Award-winning Pianist MATT KING takes Thelonious Monk on a Wild Ride thru Brazil…on Monk’s 100th Birthday!
For his third album as a leader, pianist Matt King had the idea…“a genius idea”, says the great Brazilian drummer Mauricio Zottarelli…to take the iconic, perennially modern works of the late jazz giant Thelonious Monk and combine them with the pulsating, irresistible rhythms of Brazil. The results are jaw-dropping, ear-expanding, and soul-warming.
Over the course of the album’s 12 tracks, King utilized no less than 8 different Brazilian rhythmic styles, creating a bracingly fresh and powerfully seductive alchemy…and musical luminaries from both American and Brazilian jazz circles are raving about it:
Rufus Reid: “A brilliant triumph. Matt’s playing is always stellar, sparkling with clarity and creative ideas. If you love Monk and Brazilian music, get ready to party!”
Jovino Santos Neto: “Hermeto Pascoal said that Monk was the ‘most Brazilian of all jazz composers’. Matt has proved that point, letting the wings of this music flutter over many different Brazilian grooves…the creative arrangements enhance Monk’s music without harming its powerful DNA.”
Dave Stryker: “The great pianist Matt King has shown how fresh Monk’s music still is with his creative Brazilian arrangements…he has definitely turned a Brilliant Corner with this project.”
Romero Lubambo: “Great and refreshing recording. Congratulations to all involved in this beautiful project!”
Claudio Roditi: “Virtuoso pianist Matt King had this brilliant idea, and the result is really hip!”
Among the A-list of musicians who appear on the album are bassist Nilson Matta, guitarist Chico Pinheiro, and drummer Mauricio Zottarelli. For this very special show at Club Bonafide – on what would’ve been Thelonious Monk’s 100th birthday! – Matt is excited to have a long-time fixture on NYC’s jazz scene, the unique multi-reed player Anton Denner, and the amazing Rio-born bassist Itaiguara Brandão (both featured on the CD), plus one of the world’s best Brazilian drummers, Alex Kautz; but expect some surprise musical guests as well. Come join Matt and his truly world-class band for this once-in-a-lifetime experience, and as Rufus Reid said…“Get ready to party!”
Matt King began his piano studies when he was 5, and was playing professionally by age 14. He attended the University of Illinois as a classical music major before relocating to the New York area, where he earned his degree in the world-renowned Jazz Studies & Performance program at William Paterson University.
A former Composition Fellowship recipient from the NJ State Council on the Arts, he has garnered numerous awards for his playing, composing, and arranging. Matt was a Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition semi-finalist, and won the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in 2000.
He has played and recorded with many jazz notables including Chris Potter, Rufus Reid, Billy Hart, Benny Golson, Joe Morello, Charles MacPherson, Vic Juris, & Dave Stryker; Brazilian artists Leny Andrade, Nilson Matta, Claudio Roditi, and Chico Pinheiro; vocalists as diverse as Phoebe Snow, Curtis Stigers, and Carmen Souza; blues legend Earl King; and banjo virtuoso Tony Trischka. Matt toured extensively with the iconic group Blood, Sweat & Tears, and with the late great jazz guitarist Chuck Loeb, for whom he also served as musical director.
He has performed with four symphony orchestras in the US, appeared on The Today Show and Good Morning America, and at Holland’s renowned North Sea Jazz Festival, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Cape Town Jazz Festival, Tokyo’s Cotton Club, and countless other venues throughout the US and over 20 countries abroad.
King has also played Lincoln Center, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the Beacon Theater, Symphony Space, and regional jazz meccas including The Blue Note, Birdland, Smoke, Zinc Bar, 55 Bar, Shanghai Jazz, & Trumpets.
Matt has produced three albums as a leader: “Kaleidoscope” (featuring Chris Potter & Rufus Reid); “Welcome, Christmas” (featuring Doug Weiss & Paul Meyers); and his new release, “Monk In Brazil”, which showcases the legendary compositions of Thelonious Monk, arranged by King in various Brazilian rhythms, and which is already being hailed as a groundbreaking recording.