Mannheim Steamroller

Founded in 1974, Mannheim Steamroller is a neo-classical new age electronic group founded by Chip Davis (Louis F. Davis Jr., born in Hamler, Ohio on September 5, 1947). Originally formed to provide electronic new age music for American Gramaphone Records’ Fresh Aire series, Christmas albums by Mannheim Steamroller have been favorites with fans of ambient and new age music for over three decades. Mannheim Steamroller continues to stage popular seasonal live performances at venues in America. For the project, Chip Davis uses a wide range of musicians including Jackson Berkey on keyboards and synthesizers and Eric Hansen on drums. Named for an 18th century term for crescendo, the format features electronic pop beats with pseudo-classical forms in what Davis once termed ‘18th century classic rock’. From 1975 to 2007 Mannheim Steamroller produced a series of volumes titled Fresh Aire with the first Christmas album released in 1984. There have been 18 Mannheim Steamroller releases on Billboard's Top Holiday Albums Chart with 16 in the Top Ten and six at Number 1: A Fresh Aire Christmas (1988), Christmas (1991), Christmas in the Aire (1995), Christmas Live (1997), Christmas Extraordinaire (2001) and Christmas Celebration (2004). Christmas Symphony (2011) - recorded with members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra - went to Number 3 on Billboard's Classical Albums Chart and Christmas Symphony II (2013) reached Number 1. A further 16 releases made the Alternative Albums Chart with six at number one: Christmas Extraordinaire, Romantic Steamroller (2003), Christmas Celebration, Christmasville (2008) and Christmas: 25th Anniversary Collection (2009). The 2015 release Live (on CD, DVD and Blu-ray) features 22 tracks performed at the Orpheum Theatre in Omaha plus interviews and backstage sequences. Mannheim Steamroller has also released several Halloween albums, a trio of albums in the Ambience series, and so much more.

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