It was just a year and a half ago when jazz musicians Scott Marvill and Erik Mowery discovered that together they were a musical force to be reckoned with.

Guitarist Marvill was preparing for a show in Las Vegas with his other band, Freeport, when he was told that not all of the members would be able to attend.

“I had everything booked and the casino out there called me and said we really want you guys, but we just reworked the club, we only have room for maybe a solo act or a duo act,” he said. “And I said OK no problem.”

Neither his keyboardist or saxophone player could go, so Marvill knew he had to work fast to find someone he could jam with.

“I spent a couple months with recording artists backing tracks to make it sound like a full thing,” he said.

Enter Erik Mowery–a jazz fusion keyboardist from the San Francisco Bay area who is also a member of The Groovin Band in the Triad. The two played a hit show in Las Vegas, and suddenly, the smooth jazz group Jazzen was born.

“It was just supposed to be like a one time thing, and it just went over so well,” Mowery said. “We just kept going. We threw a line out there and people kept biting. Before you knew it, it wasn’t unusual for us to play three times a week.”

Jazzen performs at venues around the Triad as well as the state. Both Marvill and Mowery have been playing their respective instruments since they were in grade school. Marvill grew up in Philadelphia where his father worked on the Mike Douglas show and was a jazz drummer by hobby.

“So when I was a really young kid he would take me there,” he said. “And I met like all the big band stuff. Buddy Rich and Maynard Ferguson and all them were friends of my dad because of his job.”

Marvill said his main influences are Larry Carlton and Pat Metheny. He credits Mowery’s keyboarding skills for helping put a name to their band.

“People hear jazz and they say, well man you must be good,” he said. “And part of that is because of the technical abilities that you have to have to play that.” !