Primary Instrument: Cello
Matt Brubeck is a composer/performer specializing in improvisation on the cello. He also plays piano and bass. Raised on jazz and classically trained at Yale, Matt is at ease in multiple genres and has taken his cello improvisation skills into diverse musical territories.
“Matt Brubeck's facility with the instrument, bowing or plucking, seems to allow him to play whatever occurs to him. His full, deep sound takes on an edge of dramatic urgency when he improvises with the bow….” Jazz writer Doug Ramsey
Presently living near Toronto, Matt performs with a wide range of jazz and improvising artists. Current projects include Brubeck Braid, a duo with pianist David Braid. Brubeck Braid released its first CD, twotet/deuxtet, in 2007 to critical acclaim. Recently it was nominated for both Juno and National Jazz awards. Matt also plays with Ugly Beauties, a trio with pianist Marilyn Lerner and drummer Nick Fraser; Tallboys, a trio with multi-instrumentalist Kevin Breit and percussionist Jesse Stewart; as well as the newly formed Toronto Quartet, with percussionist Harris Eisenstadt, baritone saxophonist David Mott, and bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck. Brubeck Braid and Tallboys made appearances at various Canadian Jazz Festivals in the summer of 2007. In 2008 Brubeck Braid will be touring China; Ugly Beauties will be recording their first CD (on Montreal’s Ambience Magnetique label); Tallboys will be growing taller; and the Toronto Quartet has plans to travel across Canada with the treble clef notably absent.
During his many years in San Francisco, Matt collaborated with many musicians, including Ben Goldberg, Carla Kihlstedt, Scott Amendola Gino Robair, Myles Boisen, John Schott, and Pamela Z. Matt founded Oranj Symphonette, which recorded two CD's for Rykodisc and went on to play many of the major jazz festivals, from Monterey to Montreal. Matt worked for several years as composer and cellist/bassist with the San Francisco based Club Foot Orchestra, contributing to critically acclaimed scores for film and television. He also recorded three CD’s with jazz guitarist, David Widelock. In 2005 Matt and Pamela Z co-composed Wunderkabinet, an experimental multi-media opera, scored for voice, cello, electronics, and video. Wunderkabinet premiered at The LAB Gallery in San Francisco in September of 2005, was performed again in October 2006 at CalArts Redcat Theatre in Los Angeles, and received its Canadian premiere in April, 2007 at the Open Ears Festival in Kitchener, Ontario. In the pop/rock world, Matt has had many eclectic adventures including 15 years of recording regularly with Tom Waits, and extensive touring with Sheryl Crow, the Dixie Chicks, and Indigo Girls.
Matt is on the faculty of the Music Department at York University in Toronto where he leads ensembles and teaches private lessons in improvisation and jazz strings. (And, yes, he is the tallest son of Dave.)
“…the discovery here for me is Matt Brubeck, and his mastery of the cello. Arco, pizzicato, caressing or grooving, he's a full measure of jazz player, despite the rarity of his axe.” Ted O’Reilly, Whole Note Magazine
Brubeck's Huevos Verdes y Jamon has a Hispano-Caribbean lilt worthy of Sonny Rollins or Chick Corea, Braid's Mnemosyne's March Brahmsian gravity and beauty of line. Doug Ramsey, Rifftides
In all, this recording is well-produced and performed with supreme confidence. But the most enduring quality of the music is its uncommon marriage of styles which are blended seamlessly in the masters' hands. Scene Magazine (UK)
Their accomplishments here and elsewhere make the listener forget that jazz piano-cello combinations are seriously rare...this gifted pair delivers new music that glows with clarity and depth... Geoff Chapman, CODA