Dmitri Matheny (b. December 25, 1965, Nashville, Tennessee) is an American jazz flugelhornist, composer, educator, producer and recording artist. Matheny, as a performer, is known for his lyrical style and warm tone.
|Birth name||Dmitri Matheny|
December 25, 1965|
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
|Field||Jazz musician, composer, educator, producer, recording artist|
|Training||Berklee College of Music|
- 1 Early career
- 2 San Francisco
- 3 Recordings
- 4 Film Music
- 5 Producing
- 6 Collaborations
- 7 Education
- 8 Awards and Commissions
- 9 Discography
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Matheny was raised in Columbus, Georgia and Tucson, Arizona. He began playing piano at age 5 and switched to trumpet at age 9 while at the Brookstone School in Columbus. At age 12, his family relocated to Tucson, where he played in his school band program. He led his first group at 16 and received funding from the Tucson Jazz Society to continue his studies. In 1983-84 Matheny attended the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and, from 1984–89, Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Matheny performed regularly in the Boston area in 1987-88 with the True Colors Big Band, led by composer Ken Schaphorst, and in 1988 with the non-profit Jazz Composers Alliance. From 1985-89 Matheny led the New Voice Jazz Sextet, a band which included at different times saxophonists Mark Gross, Antonio Hart, bassist Peter Herbert and drummer Hans Schuman, founder of JazzReach.
Matheny began his career playing trumpet, studying for a time with noted New York brass teacher Carmine Caruso, but in the late 1980s began focusing on the flugelhorn as his primary instrument. Matheny began studying with jazz flugelhornist Art Farmer in 1988.
After moving to San Francisco in 1989, Matheny formed the Dmitri Matheny Group, his primary working ensemble ever since, and began performing in the Bay Area. During his early years in San Francisco, Matheny also worked in a variety of administrative roles for the San Francisco Jazz Festival.
Matheny's annual home season of concerts were fixture of the Bay Area jazz scene while he lived there. The year 2000 was a typical home season, in which Matheny shared the stage with the Del Sol String Quartet, pianist Amina Figarova, and vocalist Ann Dyer and hosting a benefit performance at Yoshi’s for the University of California, Berkeley-based Young Musicians Program, entitled "Diva Night: International Sirens of Song" and featuring Figarova, vocalist Kim Nalley and Claudia Villela performing with the Dmitri Matheny Orchestra.
Notable musicians with whom Matheny has worked are Frankie Avalon, Larry Coryell, Nathan Davis, Fabian, Amina Figarova, Tommy Flanagan, the Four Tops, Wycliffe Gordon, Darrell Grant, Larry Grenadier, John Handy, Billy Higgins, Red Holloway, Denise Jannah, James Moody, The O'Jays, Sandy Patty, Jean Louis Rassinfosse, Margo Reed, Tony Reedus, Martha Reeves, Sam Rivers, Max Roach, Dennis Rowland, the Rosenberg Trio, Bobby Rydell, Bud Shank, Sonny Simmons, Mary Stallings, Akira Tana, Billy Taylor, the Temptations, Bobby Watson and Paula West.
Dmitri Matheny performs regularly at clubs throughout the United States and Europe. Notable Bay Area clubs in which Matheny has performed include Yoshi's, Cafe Du Nord, and the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz.
Festival appearances are also a significant part of his performance schedule. Among Matheny's many festival appearances are the American Broadway Music Festival (1999), Berkeley Jazz Festival (1999), Big Sur Jazz Festival (1997), Black Magic Woman Festival, Netherlands (2002), Britt Festival (2001), Caspian Jazz & Blues Festival, Azerbaijan (2002), Chandler Jazz Festival  (2010), Festival of New American Music (2000), Jakarta International Festival, Indonesia (2001), Jazz on the Hill Festival (1998), Kraków International Festival, Poland (1996), Left Coast Jazz Festival (1997), Mexicali Jazz Festival, Mexico (2002), Monterey Jazz Festival (1989, 1996, 1999, 2004), North Beach Jazz Festival (2000, 2001), Oregon Coast Music Festival (2001), Pacifica Jazz Festival (1999), Paradise Valley Jazz Party (2010), Redlands Bowl Summer Music Festival (2002, 2010), San Francisco Jazz Festival (1997, 1998, 2004, 2005), San Jose Jazz Festival (2000), Santa Cruz Jazz Festival (1997), Stanford Jazz Festival (1997, 1998, 1999), Stern Grove Festival (1999), Tamaya Jazz Festival (2002), Taos Jazz Festival (2002), Telluride Jazz Celebration (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2010) and Thelonious Monk Institute Colony at Jazz Aspen Snowmass (1997, 1998, 1999).
