Matt Savage Trio – “The Savage Life Chose Me” – Live in New Hampshire

The Matt Savage Trio plays one of Matt’s brand-new original tunes, “The Savage Life Chose Me”.

This song was recorded live in concert at the Old Meeting House, Francestown, NH, on August 30, 2020. And the August 30 concert was the first outdoor in-person performance of Matt Savage since the pandemic.

Matt Savage – piano; Soso Gelovani – bass; Zak King – drums

Matt Savage Quartet – “The Savage Life Chose Me” (Split-screen virtual collaboration)

This is my first quartet video in a while and I’m really proud of what I have so far. This is a brand-new original composition of mine called “The Savage Life Chose Me.” It was written at the end of 2019 and performed a couple of times before the lockdown hit.

I really wanted to share this one with you, so here it is. It’s a virtual quartet video (spliced together from four separate recordings) and I am extremely proud of my bandmates’ work on this one. “The Savage Life Chose Me” is what we jazz cats call a “burner” – a very fast tune influenced by the bebop classics of the ’40s and ’50s.

Matt Savage – keyboard; Mark Zaleski – alto saxophone; Max Ridley – bass; Zachary King – drums

Matt Savage Groove Experiment – “Sunny (For Sonny)” music video

Hello friends. I hope that you are all staying safe, happy and healthy in your quarantine. Here is a brand-new video from my fusion project, the Matt Savage Groove Experiment. This is a tune of mine called “Sunny (For Sonny)” – and it’s a tribute to 89-year-old living legend of the tenor saxophone, Sonny Rollins.

We hope you enjoy the calypso sounds of this one. We did this video shoot back in January – can’t believe it’s been three months since then. And we are looking forward to sharing more music with you at our future shows!

Matt Savage – keyboards; Aaron Gratzmiller – tenor saxophone; Javier Rosario – guitar; Evan Carley – electric bass; Zachary King – drums

Stay Home 2020

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Hello friends.  I hope that you are all staying safe through this quarantine.

Stay home, everyone – and keep your artistic urges flowing as we transition into spring.

Please see the following pages for updates about new music and virtual concerts:

youtube.com/MattSavageJazz/
instagram.com/MSavageMusic/
facebook.com/MattSavageOfficial/

See you soon,
Matt

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Matt Savage Trio – “I Know That You Know”

The Matt Savage Trio plays an underrated jazz classic called “I Know That You Know” by Vincent Youmans and Anne Caldwell. This tune was written in 1926 for the short-lived musical “Oh, Please!” – and it was further popularized 33 years later with the release of the classic jazz album “Sonny Side Up” by Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins and Sonny Stitt.

This tune is a real “burner,” as jazz musicians like to call the really uptempo tunes…

Matt Savage – piano
Soso Gelovani – bass
Zachary King – drums

Matt Savage Groove Experiment – “Splash Variations” album trailer

This is the brand spankin’ new trailer for the Matt Savage Groove Experiment’s new EP, SPLASH VARIATIONS. The album will be out later this fall.

We are a jazz fusion collective. Half of our tunes are instrumental, and half are vocal (including some funkified jazz standards). And of course there’s also a tune where the entire lyrics are just “Splash!”

This artistic project has been three years in the making and I am so proud to be sharing the results with you.

Asia 2018

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I had such a wonderful trip in Asia this summer that I don’t even know where to start.

But first I should explain everything and thank everyone who set this tour up.

This August 2018, I played in three Asian countries (India, Japan and China, in that order), two of them for the first time.  I also spent a few days in Bangkok, Thailand during the off-days.

The India solo piano show was part of the International Autism Conference in Trivandrum, Kerala (on the very southern tip of the country), organized by CADRRE, the Autism Center.  The Japan tour dates were all in Kobe, and that was my third time playing in that city with bassist friend Shota Ishikawa.  And the China tour dates were all quartet performances, with a rising star alto saxophonist in Shanghai named Shihai Li.

This was the longest trip I had ever done, and even though I was totally exhausted by the end thanks to all of the flights, it was absolutely worth it.

In case you were wondering what the longest leg of the journey was, it was actually the first one – Boston to Dubai to Trivandrum (fun fact: the full name is Thiruvananthapuram).

In India, one of the most beautiful areas was the Kovalam beach, which is located outside Trivandrum in Kerala.  This was my first time in India and my first time seeing the Indian Ocean.  And the weather was very pleasant and cool due to the ocean climate and the humidity of the rainy season.  The food is very fresh, with lots of fish curries and various types of bananas.

