David Matthews (keyboardist)

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David Matthews
Birth nameDavid Richard Matthews
Born (1942-03-04) March 4, 1942 (age 82)
Sonora, Kentucky, U.S.
GenresJazz, jazz fusion, jazz-funk
Occupation(s)Instrumentalist, arranger
  • Keyboards
  • piano
Years active1966–present[1]
LabelsCTI, Electric Bird
Alma materUniversity of Cincinnati

David Matthews (born March 4, 1942), is an American keyboardist, pianist, and music arranger.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Matthews was born David Richard Matthews in Sonora, Kentucky. He earned a bachelor's degree in composition from the University of Cincinnati.[2][3]


Matthews has composed television soundtracks as well as albums with the Manhattan Jazz Orchestra. He is the leader of the Manhattan Jazz Quintet.[3] Matthews was also the leader of the musical group the Grodeck Whipperjenny.

In 1970, he began working as both an arranger and bandleader for James Brown.[3] Matthews has worked with various musicians, including Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Rich, Idris Muhammad, and the Starland Vocal Band. He was staff arranger for Creed Taylor's CTI Records label during the mid-1970s, working on albums for artists such as George Benson, Esther Phillips, Grover Washington Jr., Hank Crawford, and Idris Muhammad.[3]

In 1977, he became one of the first artists to dedicate an entire composition to Frank Herbert's Dune, publishing an album that went by the same name.[4][5]

In 1978, Matthews arranged strings and orchestra and played piano on Nina Simone's album Baltimore.[6]

Matthews music has been heavily sampled by many hip-hop artists such as The Notorious B.I.G., Nas, MF DOOM, Method Man, Redman and Large Professor and others.[7]


As leader[edit]

  • The Grodeck Whipperjenny, People – rec. 1970
  • Big Band Recorded at the Five Spot (Muse, 1975)
  • Shoogie Wanna Boogie with Whirlwind (Kudu, 1976)
  • Dune (CTI, 1977)
  • Digital Love (Electric Bird, 1979)
  • Cosmic City with the Electric Birds (King, 1980)
  • Grand Cross (Bellaphon, 1983)
  • Delta Lady (Electric Bird, 1983)
  • Super Funky Sax (Electric Bird, 1984)
  • Billy Boy (King/Paddle Wheel, 1986)
  • Waltz for Debby (Paddle Wheel, 1987)
  • Speed Demon with the First Calls (Electric Bird, 1989)
  • Tennessee Waltz (King Records, 1989)
  • Jazz Ballads with Strings (Sweet Basil, 1991)
  • Super Trombone (Sweet Basil, 1995)
  • Watermelon Man (Sweet Basil, 1997)
  • Furuhata Jazz in N.Y. (WEA, 1997)
  • Mambo No. 5 (Sweet Basil, 1998)
  • Back to Bach (Milestone, 2000)
  • Girl from Ipanema with N.Y. Friends (Videoarts Music, 2002)
  • Impressions with N.Y. Friends (Videoarts Music, 2002)
  • Hey Duke! with the Manhattan Jazz Orchestra (Milestone, 2002) – rec. 1999

Appears on[edit]


With Patti Austin
With George Benson
With Jim Hall
With Ron Carter
With Hank Crawford
With Art Farmer
With Grant Green
With Urbie Green
With Yusef Lateef

With O'Donel Levy

With Blue Mitchell
With Idris Muhammad
With Nina Simone
With Jeremy Steig
  • Firefly (CTI, 1977) - Arranger & Piano


  1. ^ "DavidMatthewsJazz.com Biography". davidmatthewsjazz.com. Retrieved May 10, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Allmusic
  3. ^ a b c d Feather, Leonard; Gitler, Ira, eds. (1999). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. Oxford University Press. pp. 444–445. ISBN 9780199729074. Retrieved June 25, 2023 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Calloni, Simone (June 1, 2022). "MITOLOGIA, LETTERATURA E METAL - #10 – La musica tra le Dune (Parte prima)". Metallized.it (in Italian). Retrieved June 28, 2022.
  5. ^ "David Matthews "Dune" at discogs.com".
  6. ^ Cohodas, Nadine (2012). Princess Noire. University of North Carolina Press. pp. 292–294. ISBN 9780807882740. Retrieved June 25, 2023 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ "DavidMatthewsJazz.com". davidmatthewsjazz.com. Retrieved May 11, 2022.

External links[edit]