Matheny performed as guest jazz soloist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra on November 21, 1998 and the San Francisco Symphony on March 17, 2001. Matheny has also worked with the San Francisco Symphony's "Adventures in Music" program.
In the early 1990s, Matheny relocated to San Francisco. In 1995 he signed a contract with Monarch Records. The label released Matheny's first recording as a leader, Red Reflections, that year. The CD, a mixture of standards and Matheny's original compositions, featured performances by saxophonists Rob Scheps and Dave Ellis, guitarist John Heller, bassists Bill Douglass and Trevor Dunn, drummers Scott Amendola and Alan Jones, and percussionist Ian Dogole. A CD release concert for Red Reflections took place at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in February 1996.
The following year Matheny released his second recording, Penumbra: The Moon Sessions. The CD used the moon as a theme and inspiration and featured saxophonist Dave Ellis, guitarist John Heller, bassist Bill Douglass, drummer Kenny Wollesen and accordionist Rob Burger. Penumbra, produced by noted jazz producer Orrin Keepnews, was named one of the 10 Best Jazz Recordings of 1996 by JazzIz Magazine. The San Francisco Bay Guardian called Penumbra the Best Jazz Recording of 1996.
Matheny's third recording for Monarch Records, Starlight Café, recorded live at the JazzSchool in Berkeley, California with a pared down lineup of pianist Darrell Grant and bassist Bill Douglass, was released in 1998. Starlight Café was named one of the Top 10 Jazz Recordings of the Year by the Oakland Tribune. Matheny and Grant played a Starlight Café release concert at Weill Recital Hall in October 1998.
Matheny's follow up to Starlight Café was the Christmas CD, Santa's Got a Brand New Bag, released on Papillon Records in 2000. The CD featured vocalists Brenda Boykin, Clairdee, and Paula West, accordionist Rob Burger, French horn player Mark Taylor, tenor and soprano saxophonist Kenny Brooks, guitarists Brad Buethe and Benjamin Rodefer, pianists Darrell Grant and Bill Bell, bassists Ruth Davies, and drummers Jason Lewis and Eddie Marshall.
Matheny's 2005 release, Nocturne, in some ways echoed the tone and settings of 1997's Penumbra. Andrew Gilbert, writing for The San Diego Union-Tribune, said of Nocturne, "Matheny draws on the European classical tradition of night-inspired musical settings, from Mozart and Schumann to Chopin and Debussy ... the pieces are mostly composed ... Starting with "Twilight," the album moves through a 12-movement cycle that concludes with the gentle "Awakening". The CD, Matheny's second Papillon recording, featured guitarist Brad Buethe, bassist Ruth Davies, percussionist Deszon X. Claiborne, violinists Jeremy Cohen and Sarah Knutson, violist Emily Onderdonk, cellist Marika Hughes, saxophonist Charles McNeal, harpist Karon Gottlieb and Bart Platteau on shakuhachi.
The Snowcat, Matheny’s third recording for Papillon records, is a secular holiday offering. The work is based on the ancient Asian parable of "the Oxherder," in which a herdboy's quest to find his missing ox is likened to an individual's journey through life. Indian in origin, the parable became popular in medieval Japan and was depicted on 13th century handscrolls as the "Ten Oxherding Songs" or Ten Oxherding Pictures. The scrolls traditionally divide the hero's journey into ten stages each illustrated by a circularly framed image and a simple verse. Rendered in the graphic style of Japanese narrative illustration, the story format is as simple as a modern day comic or coloring book. In Matheny’s version of the tale, the hero is changed from a boy to a girl and her companion is not an ox, but a cat. Matheny serves as storyteller as well as flugelhornist on the recording. Also performing on the recordings are vocalist Zoe Ellis, saxophonist Charles McNeal, guitarist Brad Buethe, bassist Ruth Davies, and drummer Deszon X. Claiborne.