Then, in Thailand, I was able to catch up to several friends in Bangkok and sit in a couple of times at the famous Saxophone Jazz Club.  Bangkok is a very fast-growing and cosmopolitan city, with lots of gorgeous temples (such as the Grand Palace) and a great variety of restaurants with very large menus.

In Japan, I got to visit my friend Shota Ishikawa’s neighborhood (Maiko, in west Kobe) for the first time, playing a solo show there at Kantokotoro.  This hidden jazz club is located close to the top of a circle of hills, with views of the ocean and of the world’s longest suspension bridge.  The next day, Shota and I played two gigs with two trios at Bar Request (where we recorded a live duet album three years prior).   The other members of the trios were vocalist Mariko Yoshida and drummer Hiromasa Sadaoka.

Finally, in China, I touched down in Shanghai and played at three of China’s most renowned jazz clubs – Shanghai’s JZ Club, Beijing’s Blue Note, and Zhengzhou’s MJ Club.  These were with a quartet with saxophonist (and New England Conservatory alum) Shihai Li, bassist Danny Zanker (an American living in Shanghai), and drummer Xiaolun (Scott) Xue.

The sheer size and beautiful landscapes of China are apparent right from the start – and nowadays you can see them from the 200 mph high speed trains that go all over the country.  I saw many landmarks in China with some friends, including Tiananmen Square, Jingshan Park, and the 2,000 foot tall Shanghai Tower.

I have to thank Lakshmi Raghu, G. Vijaya Raghavan, Shihai Li, the Blue Note Beijing, Shota Ishikawa, Dai Murata, and all my friends in Bangkok for making these international trips so amazing.

Until next time – thank you Asia!

Beach in India

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Grand Palace, Bangkok

 

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View of Kobe from the hilltop

 

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JW Marriott hotel building, Zhengzhou, China (the MJ Club, where we played, is in this building)

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View from the Shanghai Tower

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View of the Forbidden City, Beijing

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Shota Ishikawa, Matt Savage, Hiromasa Sadaoka

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Dai Murata, Matt Savage

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Blog- April 2018

Hello friends.  I feel so excited writing this because I actually haven’t left New England in a long time.  But that’s going to change in a week or so as I hit the mid-Atlantic states…

First, however, I’ll be doing a special concert at the Lilypad in Cambridge on Monday.  This Monday is a Massachusetts holiday (Patriots Day/Marathon Monday), so it’s not just any ordinary weekday.  If you come early at 6 PM, saxophonist Aaron Gratzmiller (who also plays in the Matt Savage Groove Experiment) will open things up with a saxophone quartet show.  And at 7 PM, I’ll be premiering my Piano Sonata No. 2 in Bb Major, which is a very long, ambitious and folk music-inspired work that channels American classical composers such as George Gershwin and Charles Ives.

On Friday the 20th and Saturday the 21st, I’ll be returning to Baltimore and Philadelphia for the first time in four years.  The Baltimore show will be solo piano at An Die Musik (a lovely second-floor arts “salon” with a record store below).  And the Philly show will be a trio concert with Lee Smith and Larry Marshall at Exuberance – a hidden spot that sells tickets through invitations and focuses on piano jazz.

Finally, I am coming to the University of Maine at Augusta on Thursday the 26th, which will mark my first performance in the Maine capital.  I will be doing this performance as a sideman with drummer Chris Dzengelewski, although the Matt Savage Groove Experiment’s saxophonist Aaron Gratzmiller is also playing.

I’ve really missed these places and I am looking forward to catching up to all my friends around the country.  There will be a lot of traveling involved but isn’t getting there half the fun?

On a side note, the Matt Savage Groove Experiment is going to release some new music soon, and the big announcement is yet to come…

See you real soon,
Matt

Europe 2017

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Matt Savage and Alexis Sereduik Matt Savage - Toledo View Matt Savage - Toledo Railing

In May and June 2017, I had a special opportunity to visit Europe for the second time – this time, in the Champagne region of France, as well as Paris, and Madrid, Spain.

This was for a special inter-continental recording project led by vibraphonist Thierry Collin and organized by drummer Alexis Sereduik.  I am so honored to be a part of this group – which actually doesn’t have an official name yet, but I will announce it soon :)

The other members of the quintet are vocalist Song Yi Jeon and bassist German “Choby” Scheufler, who also came from the Northeast (Boston and NYC).

