- Featured: Matt Richards
- Release Date: 11/18/2003
When explaining guitarist Matt Richards' solo guitar style, the words jazz, classical, Spanish, modern acoustic and new age are combined in various ways in fact, each term reveals a different aspect of Matt's musical identity. Growing up in the culturally fertile cross-currents of the 1960s, Matt's musical pathway begins with the mix of folk, rock and psychedelic music that defined that decade. Eventually drawn into the electronic-laden jazz-rock of the 1970s, Matt began developing the technically advanced skill and musical abilities demanded by those styles. As his talent and artistic vision grew, he was inspired to seek out straight-ahead jazz, European classical music and the music of Spain and Latin America. This broad panorama of influences has matured into Matt's singular approach to the guitar, imparting his unique musical signature on both acoustic and electric instruments as well as fretless guitar. As an acoustic artist, Matt has been featured in the film Smoke And Mirrors, on the Philadelphia-based television series Puerto Rican Panorama and on the music performance/review program Miles of Music. He has played at the CoreStates and Mellon Jazz Festivals, the Naturist Society's Eastern and Midwestern Gatherings, National AIDS Awareness Day, SUNOCO's Welcome America celebrations, the Kimmel Regional Arts Center and numerous clubs and venues. Matt has performed duets with guitarists Larry Coryell, Emiliano Pardo-Tristan and Sam Gorelik, violinist Joyell Washington and bassist Bill Zola, among others. Matt is also a founding member of Language of 3 and the all-acoustic Guitar Trio East. On electric guitar and glissentar (fretless 11-string guitar), Matt is most immediately associated with his own jazz trio -- he has also earned a considerable reputation playing both straight-ahead jazz and contemporary music. As a sideman, Matt is featured on several releases, including gospel vocalist Paul Middleton's Keep The Faith and rock/alternative artist Nate Hawk's Nathaniel Hawk. He has worked with a broad range of artists, including vocalist/composer Essra Mohawk (Change Of Heart), vocalist/bassist Starr Cullars (P-Funk All-Stars), vocalist Julie Holtzman, saxophonists Bobby Zankel and Steve Oliver, pianists John Conahan and Elio Villafranca, organists Joey DeFrancesco and Herbie Nix, drummers Mike Clark (Herbie Hancock), Kenwood Dennard (Sting), Marlon Simon (Hilton Ruiz), Webb Thomas and Adrian Velosin (Bern Nix) and percussionists Pablo Batista (Grover Washington) and Cafe'(Luis Bonfa). Matt was a founding member of the progressive rock/fusion group New Light, from 1979 through 1984. Appearing frequently with British musical artists such as Soft Machine and National Health, New Light participated in a cultural exchange program between the USA and the USSR in 1980. An Independence Foundation Fellowship nominee for 2003, Matt is currently Head of Faculty at FrankfordStyle School for Arts & Music and is affiliated with Cheltenham Music & Arts, Asociacion de Musicos Latino Americanos (AMLA) and Spring Lake Farm Arts Camp. In conjunction with his performances, Matt frequently conducts workshops and master classes.
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