Dmitri Matheny

Primary Instrument: Flugelhorn

Born: December 25, 1965    

Celebrated for his warm tone, soaring lyricism and masterful technique, American musician DMITRI MATHENY has been lauded as “the first breakthrough flugelhornist since Chuck Mangione” (San Jose Mercury News). First introduced to jazz audiences in the 1990s as the protégé of Art Farmer, Matheny has matured into “one of the jazz world's most talented horn players” (San Francisco Chronicle), a leading figure on the international jazz scene and one of the most prolific musicians of his generation. Born on Christmas Day, 1965 in in Nashville, Tennessee, Dmitri was raised in Georgia and Arizona...
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OUTSTANDING SERVICE TO JAZZ EDUCATION International Association for Jazz Education 2000 MODEL TOURING ARTIST California Arts Council 2000 BAY AREA BEST San Francisco Examiner Magazine 1995-2000 BEST NEW ARTISTS Brad Mehldau, Dmitri Matheny, Stefon Harris, Ravi Coltrane JazzTimes International Readers Poll 1999 TALENT DESERVING WIDER RECOGNITION 46th Annual DownBeat International Critics Poll 1998 TOP 10 JAZZ RECORDINGS OF THE YEAR Oakland Tribune 1998 BLUE CHIP JAZZ CD AWARDS Jazz Educators Journal 1998 BEST JAZZ RECORDING OF THE YEAR San Francisco Bay Guardian 1996 THE YEAR'S BEST RECORDINGS Jazz Educators Journal 1996 10 BEST JAZZ RECORDINGS OF THE YEAR JazzIz Magazine Critics Picks 1995
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Featured recording “GRANT & MATHENY”

Latest Release


Papillon Sounds (2010)

Events Calendar

Date Event Ticket
Oct21 Dmitri Matheny
Workshop @ Rincon/University High School
Tucson, AZ
Oct25 Dmitri Matheny
Tucson Jazz Society | Loews Ventana Canyon
Tucson, AZ
Oct25 Dmitri Matheny Group
St. Philip's Plaza
Tucson, AZ
Oct25 Tucson Jazz Society Dmitri Matheny cd Release Celebration
Loews Ventana Canyon
Tucson, AZ
Nov03 Dmitri Matheny
Workshop @ Saddleback College
Mission Viejo, CA
Nov05 Dmitri Matheny
Workshop @ Sonoma State University
Rohnert Park, CA
Nov05 Dmitri Matheny
Workshop @ Gunn High School
Palo Alto, CA

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”Radiant” —DownBeat

“Glowing” —JazzTimes

“Unquestionably a master.” —JazzIz

“A loving concern for fine detail.” —Los Angeles Times

“Understated, masterful technique and evident joy.” —JazzNews

“A flugelhorn so cool it'll run a shiver through your martini.” —MetroActive

“The first breakthrough flugelhornist since Chuck Mangione.” —San Jose Mercury News

“A brass player who can limn slow-motion ballads without referencing Miles.” —Gary Giddins, Village Voice

“Extravagantly, unashamedly, irresistibly pretty...

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Primary InstrumentFlugelhorn

