Rich Matteson

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Jazzmen Rich Matteson, Red Rodney, and Ira Sullivan (left to right) at the Village Jazz Lounge in Walt Disney World (photo by Laura Kolb)

Rich A. Matteson, (born Richmond Albert Matteson, January 12, 1929, Forest Lake, Minnesota – June 24, 1993, Jacksonville, Florida) was an American jazz artist, collegiate music educator, international jazz clinician, big band leader, and jazz composer/arranger. Euphonium was his primary instrument, although Matteson was proficient on several other low brass instruments, particularly bass trumpet, valve trombone, tuba, and Helicon. He also was a proficient jazz pianist. Except for Kiane Zawadi, Matteson was the only significant euphonium soloist in jazz.[1]


Matteson served two years (1950–52) with the U.S. Army bands. He then studied music at the University of Iowa. In 1955, he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music from the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts (his principal instruments were tuba and euphonium). He then taught high school in Durant, Iowa. In 1957, he moved to Las Vegas. There he performed on bass trumpet, played the tuba in a walking bass style with Bob Scobey (1958), and worked with the Dukes of Dixieland for two years (1959–61).[2] In 1967 he conducted the Brothers Castro Big Band in Mexico City. He joined the faculty of University of North Texas College of Music in 1973. In 1976 he co-founded, with tuba player Harvey Phillips, the Matteson-Phillips Tubajazz Consort, which consisted of three euphoniums, three tubas, and rhythm section.

In 1986, the University of North Florida appointed Matteson the Koger Distinguished Professor of American Music and, upon retirement in 1992, the university named him Distinguished Professor Emeritus.


Selected discography[edit]

  • Uniquely Rich, The Rich Matteson Foundation
  • The Sound of the Wasp, Phil Wilson & Rich Matteson
  • The Riverboat Five on a Swinging Date, Rich Matteson, Helicon
  • Balls, Matteson-Phillips Tubajazz Consort, Harvey Phillips Foundation and Richmond A. Matteson Legacy Productions
  • Pardon Our Dust, We're Making Changes, Rich Matteson Sextet - John Allred (musician), Shelly Berg, Jack Petersen, Lou Fischer, Louie Bellson; Four Leaf Clover (FLC CD 131) (1990)

See also[edit]

Audio & video samples of Matteson performing[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Rich Matteson was born to the marriage of Richmond Albert Matteson (b. 1900 Charles City, IA - d. 1973 Denton, TX) and Bessie Mary Matteson (née Scholer, b. 1904 Zumbro Falls, MN - d. 1986 Rock Island, IL).

  • 19 Mar 1964 – Matteson married Priscilla A. (nee ?) (b. 1938); they divorced 17 May 1973, Dallas County, TX. While married, they had two children.
  • 22 Dec 1973 – Matteson married Michelle L. Cox (b. 1947- ) in Denton, TX


  1. ^ Oxford Dictionary of Musicians
  2. ^ Winnie Hu, Jazz educator Rich Matteson dies in Florida Musician helped build U of North Texas program, The Dallas Morning News, June 29, 1993