Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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Matt Marantz Biography
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Matt Marantz started playing the alto sax at age 11 in 1997. His abilities were recognized at an early on by “Down Beat Magazine” winning the jazz soloist award in 2000 in middle school as an eighth grader and is the only student to ever win this award four years in a row (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003)! Matthew has also been named the best instrumental jazz soloist at the Monterey Jazz Festival in Monterey California for 2001 and 2002 in the combo division. He is the first person to place with eight (8) awards in the “Down Beat Student Music Awards” for young artists in North America in one year (2004).
Matt placed as winning jazz soloist, pop rock soloist, best small group (a duo, alto and drums another first for the magazine, and best pop/rock group in 2002. In 2003 he placed with six (6) D.B. awards and was featured on the cover of the “Student Music Awards Magazine” for winning “Best Jazz Soloist” four years in a row! He placed with an unprecedented eight awards in the 2004 North American competition for 2004 making him the only musician in the 27-year history of the “Down Beat Student Music Awards” to win a total of 22 in five years! Matt was a “T.M.E.A. Texas All State” jazz musician playing in the “All State Jazz Ensemble” for 2002, 2003 and 2004 in San Antonio Texas and has placed with regional and U.I.L. State Awards for his solo work in the classical area as well throughout his middle and high school years.
Matt has played with a variety of jazz musicians including, Dave Brubeck, Christian McBride, Jeff Tain Watts, Roy Hargrove, Keith Anderson, Roger Boykin, Shelly Carroll, Chick Corea, Wayne Delano, Dan Haerle, Jamey Aebersold, Chris Potter, Gary Burton, Marchel Ivery, Bobby Sparks, Clark Terry, Gerald Wilson, Bernard Wright, John and Jeff Clayton, Dick Oatts, Dr. Billy Taylor as well as Red Holloway. He has participated in the April Monterey Educational Jazz Festival 2001 through 2004 and the Monterey Jazz Festival in September of 2001, 2002, and 2003. He returns as a “Clifford Brown/Stan Getz Fellow this September ’04 back in Monterey. He performed at the “International Association of Jazz Educators Conference” in Long Beach CA., January 2002 and again in Toronto Canada in January of 2003 and performed five concerts at the IAJE Conference in New York this January 2004.
Matt Marantz was selected as one of 17 in the country to play with and be mentored by Dave Brubeck in August 2002 and again in 2003 at the “Brubeck Colony” in San Francisco California. This comes from a national search for America’s top young jazz artists. He was also selected as a “Vail Workshop Fellow,” last August 2002. There are only 12 selected for this honor nation wide, and appeared at the “Vail Colorado Jazz Festival” in late August 2002 with the Clayton Brothers as an “Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation Scholar.”
Matt was chosen as the All-Region Jazz Band - first chair for 2002-2004 and was selected as first chair in the “T.M.E.A. All-State Jazz Band” in San Antonio Texas 2002-2004 making him a three-time “TMEA Texas-All State Jazz Ensemble” musician. While Matt was performing in January 2003 at “The International Association for Jazz Education Conference” in Toronto Canada it was announced that he was picked to be part of the “Gibson/Baldwin Grammy High School Jazz Ensemble” for 2003. He performed at the Grammy per and post parties as well as recording a CD in New York in February 2003. This honor repeated itself in 2004 as Matt was selected again for the “Gibson/Baldwin Grammy High School Jazz Ensemble” as lead alto performing this time in LA for the Grammy festivities before, during and after the event. In Toronto Canada at the conference Matt was named the first “Student Artist/Clinician” for the Music Group Corporation including Keilwerth Saxophones and Rico Reeds. This is a first in the history of the company!
Matt was selected as a NFAA Arts Recognition and Talent Search finalist and performed for large audiences in Miami Florida being named a level one candidate for Presidential Scholar with only fifty artists designated for this honor in the country. As a result he was also named a Clifford Brown/Stan Gets Fellow by the International Association of Jazz Educators and will perform concerts under the ospus of IAJE throughout the nation during 2004.
