Primary Instrument: Trumpet
As a trumpeter Matt Shulman boldly pushes through boundaries and challenges our preconceptions of what the instrument should sound like. As a singer-songwriter he wraps us in a lush, dream-like world of loops and existential poetry. As a performer he draws from the emotional pulse of today's popular music and jazz's rich tradition to give us something that never goes out of style: good music.
Hailed by the New York Times as A new voice from jazz's emerging generation…, by fans as Miles Davis meets Radiohead...a Chet Baker for the new millennium..., and by Downbeat Magazine as Zen-like…, Matt combines intimate vocals with virtuosic trumpet playing and sensual electronics to create his signature sound.
The 9 tracks on SO IT GOES, Matt's 1st release with Jaggo Records (official release planned for spring '07), favor an adventurous jazz/alternative feel, ranging from Matt's highly distinctive original material to the standards 'My Funny Valentine' and J.S. Bach's 'Air For The G String'. Combining his musical and life influences with forward-thinking compositions and mind-bending trumpet skills, Matt creates a sound on SO IT GOES that All About Jazz calls ...fresh, innovative…deeply emotional...a jazz group for the 21st Century.
The emotional content of SO IT GOES has changed for me over time, Matt explains. When I wrote and recorded the raw tracks I was in a long-term relationship in which being an artist was covertly unacceptable -- but I was in denial of it. Naturally, as I focused more on my music and making the record, the whole thing blew up. The relationship ended, and i finished the record with everything taking on a completely new meaning for me. What's interesting is that a lot of the lyrics sound like they could have been written afterward (lyrics to the title track: light turns to dark, and you ask me what's what? has this world come to nothing but a show? it's been long since you've seen those better days...so it goes...). Perhaps something in my intuitive self knew something my logical brain didn't...
Matt made his Carnegie Hall main stage debut as featured guest soloist with the New York Pops Orchestra in 2002, and was named Jazz Artist of the Year by the 2003 Independent Music Awards, earning him international acclaim for having virtually reinvented the trumpet through his highly expressive sound and pioneering approaches. In addition to his rich trumpet tone and honest vocal delivery, one thing many audiences notice about Matt is his simultaneous use of vocals and electronics with his trumpet, what All About Jazz calls …an other-worldly sound...on SO IT GOES, Matt Shulman is something of a tour de force…he sings, plays, and uses his voice as a muted horn in a solo and duet with the trumpet... I started singing and playing the trumpet simultaneously about a year after I moved to New York, says Matt. A trombone player friend of mine showed me the (multiphonic) technique, and although not many trumpet players have developed it, I took to it pretty much right away. I use it as a means for delineating harmony within the structure of a song, as opposed to merely as a sound effect. In this way I can play three-note 'chords' and counterpoint on the trumpet, functioning in my trio kind of like a pianist or guitar player does, or even like a solo violinist does -- I grew up listening to my father play a lot of the Bach solo violin repertoire, so that approach is always somewhere in my sound. The electronics entered organically when I started using a stage monitor to amplify the multiphonics in live performance, then eventually added some reverb and delay for ambiance, and a loop pedal for layering.
Matt's spirit of experimentation and innovation can also be found in his development of the ShulmanSystem for Trumpet, a device he patented for eliminating detrimental embouchure pressure and body tension, endorsed today by Matt and his top trumpet player peers.
Born into a musical family in Lyndonville, Vermont, Matt started classical violin and piano at ages 3 and 4, then the baritone horn at 8, but never fully took to any instrument until finding his way to jazz and his natural gift as a trumpeter at 12 - I found a certain freedom of expression in jazz and the sound of the trumpet that just drew me in, Matt says.
Matt has earned numerous prizes and awards for his music, including winning 1st place in the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Competition, winning 1st place in the National Jazz Trumpet Competition, being named a finalist in the Thelonius Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition, and winning the Yamaha Young Performing Artist Award. Matt holds a Bachelor's of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Master's of Music from New York University, which he attended on fellowship through the Alberto Vilar Global Fellowship in the Performing Arts.
Possessing a rare combination of traditional and progressive aesthetics, Matt has toured internationally, recorded and/or collaborated with such diverse artists as Brad Mehldau, Ethan Iverson and Reid Anderson from The Bad Plus, The Jazz Mandolin Project, Robert Sadin, John Medeski from MMW, Kenny Werner, the Complexions Dance Company, Skitch Henderson, and Nneena Freelon. His work as a soloist has been featured on NBC's Saturday Night Live, the nationally syndicated Showtime Channel, and as both soloist and composer at Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Classically trained (Mark Gould of the Juilliard School) as well as in jazz, Matt has given New York and world premiers of Edward Green's 'Concerto in C', Marcello Toledo's 'Solitude of the World', Timothy Newman's 'Intervention', and his own 'Works for Trumpet'.
So It Goes, 2007 (Jaggo Records)
While We Sleep, 2000 (Self Produced) -- Voted Jazz Album of the Year by the 2003 Independent Music Awards
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