Willing to teachIntermediate to advanced students

Credentials/BackgroundDmitri Matheny is a devoted advocate for the arts and a tireless, inspiring educator. Teaching the joys of jazz—whether to aspiring artists, audiences, adults or children—is a major focus for Dmitri both at home and on the road. RESIDENCIES — Dmitri is known for having a unique ability to bring out the very best in aspiring young musicians. He accepts extended residencies and teaching positions on an availability basis. CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT — Dmitri is the creator of Discover Jazz, an innovative jazz appreciation course for adults in association with the San Francisco Jazz Festival. Presented at San Francisco's Jewish Community Center, Discover Jazz explores the music's colorful mythology, key figures, recordings, forms, and ideas. CLASSROOM TEACHING — Dmitri has taught youth and adult classes in jazz history and appreciation, music theory, jazz harmony, film scoring, composition, arranging, orchestration, the music business, contract negotiation, recording, publicity, marketing, e-commerce and fundraising. FACULTY POSITIONS — Matheny's past appointments include Director of Education and Director of Development for SFJAZZ (the largest nonprofit jazz presenter on the West Coast), Assistant Education Director for the Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Colony, Artist-In-Residence for the Siskiyou Institute of Ashland, Oregon and the Young Musicians Program of UC Berkeley, and faculty of the Stanford Jazz Workshop and the Jazzschool of Berkeley, California. PRIVATE LESSONS — Dmitri offers private lessons via Skype to professional musicians and serious students worldwide. Lessons focus on the fundamentals of brass technique, melodic interpretation and jazz improvisation. YOUTH CONCERTS — The Dmitri Matheny Group and Grant & Matheny duo work with arts organizations and concert presenters to provide children in underserved communities with the experience of hearing jazz live-in-concert. Each program is tailored to the unique needs and experience level of the children, with the goal of informing, enlightening and inspiring all involved. SCHOOL ASSEMBLIES — As teaching artists of the San Francisco Symphony Adventures in Music program, the Dmitri Matheny Group has provided over 500 free, curriculum-based concerts in schools, serving more than 50,000 children. JAZZ SCHOLARSHIPS — Since 1999, the Art Farmer Jazz Scholarship Fund (created by Dmitri Matheny in honor of his mentor) has provided merit-based financial assistance awards to promising young students of jazz. FAMILY CONCERTS — Dmitri's original family show The SnowCat teaches literacy and a love of the arts with an entertaining theatrical production that combines storytelling, singing, visual art and live music. SALON CONCERTS — In-home performances, a trademark of the Grant & Matheny duo, offer an intimate look at the artists' creative process. SYMPOSIA — Dmitri is frequently invited to participate in panel discussions and symposia held at music festivals and industry conferences. SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS — Matheny has served as a moderator, speaker, presenter, site visitor and peer review panelist for the California Arts Council, Chamber Music America, National Endowment for the Arts and International Association of Jazz Educators. INFORMANCES — Throughout the year, Dmitri offers clinics, lecture/demonstrations and "informances" for professional musicians and serious students of jazz. These are customized educational performances with commentary, in which Dmitri and his fellow musicians share their ideas and personal insights into the nuances of jazz performance. MASTERCLASSES — Masterclasses provide an opportunity for student ensembles to perform excerpts from their repertoire, then receive constructive critique and evaluation. Prior to each Master Class, Dmitri meets with the ensemble director or teacher to discuss particular concepts to be discussed and reinforced. Upon the student group's completion of each performed selection, Dmitri and his musicians offer thoughtful commentary, encouraging praise and suggestions for how to strengthen the next performance. CLINICS — As a clinician, Dmitri works with student musicians to convey key musical concepts and techniques, such as dynamics, articulation, melodic interpretation, phrasing, time-keeping, chord voicing and improvisation. Intensive clinics provide students with specialized training in a particular style or technique of performance, and may take the form of guided sectional rehearsals (for the rhythm section, brass, and/or woodwinds), or an individual coaching session focused on soloists and other key personnel. WORKSHOPS — In association with his seasonal tours, Dmitri offers three workshops for special audiences: Melodic Mastery, a jazz improvisation workshop for aspiring musicians based on the teachings of Art Farmer; Bandleader Bootcamp, advanced training in the skills and techniques required to direct a world class jazz ensemble; and Music in the Digital Age, a business tool kit for professional musicians. CONSULTING — Matheny provides confidential career assessment and guidance to fellow musicians and independent consulting services to leading arts organizations. As a consultant with the National Jazz Service Organization (NJSO), Matheny has advised dozens of professional musicians and has counseled a diverse roster of corporate, nonprofit and government clients on strategic planning, curriculum development and fundraising. Past and current clients include American Airlines, Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead, The Kennedy Center, Hawaii International Jazz Festival, Healdsburg Jazz Festival, the Jazzschool, Oakland Jazz Choir, Rhythmic Concepts, San Francisco Jazz Festival, Stanford Jazz Workshop, Telegraph Avenue Neighborhood Association of Berkeley, University of California Jazz Ensembles and the Young Musicians Program of UC Berkeley. LEADERSHIP — Matheny's contributions to the field include volunteer service on various governing boards. A past president of the Berklee College of Music California Alumni Association, Dmitri has served on the San Francisco Board of Governors of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), the Board of Trustees of SFJAZZ, the San Francisco Jazz Organization, and the Board of Directors of Jazz in Arizona.


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Dmitri plays a very special flugelhorn that originally belonged to his mentor, the late jazz master Art Farmer. "Trumpet players sometimes double on flugelhorn, the way saxophone players double on flute or clarinet," Dmitri explains. "But I was inspired by Art Farmer to dedicate myself entirely to the flugelhorn. Art proved that focused attention can yield extraordinary fluency." Designed by Zigmant Kanstul, the flugelhorn is one of three horns favored by Farmer in his performances and recordings of the 1970s and '80s. Matheny acquired the instrument after a duet performance of "Warm Valley" with Dr. Billy Taylor at Farmer's memorial service, November 7, 1999 at St. Peter's Church in New York City. The horn weighs 2.5 lbs. Its bell, crafted in heavy wall copper-plated brass, is 6.5 inches in diameter. The leadpipe is 0.421 "large bore" as manufactured by French Besson for Boosey & Hawkes, based on a classic 1890 Paris Exposition design. Its valves are top sprung monel pistons with metal interior casings and a lacquered brass exterior, as manufactured by English Besson based on a design by Couesnon & Company. Farmer made a number of modifications to his Kanstul flugelhorn such as adding tuning triggers to the first and third valve slides and making custom valve caps inlaid with 1916-D Mercury dimes, an idea borrowed from symphonic French horn players of the era. Although weathered with age and oxidation, the name of the instrument's original owner is still visible, engraved on the flugelhorn's copper bell. To expand the flugelhorn's timbral palette with additional tones and colors, Matheny uses a Jo-Ral tenor trombone bubble mute designed by Joe Alessi and an assortment of hats, bottles, mutes and plungers.
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