In April of 2004 Matt was named a “New Generation Artist” by NEA Jazz Master Dr. Billy Taylor and performed for a week under his direction at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. During this intense week of rehearsals and performances Matt played to a live audience of two million students during a live broadcast from Washington DC going to every school in the nation. In June of 2004 Dr. Taylor asked Matt to perform with him at the White House for the President of the United States in a celebration of Americas Jazz Masters!
Matt Marantz appeared throughout the US in 2003/2004. His concert performances took him to the “World Sax Conference” Minneapolis Minnesota July’03, Japan with the “Monterey All-Star Big Band” July ’03, The Brubeck Institute “Jazz Colony” Aug. ’03, the Monterey Jazz Festival Sept.’03, the Mid-West Clinic Chicago, Dec.’03, IAJE New York, Jan.’04, The NFAA Arts Recognition and Talent Search/ Presidential Scholar Program, Miami FL, Jan. ’04, The Gibson/Baldwin Grammy Big Band, LA, Feb. ’04, TMEA All-State Jazz Ensemble, San Antonio TX, Feb. ’04, The Monterey Educational jazz Festival, Monterey CA. April’04, The Kennedy Center/Dr. Billy Taylor “New Generation II” April ’04, and appeared at the White House for the NEA with the New Generation II under the direction of Dr. Billy Taylor in June ’04.
In 2004 it was announced that Matt Marantz is one of two jazz musicians in the history of the “NFAA” and the “Music for Youth Foundation” to receive $25,000.00 for college study and was presented to him in a concert format in New York in July of 2004. He is the first recipient in jazz to receive the full $25,000.00 in the history of the foundation.
Matt Marantz appeared in four national magazines in October 2004. He was in the "MENC Journal" with a full page add for "The National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts" (NFAA) which is the spring board for Arts Recognition and Talent Search which ends up naming the 20 Presidential Scholars in the Arts each year. From this event two young artist are selected each year by the "Music For Youth Foundation" to receive $25,000.00 from the finalists in the NFAA competition. Matt was in this add representing both of these high profile organizations as a level I Presidential Scholar finalist and excepted the award from the "Music For Youth Foundation", $25,000.00 last July '04 in New York. He was in the education issue of "Down Beat Magazine" pictured with Jeff "Tane" Watts at the Brubeck Institute. He was in "JAZZIZ Magazine" and also appears on the first cut of the "JAZZIZ JAZZED III CD" October '04, with his original tune "Through The Night", making this the third year in a row he has been on this CD. Finally Matt appears on the cover of the "Jazz Educators Journal" with the IAJE "Clifford Brown/Stan Get Fellows." He also appears in the magazine pictured with President George Bush from his July White House performance with NEA Jazz Masters Dr. Billy Taylor, Chico Hamilton and fellow Keilwerth jazz artist/clinician James Moody.
Matt graduated in May of 2008 from the Manhattan School of Music in New York where he attended the conservatory on a full scholarship. He studied with Bob Mintzer, Steve Wilson and John Riley while attending MSM. He was selected to be a member of the 2009-2011 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz 6-piece college ensemble that is part of a 2-year artist diploma program in New Orleans. He studied there under artistic director Terence Blanchard, and in May of 2010 the Monk Ensemble traveled to China alongside jazz greats Herbie Hancock and DeeDee Bridgewater to perform at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing and the World Expo in Shanghai. After graduating from the Monk Institute in May of 2011 with a jazz performance certificate, marantz received a graduate assistantship at William Paterson university and is now pursuing a master's degree at that institution. A resident of the NYC metro area, Matt performs regularly in New York with Jonathan Batiste's band and various other musical groups.
In March of 2010, Marantz's first CD recording, "Offering," was released independently. On the CD, Marantz leads a stellar group of musicians through a set of 11 original compositions. The band possesses a unique empathy and a collective ease of flowing ideas that give each song a personal touch.