music. As in jazz, each tune includes both structured parts and improvisation. Many of the tunes cover video game melodies that were popular. Other tunes are originals that utilize the sound design of well-known retro video games.

Band Members