Matt Zebley


Matt Zebley is a creative composer and woodwind artist in the greater Los Angles area. Matt began composing at Berklee College of Music where he studied arranging, composition and jazz performance. He graduated magna cum laude in 1993. While in Boston he studied with world-renown performer/educators like Joe Viola, Billy Pierce, Herb Pomeroy, Hal Crook and Bob Brookmeyer. These experts gave Matt a solid understanding of what it takes to become a professional musician and expressive artist. In 2003, after extensive touring, performing and recording, a return to academia was prompted by a departmental assistantship from Shelly Berg to attend the University of Southern California. He graduated in 2006 with a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies, and is now working towards a Doctorate of Musical Arts.

Matt released his first solo CD in 1999 entitled Live at Moondog. It includes a bebop standard and nine original tunes. The band, consisting of three horns, bass and drums, continues to work today and has established itself as a unique voice for Zebley's compositions. In 2000, he joined a new group entitled Kingcake. A recording of Arthur Blythe in 1974 inspired this trio which features reeds, tuba and hand percussion. Kingcake’s style evolved to include second line, avant-garde and funk. They have been referenced as “Ornette Coleman plays Mardi Gras on acid”. Matt also joined another wonderfully rich ensemble in 2001 called GO: Organic Orchestra. Created on commission by the master percussionist Adam Rudolph, this project features a shifting array of woodwind specialists and percussionists. The music, which combines 21st century composition techniques with African and Mid-East inspired grooves, is completely modern and deeply emotional. Since its inception, they have recorded three CDs, the latest featuring Yusef Lateef. From 1999 to 2003, Matt performed with the Brian Setzer Orchestra. This high profile, rock and roll big band enjoyed huge commercial success and Matt received a Grammy (Best Instrumental) for his work on "Caravan" from their 2000 release entitled Vavoom. With this group, Zebley participated in two world tours, numerous TV appearances and three movie soundtracks. He also performed with Tony Bennet, Bob Dylan and a number of other outstanding musical celebrities. Matt recently released an additional DVD with Brian entitled Live in Japan. Currently, Matt performs with the Anthony Wilson Nonet, the Alan Ferber Nonet, and the Tim Messina Octet. These groups focus on modern jazz improvisation within the context of original compositions and arrangements.

Since 1993, Matt has developed his career in southern CA. Playing, recording and touring with diverse and wonderful musicians has enabled deep and sincere artistic growth. In 1995, Matt created a private lesson studio where he reaches local communities by sharing his musical experiences. In that same year he started Vibrant Productions, a business entity that administers every aspect of his growing career. He now resides in Redlands, owns a digital recording studio and works diligently towards his personal and artistic goals.
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