Matt Wilson preparing for take-offBiography for Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is recognized as one of the most creative drummers of his generation.  He maintains a high profile in the international jazz scene as a recording artist, bandleader, composer, producer, in-demand sideman, ideaman, educator and frequent flier mileage collector.

A short history

Wilson was born 9/27/64 and raised in the prairie town of Knoxville Ill.  At a young age he started to play the drums and was soon playing in local bands playing a wide variety of music.  After high school he attended Wichita State University where a plethora of creative activities (including a work for percussion and professional wrestlers) inspired him.  While living in Wichita he continued to play a wide spectrum of music gaining invaluable experience.  In 1984 he received a grant from the N.E.A. to study with Ed Soph and during that summer was able to hear many jazz legends both in Boston and New York.

In 1987 Matt and his wife Felicia, a violinist, packed up a Ryder truck and moved east to Boston where she was to attend New England Conservatory.  Matt quickly became part of the scene playing and recording with the Either/Orchestra, Charlie Kohlhase, John Medeski and numerous others.  He also was a ubiquitous sideman on numerous recordings on the Boston based Acccurate records.

In 1992 they once again loaded up the truck and this time headed down I-95 to New York City.  They do not plan to move soon, partly because they love it so much and they have accumulated too much stuff.

Recent activities

Matt and his celebrated quartet completed a very successful three week tour of Europe in October 1999.  The tour was in support of his new release (8/99) on Palmetto Records, Smile.  The album, Matt's third as a leader, was chosen one of the top ten recordings of 1999 by Billboard magazine, CMJ, and numerous other publications.  Smile made an unprecedented debut at #1 on the College Music Journal jazz chart and maintained that position for 5 weeks.  The album, like Matt previous releases As Wave Follows Wave and Going Once, Going Twice, has garnered wide critical acclaim worldwide and maintains the tradition of Matt's records to swing and explore the unusual.

Matt was chosen by Down Beat magazine in June 1999 as one of The 25 for the Future and placed prominently in that publication's International Critic's Poll.  He was also selected recently as one of the 12 Delightful Drummers Worldwide by JazzThing (Germany).  In 1997, Wilson was named "Best New Artist" by the New York Jazz Critics Circle.  He has also been the subject of articles recently in Modern Drummer, Billboard, the New York Observer, Drum, Jazziz, Drums and Percussion (Germany) and Jazz Thing (Germany).

In addition, Matt maintains an active schedule of performing in New York and touring throughout the US, the world and, perhaps soon, foreign galaxies.  He has recently performed or recorded with a wide array of artists including Dewey Redman, Ray Anderson, Bill Mays, Janis Siegal, Cecil McBee, Leni Stern, Fred Hersch, Michael Brecker, Steve Slagle, Dave Tronzo, Dave Liebman, David Johansen, Ravi Coltrane, Mark Taylor, Sheila Jordan, Lee Konitz, Rufus Reid, Ted Rosenthal, Mario Pavone, Joanne Brackeen and many others that probably should be listed.  He has performed on over 65 recordings as a sideman and and is active in the New York session scene playing on numerous national jingles and soundtracks

Wilson's unique teaching methods have helped established him as a popular teacher and clinician.  He has conducted workshops throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Japan and South America.  He covers a wide array of subjects including drumset performance, rhythm section performance, music business and creativity and expression workshops for all instruments.  Wilson is a clinician for Zildjian cymbals and sticks and Pearl drums.

Matt resides in the glorious suburban confines of Oceanside, New York with his wife Felicia and beautiful two year old daughter Audrey.

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