12/12/13My new instructional dvd is here!

You can watch the trailer and order right there to your right, just push the "launch related site" button!

07/24/13My new recording featuring Randy Brecker, Adam Nussbaum, and Jay Anderson is available!

Order directly from cdbaby.com

04/02/13New instructional DVD arriving soon!

Please look for my new DVD, Adding Color to Your Blues, A systematic Approach to Adding Chromatic Tones to the Blues. We wrapped shooting in Early April 2013 and it should be ready for release in May 2013. It will be available through http://coolschoolvideo.com/

04/02/13Playing guitar on Roswell Rudd's new single and video Funky Little Sweet Thing-A Slow Dance for Fast Times.

Happy to part of this incredible band featuring Roswell Rudd, Heather Masse, John Meseski, Ira Coleman, T Xiques.

12/10/12Weekly hit @Skytop in Kingston

The weekly hit is on hold for now, please come back and check to see when we'll be back. In the mean time my new recording featuring Randy Brecker will be out shortly so be on the lookout for that!

09/25/12Two new recordings coming soon!

In the process of finishing two recording that I started this summer! Lot’s of new music and some stellar musicians including Randy Becker, Jay Anderson, Dave Livolsi, Adam Nussbaum, Mike Nappi, and Jon Ball! I hope to have both recordings out by the start of Winter but one never knows! Keep checking the website for news including gigs. See you out and about!

07/19/12Review of Concert with Randy Brecker

Randy Brecker Quintet featuring Ada Rovatti
by Jeff Nania on March 8, 2012 · 0 comments
THE VAN DYCK, MARCH 3


Trumpeter Randy Brecker and saxophonist Ada Rovatti came through town Saturday night to play a mix of originals and standards with some of the local heavyweights. Drummer Dave Calarco, bassist John Menegon and guitarist Matt Finck filled out the group nicely.

The sole female member of the group, Rovatti was endearingly referred to as “the secret weapon" by her husband and bandleader, Brecker. Her tenor sound is often dark and mysterious, but can be soulful and bluesy, or cutting and edgy. This is in contrast to her tone on the soprano, which is round and beautiful without any of the annoying edge that is so often associated with that instrument, and which even more well-known proponents of the instrument fall prey to.

The interplay between Brecker and Rovatti came off with ease. They know how to accompany each other, and their interplay is truly conversational. The same could be said of the whole group. The expert sidemen were all gifted soloists in their own right, and there was space enough for everybody to show off their chops. Finck stuck mostly to single-note lines but was able to provide jarring intervals and sweeping strokes.

The most original composition of the evening was Rovatti’s tune “Stuntman," which came to a false ending, and the crowd started applauding before the group went into a 14/8 groove. Rovatti played soprano on this one, and although Brecker played the melody on trumpet, he picked up the flugelhorn for the solo. Finck’s guitar part switched between chordal playing and set single-note lines that juxtaposed the horn players’ melodies.

“There’s a Mingus Amongus" was a playful gesture towards what a Monk and Mingus collaboration might have sounded like. The staccato dot-dot-daaaaaaa figures were reminiscent of “Monk’s Dream," but the way the melody meandered with Debussey-like lyricism was of course reminiscent of Charles Mingus’ writing.

Brecker definitely has trumpet chops and can blow lines that can only be played on trumpet, but he can also make it sing. This is something that he and Rovatti definitely have in common: the ability to flow seamlessly between soul and bop. He would blow a line and then literally pull the horn away from his face, nodding his head digging the rhythm section and contemplating his next move. It is this use of space that really shows his seasoned-pro-ness. He has the relaxed, strong mind that great soloists aspire to.

Another notable tune of the evening was Brecker’s “The Marble Sea," about the Mediterranean. The light clave from Calarco, and the openly strummed guitar give this tune the feeling of being gently sprayed with seawater while speeding along in a little boat on a blindingly bright day on the Mediterranean. Rovatti flowed along, playing her alternatingly soulful and boppish lines, and was able to work in some rhythmic stutters, which Calarco immediately picked up on and carried through.

After playing a run of originals, the group decided to play “Have You Met Miss Jones." Brecker turned to the members of the group and jokingly asked, “You guys know this one?" It is one of the most standard pieces of jazz literature. The group then finished with an original blues called “Dirty Dogs," which Brecker “dedicated to musicians the world over."

07/05/12Kickstarter Launch

Hello Everyone!
I wanted to let you know that I am launching a Kickstarter campaign for a recording I’m doing in 3 weeks! The recording will be entitled The Matthew Finck Group, Introducing Fat Mink! We are unleashing Fat Mink upon the greater world and I need some extra help to get this project off the ground! We are looking to raise a minimum of $2000 to cover the last parts of the project, mostly production things like mixing, cd pressing, etc. Anything above 2K will all go towards the completion of the project. There is no contribution too small and there are lots of cool rewards for different contribution levels. Please visit the site and let me know what you think. Try to stay cool out there and thank you so much for your support!

