Matt is an Associate Professor of Music, Chair of Jazz Studies, and Director of CSAM at the University of South Carolina. He directs the Left Bank Big Band, teaches jazz and commercial trumpet, composition, and advanced improvisation. From 2012-2021, Matt was a professor of Music at Coastal Carolina University, where he developed two new degree programs in Commercial Music and Music Technology. The 2016 Coastal Jazz Combo, under his direction, won a Downbeat Student Music Award and performed at the Montreux, Vienne, and Umbria Jazz Festivals – all firsts for the University. He was voted most outstanding faculty member in his college twice (2014, 2019), and produced three different professional recordings for the University Press as manager of the campus recording studio.
Matt's philosophy as a teacher stems from his professional and educational experiences. All trumpet students study classical, jazz, and commercial styles in lessons. Ensembles cover a variety of styles, including contemporary music. Students integrate technology into both creative and professional facets of their study.
The reality of making a living in the shifting landscape of the music industry is often removed from studying music in an academic setting. By remaining active as a performer, composer, producer, and general consumer of music, Matt strives to inspire his students to obtain success with musical integrity.
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"A Hushed Thrill: The Sights and Sounds of Brookegreen Gardens"
A collaborative project between Artist Ron Daise (Gullah Gullah Island) and CCU students. Ron is the Artistic Director of Brookgreen Gardens and has composed lyrics and melodies for songs inspired by the gardens. Students have taken these songs and composed, arranged, recorded and produced an entire album, completely on campus. Released August 2016.
Build Your Range
Written by Dr. Augie Haas and edited by Matt (they were jazz trumpet T.A.'s together at U Miami). This is an amazing method and tool for developing the upper register, including super hip play-alongs to work in rest. Highly Recommended.
Gullah: The Voice of an Island
A collaborative project between the elder Gullah song leaders of St. Helena Island and CCU Students. Building on the research of Dr. Eric Crawford, Matt and recording students traveled down to the Island to record the solo song performances and oral histories of 4 prominent soloists to preserve their musical gifts for a larger community. Proceeds go back to the soloists and to support the remaining praise houses on the island. Completely developed and produced by students on campus via the Athenaeum Press.
Visualization and Jazz Improvisation
Matt's doctoral dissertation focused on the visual experiences during improvisation of trumpeters Tim Hagans, Brian Lynch, and Jason Palmer. This first research of its kind, including musical transcriptions and interviews.