Maurice "Mo" Egeston - pianist-producer-educator
Pianist, producer and educator Mo Egeston has been the driving force behind some of the St. Louis region's best bands since 1995. With Mo E All Stars and Mo E 3 he performs a style of music that incorporates elements from DJ driven styles such as house, downtempo and breakbeat; while blending the sound with influences of nu jazz, Latin and soul. The Mo E projects are where Egeston features his own original music as well as arrangements of artists such as Herbie Hancock, Santana, Moloko and Jazzanova.
Recent work includes UG Project, the remix project (2005- 2008), Vargas Swing (1997-2006) and Urban Jazz Naturals (2000-2005).
Mo Egeston's love for all grooves electronic began on the dancefloors of St. Louis' underground house music in the early 90's. After completing a Masters in Piano Performance (Chamber Music) at Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville Mo began his band career with Invincible Groov. IG was a funk jazz and soul influenced band that enjoyed a successful residency at the Green Room, one of St. Louis, Missouri's (USA) first Washington Ave. hotspots.
From Invincible Groov, Vargas Soundsystem was formed by combining some of the premier young jazz players in the area to back veteran rock and funk vocalist Pete Bold. 1997 saw the Soundsystem become Vargas Swing, which quickly gained the reputation as one of the Midwest's top show bands boosted by the addition of trumpeter and songwriter Dawn Weber. Vargas Swing recorded an album "FIRE" in 1998, toured the country in 1999 and appeared on two national compilations in 1999-2000. (Hipsters, Zoots and Wingtips Vol. 3/Hip- O Records and Swing Set/House of Blues) Vargas continued as one of St. Louis' most prominent bands through 2006.
Eclipsing the national rep acquired by Vargas Swing, the pioneering live electronica act Urban Jazz Naturals (2000- 2005) has been the most successful project to date. UJN released a debut EP followed by two singles in the DJ driven dance market.
These releases, How Can I (Gallery) with a remix by JT Donaldson and the Urban Jazz EP with a remix by Demarkus Lewis (Large Music), were both written by mo & dawn with production by UJN. (Christian Oncken and D. Tinsley) The singles have been supported in clubs globally by some of the industry's top DJs, including legends Derrick Carter and Mark Farina, followed by write-ups in magazines such as Urb and BPM magazine. How Can I was also featured on the 2005 compilation Lounge Grooves.
Building on the sound of UJN, mo & dawn: the remix project was born. The expanded sound included house, trip hop, electro funk, soul, acid jazz and drum & bass. Mo remixed tracks written for UJN, tracks from the original Vargas Swing EP and the duo wrote new material as well.
As a pianist Mo, who did his graduate work in accompanying, is a respected chamber player. He performed with the Nuevo Tango ensemble ConcerTango which was comprised of St. Louis Symphony Orchestra members, Webster University Faculty members and free lance jazz artists. In 2000, Mo accompanied trumpeter and former collaborator Dawn Weber at the Ellsworth-Smith International Trumpet Competition in Bad Sackingen, Germany.
Mo currently accompanies area middle and high school students at recitals and festivals throughout the region. He continues his chamber music work with violinist Twinda Murry as the chamber duo Mowinda.