Spirito Sanctu: The New Millennium Mass is a seventeen-movement liturgical work, commissioned as part of San Francisco’s millennial New Year's Eve celebration. The composition received its world premiere at San Francisco’s St. Dominic’s Catholic Church precisely at midnight on December 31, 1999. The premiere performance was recorded live at its premiere and released on Papillon Records in 2007. Spirito Sanctu was scored for chorus, organ, percussion, brass quintet, jazz ensemble and gospel soloist, the Mass was conducted by Dr. David Schofield David Schofield. Among the performers featured were vocalist Clairdee, keyboardist Matthew Clark, bassist Ruth Davies, percussionist Curt Moore, the San Francisco Brass, and the St. Dominic’s Choir.
In 2008, Papillon Records released The Best of Dmitri Matheny, a compilation of tracks that had appeared previously in his discography, save one: a brief jump style arrangement of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
Matheny's most recent Papillon release is Grant & Matheny with pianist Darrell Grant. The CD is the first commercial release by the duo, who have performed together extensively since 1998. The recording, which features a range of music from Vincent Youmans' "Without a Song" to Thelonious Monk's "Think of One" to Keith Jarrett's "Country" to original works by the duo, was released in 2010 on Papillon Records.
Three of Matheny's own recordings of his compositions, "Penumbra," "Moon Rocks" and "Red Reflections," were used on the soundtrack to the RKO Pictures feature film Shade (2003), starring Gabriel Byrne, Jamie Foxx, Melanie Griffith and Sylvester Stallone.
Matheny's other film scoring and soundtrack credits include the documentary Mary, Paradox & Grace (PBS, 1996), the industrial short film Greenhorn Creek (1997), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art production Voices & Images of California Art (1997). Matheny also contributed music for the Cannes Film Festival premiere of "Stanley's Girlfriend," a short from the horror anthology Trapped Ashes (2006).
Matheny produced a number of recordings for Monarch Records in the 1990s. Since first studying with jazz flugelhornist Art Farmer in the late 1980s, Matheny had developed a close relationship with the noted jazz musician and fellow Arizonan. In 1997, Matheny served as Executive Producer of Farmer's recording, Live at the Stanford Jazz Workshop. He also wrote the liner notes for the critically well-received CD.
Matheny has collaborated frequently with pianist Amina Figarova. As a member of her Amina Figarova International Band Matheny performed in Europe, Asia and North America between 1998 and 2006. Matheny's most frequent collaborator is pianist Darrell Grant. The two have performed together on numerous occasions and in a variety of settings, from classrooms to the Monterey Jazz Festival as the duo Grant & Matheny.
Matheny regularly presents clinics, lectures, master classes and workshops at the university level. He has also staged more than 500 free, curriculum-based concerts for children; a total audience of over 50,000. Matheny has held teaching faculty and management positions with the Jazzschool, Boston Center for the Arts, Chabot Space and Science Center, and the Stanford Jazz Workshop. He has also served as Director of Education for SFJAZZ, as Assistant Education Director for the Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Colony at Jazz Aspen Snowmass, and as Artist-In-Residence for the Siskiyou Institute of Ashland and the Young Musicians Program of the University of California, Berkeley.
Awards and Commissions
In 1998, Matheny was selected as Talent Deserving Wider Recognition in the 46th Annual Down Beat Magazine Critics Poll. In 1999, Matheny was named a Best New Artist by JazzIz Magazine, along with pianist Brad Mehldau, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, and saxophonist Ravi Coltrane. Matheny was named one of the Bay Area Best by the San Francisco Examiner Magazine in 1997, 1998, and 2000. Also in 2000, Matheny was recognized for Outstanding Service to Jazz Education by the International Association for Jazz Education.
Matheny has received commissions and premieres from Meet the Composer, the Manhattan New Music Project, the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers, the Bay Area Jazz Composers Orchestra and 20th Century Forum.
