of high school, Matt began studying with Berklee Alumni Rich Rabatin.
Rich introduced Matt to the approaches of Larry Carlton, Robben Ford,
and various blues and Jazz players. Soon after in College at SUNY
Geneseo, Matt joined a blues band called "promise of a new
groove." He dug up the stylings of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Santana,
Wilson Pickett, Buddy Guy, BB King among others. His roommate at the
time was a great straight-ahead sax player named Joseph Yoon. Joseph
would get Matt to accompany him at small cafes. Music by Wes Montgomery,
Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis were all part of the set.
college, Matt did what many kids on Long Island do--he joined a popular
cover band. Playing out 5 nights a week, covering all the latest top 40
hits, rock n roll classics, and dance music too. After 3 years straight,
Matt knew it was time to spread his wings. Original music, writing, the
unknown all became the focus. Matt would spend countless nights in
Manhattan soaking in blues, jazz, songwriters, and whatever else he
could get his eyes and ears on. One night he had the amazing experience
of hearing Larry Carlton at the Blue Note. Matt met Larry after the
show, and was so blown away by his melodic bluesy jazzy sculpted sound,
and his peaceful personality. This was sure a life changing moment. Matt
also began writing with a great band called Miller Place, songwriters
Jack Licitra, Lucy Bonilla, Theresa Sareo, and Leslie Mendelson. Clubs
such as the Bitter End, Lions Den, Living Room, Village Pub, Sage Cafe
were spots they performed. One night while performing, guitar legend
Ritchie Blackmore entered the room and watched Matt's every move. Matt
was afraid to even start a conversation, but it was Blackmore who pulled
Matt aside and complimented him on his tone, feeling, and ability to
restrain and play for the music. This proved to be Matt's turning point.
some time playing as a sideman in many groups, singer-songwriter
projects, Matt decided to do what he always wanted to do--an
instrumental guitar project. The writing began, and then soon after the
project attracted the likes of Paul Simon Bassist Bakithi Kumalo, Tower
Of Power saxman David Mann, Phoebe Snow Keyboardist Dean Kraus, among
others. Matt headed into the studio and the album to be was entitled
"preservation." The album was a tribute to groups such as The
Crusaders, Stuff, and Steve Gadd's Gadd Gang. Funk, modern shuffles, and
tasty melodies were the underlying vision.
dedication from a younger player to his influences. The album got some
attention and Matt played 100's of gigs around NY selling his release.
The album caught the eye of some of contemporary jazz’s biggest names.
persevered, and while reflecting on the horrible tragedy in NYC, decided
to really give back to kids, the community. He designed a unique program
called "music with matt." Matt started visiting preschools,
elementary schools, childcare centers spreading the joy of music. Armed
with an acoustic guitar, Matt sought out to perform for kids and put
smiles on faces. To this day Matt still makes time to give back to
children and spread the joy of music.
working on his album This Time Around, Matt and manager at the time Jenn
Phillips heard of a contest that CD101.9 in NY was holding. A sort of
take on American Idols search. Except they were looking for the
"best new jazz artist in NY." Reluctantly and not much for
contests they submitted their demo. Soon after the phone rang and Matt
was in the running. Well, after a few rounds, the kid from Long Island
was named "best new artist in NY." He got airplay on WQCD
101.9 and a special Sunday segment on his life and music. The airplay
continued and he got a chance to open for Jeff Golub, Richard Elliot,
Peter White, Steve Cole.
the recent buzz, the group starting playing relentlessly across NY,
slowly building a following. Stations across the globe started playing
tunes. Ted Hasiuks Jazz Cafe in Canada, England's Echo Smooth Jazz, Jeff
Charney's KC show, and others. With the momentum promoters asked Matt
last summer to open for artist Peter White at a charity called
"Jazz at Sunset" for MS. They raised $15,000 and Matt had a
chance to play on stage with one of his influences--a truly joyful time.
Since then, Matt has devoted much of his time to Multiple Sclerosis and
performing to help find a cure. Matt was also asked by Long Island
concert promoter James Faith to open for Spryo Grya and Stanley Jordan
at the first ever Hilltop Jazz Fest. 2004 was quite a year Matt and the
Matt has been drawing nice crowds at a regular spot in Huntington Long
Island called "Fiddleheads." On one specific night, super jazz
group Fourplay was playing at the neighboring theatre. After their show
let out, fans of Fourplay couldn't help from notice this guy next door
pouring it out. The club owner opened the door, and literally 150 people
crammed into the small cafe. Since that night, Matt has been generating
crowds and selling out shows of 75-100 people per show at this small
venue. The word is out in NY.