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Dr Matthew Buttermann

Matt began playing the guitar when he was 9 years old and started gigging around his hometown of Prescott, Arizona by the time he was 15. With a firm basis in the traditions of jazz and classical guitar, Matt developed a unique style performing in various ensembles of many genres around Arizona. He performed regularly with his own configurations and as a sideman with groups throughout Arizona as well as touring the country with the Alex Han quartet. He frequently appeared in pit orchestras and was the featured guitarist with the Arizona State University Symphony Orchestra with guest conductor Gunther Schuller. He moved to New York City to develop his abilities as a performer alongside deepening his skillset as an arranger and educator. Matt was quickly performing throughout New York City at venues including the Jazz Standard, Cleopatra’s Needle, Smalls, Fat Cat, and Dizzy’s Club. He has performed alongside Clark Terry, Wynton Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Marquis Hill, Herlin Riley, Wycliffe Gordon, Mulgrew Miller, Freddy Cole, Matt Wilson, Phil Woods, Tony Malaby, Melissa Aldana, and Ted Nash.

After completing a teaching internship at the renowned LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in Manhattan, Matt was regularly conducting residencies in schools throughout the city and regionally developing jazz pedagogies for various ensemble settings. At the same time, he launched the Prescott Jazz Celebration in Prescott, Arizona to bring professional jazz musicians to Arizona for a week of workshops and performances benefiting scholarships for local students. The effort to support community-based music education led him to Jazz at Lincoln Center conceiving and implementing a robust series of Youth Programs. Over the course of nearly 15 years, Matt oversaw the development and expansion of these programs from 13 to over 250 weekly students, 82 public performances per yer, as well as three summer programs hosting 143 students from 22 states and 9 countries. His ensembles were regularly recognized with awards from Downbeat Magazine, toured Europe, and won local and national competitions.

In addition to overseeing the instructional programming at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Matt founded the jazz studies program at Fordham University in 2013. The program integrates facets of jazz performance to the liberal arts experience for undergraduate students across disciplines. Alumni of the program have gone onto graduate programs in music and the humanities as well as non-profit arts management, education, and professional studies. The program often collaborates with other departments at the college including performances with the Alvin Ailey BFA dance students and interdisciplinary projects within the college of arts and sciences.

A deep interest in community-based music education, Matt founded the nonprofit Jazz Arts Collective to provide lasting, engaging, and transformative learning experiences through jazz performance. Through partner organizations and schools, the Jazz Arts Collective offers a wide range of learning opportunities led by faculty dedicated to empowering students of all types. The unique programming fosters creativity, aesthetic and practice-based learning, cultural awareness, and community engagement through inclusive education programs dedicated to enriching the lives of students of all generations, backgrounds, ethnicities, and genders.

Committed to discovering new and enriching pedagogies for all learners, Matt earned his doctorate in music and music education from Teachers College, Columbia University focusing on pedagogical development for avocational learners of jazz music. As jazz education evolves in and out of school settings, his research-based approach to best practices has developed unique pedagogies for his college and college-bound students. His younger students are frequently admitted to top-tier universities and conservatories and many of his college graduate students are performing professionals as well as dedicated lifelong learners of the music.

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