A folk- and country-inflected psychedelic indie pop band from Philadelphia, fronted by Quentin Stoltzfus. He writes all the songs and is the band's only constant member; he started off drumming for experimental rock band The Azusa Plane and recording weird ambient-noise compositions as Therisphere, until he got over his self-consciousness at attempting to recreate the pop songs that populated his head.
Quentin recruited local musician/producer Brian McTear and drummer Sean Byrne of Lenola to help him flesh out songs for Mazarin's first record, Watch It Happen, released in 1999 on Victoria Records. Many of the album's songs centered around the theme of devastating breakups, and possibly the most anthemic of those post-relationship songs, "Wheats", was released as a single on Rocket Girl in the United Kingdom. It was latched onto by the British music press and hailed as one of the singles of the year. Mazarin became quite successful in the UK and Europe, and toured there, with lineups including Byrne, McTear, Azusa Plane cohort Jason DiEmilio, Matt Werth of Aspera, Bill Ricchini and Don Devore, but stuck to playing local shows stateside.
Mazarin's second album A Tall-Tale Storyline, a simultaneously noisier and more folk-influenced record, was picked up by spinART Records and released in 2001. Quentin assembled a team of the usual suspects, and set off on their first full US tour in December of that year. After a brief break, the current live Mazarin lineup debuted in Philadelphia: Stoltzfus on vocals and guitar, Michael Walker on bass, Justin Bailey on keyboards, percussion, electronic noise and vocals, and Marshall Costan on drums. They set off on a five-week tour of the UK, Spain and Italy, then came back and threw themselves directly into an extended US tour, opening for the Walkmen and Beulah as well as headlining their own shows. They completed the tour in early May 2002 and are now getting some well-deserved rest.
At one point, the band had an official website at http://www.mazarinmusic.com. The domain name has since expired, however, and their web presence remains in limbo.