Celebrated for his warm tone, soaring lyricism and masterful technique, American musician Dmitri Matheny has been lauded as “one of the most emotionally expressive improvisers of his generation” (International Review of Music). First introduced to jazz audiences in the 1990s as the protégé of Art Farmer, Matheny has matured into “one of the jazz world’s most talented horn players” (San Francisco Chronicle). Farmer, “the bebop master who defined the sound of the flugelhorn in modern jazz” (All Music Guide), was Matheny’s public champion and private mentor. Generously sharing his wisdom, experience and influence, it was Farmer who encouraged Dmitri to devote himself exclusively to the “Big Horn.” Under Farmer’s tutelage Matheny emerged as a promising new voice in jazz. “Art Farmer’s role in the early success of Dmitri Matheny cannot be overstated,” observed writer and historian Phil Elwood. “Without Art, there could be no Dmitri.”
At 29, after launching a busy recording career on the West Coast, Matheny made his New York debut at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, then began touring internationally. The soulful sound of Dmitri’s horn garnered praise from critics and audiences alike, drawing frequent comparisons to Miles Davis, Chet Baker and—not surprisingly—to Art Farmer. Upon Farmer’s passing in 1999, Matheny acquired his mentor’s copper-bell flugelhorn.
Today, Dmitri leads the Dmitri Matheny Group, “an all-star jazz band featuring some of the most accomplished musicians in the western United States” (All About Jazz).
Matheny has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He has traveled to 21 countries and has performed with many Motown and popular music acts including the Temptations, Martha Reeves, Fabian, the Four Tops, Bobby Vinton, Sandy Patty, Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon and the O’Jays.
Matheny has had the privilege of appearing in concert with such jazz luminaries as Larry Coryell, Nathan Davis, Amina Figarova, Tommy Flanagan, Wycliffe Gordon, Darrell Grant, Larry Grenadier, John Handy, Tom Harrell, Billy Higgins, Red Holloway, Denise Jannah, Joe Lovano, James Moody, Jean Louis Rassinfosse, Tony Reedus, Sam Rivers, Max Roach, the Rosenberg Trio, Bud Shank, Sonny Simmons, Mary Stallings, Akira Tana, Billy Taylor, Bobby Watson and Paula West.
Matheny’s discography lists over 120 albums on which he appears as a composer, arranger, producer, annotator or flugelhorn soloist. He has released eleven critically-acclaimed albums as a leader: Red Reflections (1995), Penumbra (1996), Starlight Café (1998), Santa’s Got a Brand New Bag (2000), Nocturne (2005), The SnowCat (2006), Spiritu Sancto (2007), Best of Dmitri Matheny (2008), Grant & Matheny (2010), Sagebrush Rebellion (2014) and Jazz Noir (2016).
Dmitri Matheny has received several prestigious music awards, including “NW Instrumentalist of the Year” in the 2016 Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Awards and “Best New Artist” (with Brad Mehldau, Stefon Harris and Ravi Coltrane) in the 1999 JazzTimes Readers Poll.
Matheny has held teaching faculty and management positions with the Boston Center for the Arts, California Jazz Conservatory, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Chabot Space and Science Center, Monarch Records and the Stanford Jazz Workshop. He has served as Director of Education, Director of Development and Director of Corporate Sponsorships for SFJAZZ, the largest nonprofit jazz presenter on the west coast, as Assistant Education Director for the Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Colony at Jazz Aspen Snowmass, and as Artist-In-Residence at several universities and conservatories.
DMITRI MATHENY GROUP
Jamie Findlay guitar
Phil Sparks bass
Mark Ivester drums
Dmitri Matheny flugelhorn