Chicago, Illinois, USA

Catchy indie-rock/pop from a former jazz combo that loves to indulge in the occasional funk-freakout!


In a stale, tired music industry where so many bands sound exactly the same, many musicians seem to struggle with writing truly original music. However, the Chicago-based indie band Mapmaker have managed to create something completely different. Their unique hybrid of the jazz and indie rock genres is quirky, funky and intriguing: an innovative, refreshing change from the generic pop-rock that has taken over the radio.
Comprised entirely of Loyola University Chicago students, Mapmaker formed through a series of random occurrences. “A lot of coincidences, or maybe fate, if you want to call it that, brought us together.” said lead singer/keyboardist Maxx McGathey. He explained one such happenstance, “I met Max Martini, our drummer, in class. We sat next to each other, and one day we both wore the same Medeski Martin & Wood shirt. So then we started talking and realized that we had a lot of random things in common like same initials, same first name, same birthday… that was really weird.” A series of other random occurrences brought McGathey and Martini together with saxophonist Nick Bush, guitarist Nick Cardelli, guitarist/clarinetist Evan Fazio, and bassist Aled Fain.
This story would be much less intriguing (and this article would have a much different introduction) if Mapmaker sucked, but they do not. In fact, they are quite talented, a fact which can be confirmed by attending any of their live shows. Each member of the band has a gift for music, and no one member sticks out as the most or least talented. “There’s no director in Mapmaker,” said McGathey, “and there’s no weak link.” This becomes apparent when watching Mapmaker perform live, because every member gets at least one solo (which, in a true jazz fashion, are mostly improvised). Also, rather than relying on one singer, a few Mapmaker songs are sung by Martini instead of McGathey. This variety adds another dimension of interest to what would already be an energetic, entertaining show. Whether playing a casual set in Zip’s (a lounge in the basement of one of Loyola’s dorms) or a show for a larger crowd at the Subterranean, Mapmaker puts on an excellent live show.
Far from your ordinary college band, Mapmaker has demonstrated true talent, dedication, and originality. If you’re a fan of funky guitar riffs, jazzy sax solos, expressive lyrics or good music in general, I highly recommend checking out Mapmaker at, checking out one of their live shows, and/or buying their album State and the Nimbus Cloud (available for download on iTunes).

+Written by Meghan Carnes for


MAPMAKER- EP (self recorded, self distributed physically) *Received airplay

04/10 State and the Nimbus Cloud- LP (Recorded by Neil Mosculino, self distributed online and physically with help from *Receiving airplay