Matt Saxx

Live Act House Jazz
Matt Saxx - House Jazz Live Act in Leeds

Matt Saxx Short Info

[Last update: March 2014... updates to biog to follow... the best way to keep up with me is through my social media - Facebook & Twitter]

BIOGRAPHY:

With a mother who was a clarinettist and a father who was an avid jazz fan, it was virtually inevitable that Matt Johnson would follow a musical path and almost as likely that he would develop a love of jazz.

Born Matthew Thomas Johnson in London on 31 December 1991, he grew up in Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, an Island which over the years has itself been the haunt of many artists, both literary and musical.

From an early age, he showed an aptitude for music and started on the clarinet at the age of 12. He then added the tenor saxophone to his repertoire, initially playing classical music and popular pieces and climbing the ABRSM 'grade ladder'. However, it was not long before he started playing jazz, under the guidance of Gary Plumley, who also lives on the Isle of Wight and who is one of Britain’s foremost contemporary jazz players. Having acquired the rudiments of improvisation, Matt attended several workshops run by Gary, where he not only improved his technique but also learned the basics of playing in a jazz ensemble. Meanwhile, Matt was learning to play piano and drums and was teaching himself the flute.

To further develop his ensemble playing, he was encouraged to join various youth orchestras and youth bands, quickly earning lead tenor slot at the age of 15 in the locally acclaimed Isle of Wight Youth Stage Band. As part of this highly professional outfit, Matt played big band jazz and joined their Tour of Lanzarote in 2006, which took in five star hotels, holiday resorts and civic centres.

Another high spot was when, as part of an outreach programme, Matt achieved the distinction of playing – sight unseen – a full evening’s concert with the Gene Krupa Big Band, under Arthur von Blomberg, having been selected from over 50 musicians who auditioned for the chance to play with the band. His mentor that night was well-known British saxophonist Alex Garnett, who later introduced Matt to the delights of jam sessions at Ronnie Scott’s Club in London, where, on one occasion, Matt performed alongside The Alex Garnett Trio. During this period, Matt also played in the Isle of Wight Jazz Festival, alongside Gary Plumley, on the same bill as renowned UK saxophonists like Art Themen and Mornington Lockett.

In his mid-teens, Matt became involved with local musical and dramatic productions, becoming a ‘must have’ member of pit orchestras for shows such as Bugsy Malone, Annie, Buddy and seasonal pantomimes. He also formed a small jazz ensemble, which played as a trio or quartet at venues across the Isle of Wight.

After Sixth Form studies at Taunton’s College in Southampton, where he was the principal clarinettist with the Southampton Youth Orchestra, Matt gained a place to study at Leeds College of Music, just prior to which he reached the final stages of the BBC’s Young Composer of the Year competition.

Matt is currently in his Final Year at LCM under the direction of Jamiroquai's saxophonist Jim Corry, where, among his achievements since arriving, his band – Matt Johnson Funk Society – was selected to open the Lancaster Jazz Festival in September 2011. In his final year, Matt was also selected for the first tenor chair in the LCM Big Band. Demanding rehearsals culminated in a sold-out gig at which he held his own trading 8's with Tim Garland - international saxophonist who has toured the world with Chick Corea.

In addition, Matt himself has recorded with Leeds-based bands Coral Caves and Wonderful Sound of the Cinema Organ, as well as performing at venues across the city and further afield. Furthermore, he has been lucky enough to have performed at the internationally acclaimed Isle of Wight Festival and Isle of Wight Bestival.

His most recent projects have explored playing saxophone over 1990’s dance hits, under the wing of Nottingham-based company PX Productions and playing saxophone over house music for Ray Can's CandyPants Events, Matt Winterbottom's Voodoo Events, as well as performing at Sheffield’s in-vogue Viper Rooms and Leeds’ stylish and popular Full Circle on Kirkstall Road.

Since being based in Leeds, Matt’s diary has been increasingly filled by a wide range of function work at venues like the John Smith’s Stadium – home of Rugby League side Huddersfield Giants – and up-market hotels such as the Leeds Marriott.

Fast becoming established in Leeds, Matt is available to play all genres from pop covers and commercial house music to live lounge jazz in locations across the North of England and in London - in fact, has horn and passport, will travel!

**********

EQUIPMENT:

Soprano Saxophone: Walstein, SS-P
Alto Saxophone: Boosey & Hawkes, 32
Tenor Saxophone: Yanagisawa, 901

Clarinet:
Flute:

Reeds: Vandoren ZZ 3/3.5

Microphone: AKG C519ML/WMS45 Perception - Wireless Sax Microphone System

[Last update: March 2014... updates to biog to follow... the best way to keep up with me is through my social media - Facebook & Twitter]

BIOGRAPHY:

With a mother who was a clarinettist and a father who was an avid jazz fan, it was virtually inevitable that Matt Johnson would follow a musical path and almost as likely that he would develop a love of jazz.

Born Matthew Thomas Johnson in London on 31 December 1991, he grew up in Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, an Island which over the years has itself been the haunt of many artists, both literary and musical.

From an early age, he showed an aptitude for music and started on the clarinet ...

Read more

Media

  • Video RevolutionVodka XO Thursday...
  • Video HARLEM SOCIAL CLUB - LAUNCH...
  • Video #SAXMACHINE Promo Video

Origin

  • Leeds GB

Founded

  • 2013