Matt Zebley is a unique artist. As a woodwind player he has developed his style on a variety of reed instruments. He also continues to compose original works for the various ensembles that he has created and been associated with.
Matt began playing the alto saxophone in grade school band programs, but throughout his college and professional experiences, he began to include the clarinet and flute families as well. After hearing Joe Lovano in 1992, Matt began to explore some of the more elusive instrumental sounds like Eb alto clarinet and C melody saxophone. He now uses all of these tonalities to create a rich sonic variety in his live performances and compositions.
Matt began composing at Berklee College of Music where he studied arranging, composition and jazz performance. He graduated magna cum laude in 1993. While in Boston he studied with world-renown players and teachers; Joe Viola, Billy Pierce, Herb Pomeroy, Hal Crook, Bob Brookmeyer and a host of other great musical minds. These experts gave Matt a solid understanding of what it takes to become a professional musician and expressive artist.
He released his first solo CD in 1999 entitled Live at Moondog. It includes a bebop standard and nine original tunes. The band; consisting of three horns, bass and drums; continues to work today and has established itself as a unique voice for Zebley's compositions. In 2000, he joined a new group entitled Kingcake. A recording of Arthur Blythe in 1974 inspired this trio which features reeds, tuba and hand percussion. In addition to their debut recording, Kingcake has toured the West coast and plans to release their second CD in 2002. Matt also joined another wonderfully rich ensemble in 2001 called GO:Organic Orchestra. Created on commission by the master percussionist Adam Rudolph, this new project combines 14 woodwind specialists and 11 percussionists. The music, which combines 21st century composition techniques with African and Mid-East inspired grooves, is completely modern and deeply emotional. Matt also continues a three year stint with the Brian Setzer Orchestra. This high profile, rock and roll big band enjoyed huge commercial success in 1999 and Matt received a Grammy for his work on "Caravan" from their 2000 release entitled Vavoom. With this group, Zebley participated in two world tours, numerous TV appearances and three movie soundtracks. He also performed with Tony Bennet, Bob Dylan and a number of other outstanding musical celebrities. Matt just released an additional DVD with Brian entitled Live in Japan.
Since 1993, Matt has developed his career in southern CA. Playing, recording and touring with such diverse and wonderful musicians has enabled deep and sincere artistic growth. In 1995, Matt created a private lesson studio where he reaches the local communities with his own musical experiences. In that same year he started Vibrant Productions, a business that administers every aspect of his growing career. He now resides in Redlands, owns a digital recording studio and works diligently towards his personal and artistic goals.
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