Matthew Read

Award: Do it Differently Fund

Year: 2020

Genre: Jazz

Instrument/voice type: Double Bass

Location: London


Matthew grew up in Winchester, Hampshire and first heard jazz as a toddler dancing to Weather Report in the living room with his brother. In 2010 he started at Alton College, receiving a music scholarship. Matthew moved to London in 2012 where he attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating in 2016 with a first class degree BMus (Hons). In the same year he was awarded the Dankworth Prize for Big Band Composition. Matthew is currently in the first year of his MA in Performance (Jazz) at the Royal Academy of Music funded by generous awards from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and the Clive and Sylvia Richards Charity.
Formed in 2015, Matthew’s main project is his trio, MRT. Playing music that draws on their collective life experiences, MRT tells stories of jazz legends, faulty hatchbacks, Scottish serial killers, Crystal Palace and the M3. Described by Chris Philips of Jazz FM as “proof indeed that the British Jazz scene at the moment is in incredible form”, the trio launched their second album Anecdotes II in January 2018 across a 22 date UK tour with the help of an extremely successful Crowdfunding campaign which raised £3,263. The album was extremely well received and earned many great reviews, including 5 stars from Jazz Journal, 4 stars on and 3 stars in Jazzwise Magazine. The album launch party was featured as one of the Guardian’s top five gigs of the week and received a great amount of praise by radio DJs, jazz writers and bloggers alike. In May & June 2019 MRT road-tested a new collection of music with a 25-date Arts Council England funded UK tour.
Alongside MRT, Matthew runs new quintet MR+. Building on the foundations of the trio, MR+ adds saxophonist Alex Hitchcock and pianist David Swan in a group exploration of comprovisation – improvised composition. Matthew also performs regularly with numerous creative projects including Dreiklang, LEWIJAM!, Weseal Squeezer, Olli Martin Quintet and The Pucciarelli Group.
Always fascinated by the potential for music to develop and grow, the next MRT project will be an exploration in to the ways in which people consume music. Support from Help Musicians means that I will be able to commission a series of videos to accompany the music for this next project. These films will then be made available as an online video series. Ranging from experimental films to live-in-the-studio videos featuring all-encompassing light design and projections, this new project creates the opportunity to work with numerous up-and-coming filmmakers and visual artists and cross-pollinate the British jazz and visual arts scenes.
The music for this project will be performed by a flexible-sized ensemble ranging from the trio to a nonet featuring a wind quartet of two flugelhorns, french horn and bass clarinet as well as tenor saxophone, piano, synthesisers and percussion. Help Musicians’ financial assistance will also mean that we are able to record the music with the love and attention that it both requires and deserves.