I started this tour off in Champagne, specifically in the city of Troyes, which is actually pronounced the same way as “trois” (three).  Troyes is two hours away from Paris via train and the train ride goes through many beautiful wheat fields and farms.  And the vibrant downtown has many buildings that are about 500 years old.

We did all of the rehearsing for the recording at the studio, which is located in the basement of a private home just outside of Troyes.  It was indeed a very beautiful location for recording…  The tunes are all very complex and yet have a sense of folk melody throughout.

But we also had plenty of time to see the countryside, from the grand cathedrals to the rivers and ponds.  Alexis and I also visited the Devaux champagne winery in Bar-sur-Seine (yes, that’s the name of the town).

Once the recording was done, I had a gig in Paris with the Song Yi Jeon Quintet.  Song Yi went to Berklee with me and we have collaborated many times… so it was truly wonderful to be able to play together again, in two different quintets, in France!  The gig was at Sunset/Sunside, a two-jazz-club complex that extends two floors underground – and the rehearsal was in an even smaller basement.

After the obligatory visit of the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, it was time to head to Madrid, where I played a very special gig with my fellow Manhattan School of Music alum Aurora Arteaga.  This was a special “Matt Savage Trio & Aurora Arteaga” collaboration project, with half of the tunes being instrumental and half being vocal.

The show was with Aurora’s friends Dario Guilbert on bass and Miguel “Pepe” Benito on drums, at El Plaza Jazz Club in downtown Madrid.  The concert was a success and I hope to be back soon.

I spent the last couple of days in Europe seeing the sights in Spain, specifically in the very hilly city of Toledo, which is about 45 minutes’ bus ride from Madrid and located on a very large hill.  The view from the top of Toledo is one of the most dramatic I have ever seen.

I miss Europe already and I just want to say thank you to the musicians and organizers who made all of this possible!

Matt Savage - Madrid poster Musee D'Orsay

Blog – June 2017

I still feel both elated and tired from my two international trips this May/June… one to France and Spain, and the other to Alberta, Canada.  This summer I’ll be focusing more on local New England gigs, including a return to the small town where I grew up (Francestown, NH) with members of my original trio.

My summer tour dates are included on the right side of this newsletter if you would like to attend a show.  But first I should tell you what happened during my big trips to Europe and Canada…

First, on May 23, I flew to Paris and then took a train to Troyes, France in the Champagne region.  This was for a special recording project focusing on compositions by vibraphonist Thierry Collin.  The band is a Franco-American quintet made up of musicians from both France and the Americas.  Drummer Alexis Sereduik organized the recording, and the other musicians who traveled to France from North and South America were Song Yi Jeon (vocals) and German “Choby” Scheufler (bass).

I was so thrilled to have been part of such a unique and free-spirited musical project.  We recorded several tunes in a home studio… these songs feature catchy melodies on top and complex time signatures underneath.  These tunes were recorded on video and will be released in the fall, with additional songs to be recorded in the future.

After that, I did jazz club performances in Paris (with the Song Yi Jeon Quintet) and Madrid (with vocalist Aurora Arteaga, bassist Dario Guibert and drummer Miguel “Pete” Benito).  In Paris I saw the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, as well as many sidewalk cafes.  And in Spain, I did a day trip with Aurora to Toledo – a medieval city on a huge hill with a great deal of religious architecture and art museums.  Toledo, Spain is definitely different from its Ohio namesake…

Then, last week, I traveled to Alberta, Canada for the Medicine Hat Jazz Festival.  This is a very well-attended local festival in a very beautiful and isolated location – Medicine Hat is a prairie city that’s 3 hours’ drive from Calgary.  There aren’t even any direct flights from Boston to Calgary, so traveling to Medicine Hat can take a while.

In Alberta, I saw the Calgary Tower (with views extending many miles through both the Rocky Mountains and the plains), as well as the town of Drumheller in the Canadian Badlands (known for its dinosaurs).

The concert was at Medicine Hat’s Esplanade Theatre – a double bill with vocalist and CBC radio host Tim Tamashiro.  Tim is a charismatic standards singer who knows how to excite crowds and I’m proud to have shared a stage with him.

That’s a lot of travel for the time being, so it still feels good to be back home for a bit… I’ll see you in Massachusetts and New Hampshire this July and August.
Matt