“Playing music is such a great reflection on what being human means; it is through
perseverance and hardship that we grow the most"
At age 13, Max received his first bass guitar accompanied by a stern warning: “This bass better not be sitting in a closet in the next six months” said his father. Well, it’s been more than twenty years, and the bass never came out of Max's hands. He's not only found a unique voice on this instrument, but continues to pursue new ways of expressing himself as well.
He grew up in an artistic family. At a young age his mother, a watercolorist/flamenco dancer, would take him to her rehearsals, and art shows. It was not uncommon to see him hanging out at the rafters of theaters, recital halls, and galleries with his younger brothers.
His father, an industrial engineer with a penchant for headier prog-rock, introduced him to Pink Floyd, Genesis, and Rush. Those two very different influences started to form Max’s development.
His first bass lessons gave him a broader idea of what could be done with the bass guitar, and prepared him to go to the United States, where he pursued music in Los Angeles and Miami, before what would be a five year period in New York City in 2010. He enrolled and graduated from the Jazz Performance program at the New School, where he had to audition twice to get the scholarship he needed to attend.
During his time in NYC, Max collaborated with artists spanning many different genres, most notably with Reggie Workman, Arturo Sandoval, Linda Briceño, and Maurice Brown. Max considers getting to hang and play with great musicians his “second school”, it made him improve and hone his craft quickly and precisely.
His first outing as a leader, entitled “Max Esquivel Quintet”, won the ACAM award for Best Jazz Album of 2012-2013. Borrowing from different traditions as afro-latin music, progressive rock, and jazz, his music can be described as energetic, soulful, and genuine. His grounded technical work gives way to expressive interplay, and his efforts and unmistakable talent have garnered him numerous awards and acolytes. He continues to be requested by the world's foremost producers and artists.