Pianist Matt Savage has played music professionally since childhood, as a performer, bandleader, and composer with ensembles of various sizes. He’s played with some of the biggest names in jazz, including Chick Corea, the Ellington All Stars, Chaka Khan, Wynton Marsalis, Bobby Watson, Clark Terry, and Jimmy Heath, among others. He’s also opened for rock legends Neil Young and Stephen Stills, and performed with folk singers Steve Earle, Jackson Browne, Shawn Colvin, and Al Stewart. He is a Bösendorfer piano artist.
As a composer, Matt has garnered respect and recognition. He composed and recorded the score for a full-length jazz documentary film, Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story. Additionally, Savage has thirteen albums, which consist mostly of his original compositions. His latest album is the Matt Savage Groove Experiment’s debut EP, Splash Variations. In recent years, Matt Savage has put a lot of time into composing classical pieces – including his very virtuosic “pandemic pet project”, the 12 Etudes for Piano.
Savage has toured worldwide, including performances at The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Birdland, the Blue Note (NYC and Beijing), jazz festivals worldwide, and tours of Asia and Europe.
Six years after receiving his Master’s degree, Matt Savage is honored to be teaching in the Collaborative Piano and Jazz and Contemporary Music Departments at Longy. He is looking forward to seeing how the various styles of music that form today’s performance scene interact. And he is a strong believer that improvisation is central to all styles of music – no matter how a piece is notated.
I am honored and excited to join the faculty here at Longy – particularly because of the current emphasis on close and fruitful collaborations between the various departments. Longy may be small in terms of student body, but it is very large and rich in musical creativity and virtuosity. And since today’s performance skills are more variegated and flexible than ever, it has become particularly important to adapt one’s sound to multiple styles and rhythms on the fly. I am very excited to help form connections between the JCM (Jazz and Contemporary Music) and Collaborative Piano Departments. And I’m looking forward to exploring the possibilities created when the roles of lead instrumentalist (or singer), accompanist, and composer get enriched and redefined as a performance takes shape.