Composer - Trumpeter - Educator
Trumpeter, Composer, Educator, and technologist Dr. Matthew White is Associate Professor, Chair of Jazz Studies, and Director of CSAM at the University of South Carolina School of Music. He holds degrees from the University of North Florida and The University of Miami and has appeared on numerous albums, radio broadcasts, and television shows, performing and composing music for artists as varied as: Rihanna, Becca Stevens, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, Oscar DeLeon, Duranice Pace, Charlie Peacock, the Czech Republic Arts Ministry, and Jeff Coffin, in addition to various other artists, ensembles, symphonies, and big bands.
Matt’s music has been described as “rhythmically brash and invigorating” by the Washington Post, with “a knack for sweeping, cinematic statements” by Downbeat Magazine. While rooted in the jazz tradition, his music often draws on non-musical inspiration, such as local culture, literature, scientific phenomenon, or personal experiences. Matt’s two releases as leader of The Super Villain Jazz Band both received 4-star reviews in Downbeat Magazine and were included in the Best of the Year lists.
"Matt White uses his source material – age old hymns and blues – not as bricks to build a mortuary, but as the basis for an entirely new structure"
A 2019 Guggenheim Fellow in Music Composition and the 2023 SCArts Music Composition fellow, Matt’s recent works have been heavily influenced by southern folk music traditions, particularly those of the Gullah Geechee people of the Coastal Carolinas. In addition to contemporizing folk songs and oral histories, Matt does extensive work recording and archiving the songs and stories of Gullah elders in the region. He has engineered recordings for the “Free and Equal Project” in partnership with the NEA, and artists Ron Daise, and Dave Douglas. He was a keynote speaker at the 2017 National Association of Leadership Educators Conference, and a finals judge at the 2019 International Trumpet Guild Jazz Competition. He is a member of the SC Masterworks Jazz Ensemble.
Matt is a Bach Trumpet, Aston Microphones, and Patrick Mouthpiece performing artist. He has two new upcoming albums – Lowcountry, featuring Chris Potter, and Dolly (a reimagining of early Dolly Parton Music). He is currently composing music for "Songs of Protest" in conjunction with the Reconstruction Era National Park in Beaufort, SC.
Lowcountry, featuring Chris Potter
Early praise for Lowcountry (available now on Ropeadope)
"With reverence and unhushed abandon, Lowcountry extends legacies that, however threatened or overlooked, are still very much alive"
Larry Blumenfeld, WSJ
"On so many levels, this well-conceived exposition is a window into one of this country's lesser known, enduring cultures."
Jim Hynes, Glide Magazine
“Scintillating music that doubles as an act of cultural anthropology and reclamation”
Philip Booth, Jazziz Magazine
"Ambitious and Transcendent"
Paris moves Magazine
(Click album cover to read press release)
Quentin Baxter: drums
Ron Daise: narration
Gracie Gadsen: vocals
Joseph Murray: vocals
Rosa Murray: vocals
Matt White: trumpet, composer, arranger
Chris Potter: tenor saxophone
Charlton Singleton: trumpet
Michael Thomas: alto saxophone, bass clarinet
Mark Sterbank: tenor saxophone, clarinet
Jerald Shynett: trombone
Tim Fischer: guitar
Demetrius Doctor: piano
Rodney Jordan: bass
The Charleston Symphony String Quartet:
Micah Gangwer: violin
Alex Boissonnault: violin
Jan-Marie Joyce: viola
Norbert Lewandowski: cello
Produced by: Matt White and Quentin E. Baxter
Assistant Producer: David Carter
Recorded at Truphonic Studios, Elliott Elsey engineer
Mixed by: Tevin Turner
Mastered by: John McLaggan, Parachute Mastering
21st century jazz education
Matt is chair of jazz studies at the University of South Carolina where he directs the Left Bank Big Band, directs the graduate program, and teaches trumpet, improvisation, composition, and music technology.
USC Jazz Studies is committed to giving students the best tools and experiences available to be diverse, resilient musicians capable of achieving their goals, with an emphasis on engaging their communities as leaders and arts advocates. In South Carolina that includes spreading the message of music by engaging communities, emphasizing continued teacher training, and providing resources for anyone interested in learning more about America's greatest cultural export. Learn more about USC Jazz here.