Multi-Reedist

mattSaxophonist, clarinetist, ethnic-woodwind specialist and composer Matt Darriau has made several innovative contributions to the New York music scene. His background in the fertile and eclectic milieu of the New England Conservatory of Music’s Third Stream Program in the 1980′s and his continued practice of jazz, balkan, klezmer and celtic folk idioms, have helped shape his esthetic and passion for creating new and unusual music.

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Musical Universe

 

Balkan Bounce Matt DarriauHe first began appearing on recordings by the Boston large ensemble Orange Then Blue, and his interest in musical influences outside what is generally regarded as the jazz world was apparent even in those early days. The Darriau-penned “Balkan Bounce,” recorded in 1986, is the very first track on the first OTB album, Music for Jazz Orchestra, and can be seen as a precursor to much of his work over the next 20 years. Darriau can swing with the best of them as can be heard on recordings by the ’30s and ’40s jazz-focused Ballin’ The Jack, but traditional Balkan, klezmer, Celtic, and Gypsy influences have always held an important place in Darriau’s musical universe.

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Commissioned Work

Matt_Darriau_Paradox_TrioMatt’s compositional work for film, theater, dance has been supported by numerous grants and commissions, including awards from Chamber Music America (2005, 2007), Arts International, the National Endowment for the Arts, Mass Council on the Arts. JAZZIZ magazine (ca 2000) named him one of the 150 most influential jazz musicians of the last 15 years for is work in bringing balkan sounds and technics to jazz. He has recorded and performed with David Byrne, Marc Ribot, Roberto Rodriguez, Itzhak Perlman, Ken Butler, Ben Folds Five and many others in the New York and world scene. In addition to his work with Paradox Trio and Orange Then Blue, Darriau has performed in a number of other contexts.

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Contemporary Improvisation

Paradox Trio from Matt Darriau on Vimeo.

He also leads the avant-swing septet, BALLIN’ THE JACK – fusing early swing repertoire with contemporary improvisation. Their two CDs, Jungle and The Big Head, have brought them to the attention of major international events, including the JVC Newport Jazz, Chicago Jazz and North Sea festivals. Some of his other recent projects include YO LATEEF, a jazz quintet inspired by the music and legacy of Jusef Lateef, the RECYCLED WALTZ ORCHESTRA and DISASTRO TOTALE with Yuri Lemeshev of Gogol Bordello and CELTIC ECLECTIC, with its original take on Irish music featuring uilleann pipes player Ivan Goff. Matt Darriau is a regular in New York’s downtown jazz and new music scene.

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