With confidence, lyricism, and a tonality that is suffused in warmth, saxophonist Matt Garrison fervently pursues the art-form of jazz as reflected in his own words, I like to think that I am a translator of sorts. A jazz musician, in my opinion, is supposed to interpret the world around them and convert those situations and feelings into music. This is the essence of Garrison's voice and music.
Born on May 20th, 1979 in Poughkeepsie, New York, Matthew Gordon Garrison grew up in a household that was absent of the sounds of Miles, Coltrane, and other jazz musicians; instead the music of Doo Wop, 1960s rock and roll, and 1980s contemporary tunes found precedence.
Though Garrison's parents weren't musicians, he attributes his creativity and imagination to his mother (a superb quilter and crafts maker) and his technical and mathematical gifts to his father (a skilled draftsman and CADAM designer) as the core ingredients in his acumen as a jazz artist.
After taking an early interest in the saxophone in school, the spark was ignited, as well as some minor obstacles, as Garrison remembers humorously, I started to get into trouble with some of my teachers for changing some of the music in the concert band while playing. I wanted to add my own ideas to the charts and that's when I started to get into the idea of improvisation.
Through hard work and determination, he excelled and went on to earn, both Bachelors and Masters degrees (including the Anthony Newman Award, given to one exceptional jazz major) at Purchase Conservatory of Music in Westchester New York where he studied with Javon Jackson, Ralph Lalama, Hal Galper, Todd Coolman, and Jon Faddis.