- 1995 Red Reflections (Monarch Records MR-1009)
- 1996 Penumbra (Monarch Records MR-1014)
- 1998 Starlight Café (Monarch Records MR-1018)
- 2000 Santa's Got a Brand New Bag (Papillon PRCD-001)
- 2005 Nocturne (Papillon PRCD-002)
- 2006 The SnowCat (Papillon PRCD-003)
- 2007 Spiritu Sancto (Papillon PRCD-004)
- 2008 Best of Dmitri Matheny (Papillon PRCD-005)
- 2010 Grant & Matheny (Papillon PRCD-006)
With Various Artists
- Tango No. 9 Here Live No Fish, composer, "Sea of Tranquility" (Spillhouse 2007)
- Central Coast Jazz Quartet At Home (1999)
As Producer and Arranger
- Vicki Burns Siren Song (MerryMaid Productions 2000)
As Executive Producer and Annotator
- Art Farmer Live at Stanford Jazz Workshop (Monarch Records MR-1013 1997)
As Executive Producer
- Dave Ellis Raven (Monarch Records 1996)(Medici Classics/Sunset Classics & Jazz)
- Tom Peron/Bud Spangler Dedication (Medici Classics/Sunset Classics & Jazz)
- Eddie Marshall San Francisco Nighthawks (Monarch Records, 1996)(Medici Classics/Sunset Classics & Jazz)
- SFJAZZ Collective Live 2005 (SFJAZZ Records, 2005)
As Associate Producer
- SFJAZZ SF Jazz Festival Sampler 96 Vol. 1 (Jazz In The City, 1996)
- Franckling, Ken (Summer 1997). "Dmitri Matheny Looks Up for Inspiration". United Press International.
- Yanow, Scott (2001). "Profiles of the Trumpet Kings". Trumpet Kings: The Players Who Shaped the Sound of the Jazz Trumpet. San Francisco, California: Backbeat Books. p. 249. ISBN 978-0-87930-640-3.
- Gilbert, Andrew (March 29, 1998). "Forsaking Bebop Sound for Melody and Lyricism". San Jose Mercury News.
- Ouellette, Dan (January 1996). "Tradin’ Fours: Naked and Upfront". Downbeat Magazine.
- Santella, Jim (November 1, 1998). "Dmitri Matheny - Starlight Cafe". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
- Elwood, Philip (April 11, 1996). "Flugelhorn combo touring the West". San Francisco Examiner.
- Goodwin, Elizabeth (October 1993). "Dmitri Matheny & The SOMA Ensemble". Jazz Now.
- Roberts, Joel (November 1, 1998). "Dmitri Matheny: Starlight Cafe". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2011-08-20.
- La Patt, Holly (July 1, 2010). "Dmitri Matheny Group makes jazz a family-friendly party". The Press-Enterprise. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
- Hildebrand, Lee (March 18, 1999). "Taking Care of Business: Jazzman Dmitri Matheny Storms the East Bay". East Bay Express.
- Saroyan, Wayne (March 24, 2000). "Dmitri Matheny and Ann Dyer Prove Home Is Where The Jazz Is". Oakland Tribune.
- Jolley, Craig (September 29, 2004). "Monterey Jazz Festival 2004". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
- Saroyan, Wayne (December 8, 1995). "Matheny horns in on jazz greats’ world". Contra Costa Times.
- Cordle, Owen (September 1997). "Jazz Review: Dmitri Matheny Penumbra: The Moon Sessions". JazzTimes. JazzTimes. Retrieved 2011-08-04.
- Heckman, Don (August 10, 1998). "Dmitri Matheny Penumbra". Los Angeles Times.
- Yanow, Scott (1997). "Penumbra: Moon Sessions, Dmitri Matheny". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
- Conrad, Thomas (December 1998). "Dmitri Matheny Starlight Cafe". Stereophile.
- McDonald, Mac (April 1996). "Christmas tunes in March". JazzTimes (JazzTimes).
- Wood, Beth (July 2005). "Matheny Makes a Little Night Music". La Jolla Village News.
- Gilbert, Andrew (July 21, 2005). "Inspired By The Dark: Dmitri Matheny". San-Diego Union Tribune.
- Zych, David (March 1998). "Jazz Reviews: Art Farmer, Live at the Stanford Jazz Workshop". JazzTimes. Retrieved 2011-08-10. "Recordings made at live concerts often bring out the best in artists and, as a result, they often become classics that stand the test of time."
- Jolley, Craig (September 29, 2004). "Monterey Jazz Festival 2004". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2011-08-09. "Dmitri Matheny (flugelhorn) and Darrell Grant (piano) have played together for years, and it showed particularly on Bill Lee's "Little Jimmy Fiddler" where they sometimes shared the lead or finished each other's phrases during four-bar interchanges."
- Sens, Josh (July 14, 1997). "Playing For Jazz's Future: Dmitri Matheny and Friends Give UC Berkeley Program A Hand". Oakland Tribune.