12/06/11Master Class and Concert with Mike Clark and Jerry Z (B3 and Beyond)

LVanHart Presents Jazz @
Kingston High School Auditorium
Tuesday, December 6, 2011 @ 7pm
The Mike Clark Trio
Featuring Jerry Z (Organ/keyboards)
and Matt Finck (Guitar)
Also Featuring:
The Rondout Valley 7th & 8th Grade Jazz Ensemble, Dir. Jason Clinton
The Kingston High School Jazz Ensemble, Dir. Dan Shaut
Music for ALL Ages!
For Information: www.lvanhart.com
For Reservations: (845) 514-2079
Tickets Sold @ the Door: $15/$8 with Student ID
Kingston High School – 403 Broadway, Kingston, NY 12401

KINGSTON, NY - On Tuesday, December 6, 2011 LVanHart Artist Productions proudly presents, live in concert, The Mike Clark Trio featuring Jerry Z on organ/keyboard and Ulster County’s own Matt Finck on guitar in a special performance at Kingston High School Auditorium. The music will begin with the Rondout Valley Middle School Jazz ensemble, Directed by Jason Clinton, followed by the Kingston High School Jazz Ensemble, directed by Dan Shaut, followed by the Mike Clark Trio.

“He’s a great jazz drummer—and he hasn’t lost any of the stuff that he brought from Oakland. So now he’s totally free to do both, and he does. The solo he played on the album Thrust, on the song “Actual Proof," is one of the best drum solos on any of my albums. So many people have remarked about that solo, saying, ‘Incredible.’" Herbie Hancock on Mike Clark.

Earlier in the day, Kingston high School will be hosting a workshop that will be attended by the Rondout Valley 7th & 8th Grade and High School Jazz Ensembles, and the Kingston High School Jazz Ensemble. Mike Clark, with Jerry Z and Matt Finck, will coach all three ensembles, sharing their collective experiences and knowledge of jazz, lending their expertise to help guide and inspire a new generation of musicians. It will be a very special day for these lucky students! All three musicians have a vast knowledge of the history of the music, yet have an eye on the future by creating modern mainstream jazz with great respect for the music’s roots. A winning combination to share with the students!

LVanHart Artist Productions is very pleased that these young players and their teachers will have this invaluable opportunity to work with these master musicians. Both schools have received deep cuts to their programs, programs that are successful - where both students and teachers are dedicated to keeping this art form alive. It is our hope to bring more recognition to this great work happening right here in our own community.
Donations for this event may be sent to: JWB Jazz at JW Bailey Middle School, 118 Merilina Ave. Ext., Kingston, NY 12401, ATTN: Dan Shaut and Rondout Valley Middle School Band, Attn: Jason Clinton, Rondout Valley Middle School, 122 Kyserike Road, Accord, NY 12404.

The Rondout Valley 7th & 8th grade Jazz Ensemble, with Director Jason Clinton, has worked with Steve Wilson, Paquito De Rivera, the Count Basie Big Band and members of the Chick Corea Band.  Last year at the Music in the Parks Competition in Hershey, PA they received the Best Overall Jazz Band Award, 1st Place in the Middle School/Junior High Division.  This group received a Level IV Gold with Distinction Rating at NYSSMA Majors and has received over 20 consecutive Gold Ratings at the NYSSMA Majors Festival.

The Rondout Valley High School Jazz Ensemble, Randolph Loder, Director, is constantly in demand for local events in the Hudson Valley.  This year we are honored to announce that Alex Graf has been selected as the number one guitarist in the state from a difficult audition process, and will be performing with the All State Jazz Ensemble.  We encourage the students to listen to jazz and compose for the group, including these works in our performances.  Recently we have also had the honor of premiering "A Place Above" by world renowned trombonist Roswell Rudd.

The Kingston High School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Dan Shaut, has worked with Chris Vadala, Jim Snidero, Tim Collins, the West Point Jazz Knights, Ron Carter, Dennis Mackrel and many other professional jazz musicians. The group has performed at the NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) festival in Rochester, and NYSBDA (New York State Band Director's Association) in Syracuse. The Jazz Ensemble has consistently performed the highest level music in the NYSSMA festival and received gold or gold with distinction ratings. In 2009 while under the direction of Robert Shaut, the Jazz Ensemble was selected a finalist at the Essentially Ellington Competition at Jazz at Lincoln Center where the students worked with Wynton Marsalis and the entire Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. 


ABOUT THE MUSICIANS

MIKE CLARK gained worldwide recognition as one of America’s foremost jazz and funk drummers while playing with Herbie Hancock’s group Headhunters in the early 1970’s. Mike became known as a major innovator through his incisive playing on Hancock’s Thrust album, which garnered him an international cult following.

While often referred to as the “Tony Williams of funk", Mike considers himself a jazz drummer, and in fact has become one of the most vital to sit behind a set. He's performed with jazz greats such as Herbie Hancock, Chet Baker, Vince Guaraldi, Tony Bennett, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, Eddie Henderson, Rob Dixon, Bobby Hutcherson, Woody Shaw, Donald Harrison, Larry Coryell, Jack Wilkins, Mike Wolff, Wallace Roney, Geri Allen, Billy Childs, James Genus, Bob Hurst, Chris Potter, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau, Dave Liebman, Nat Adderly, Oscar Brown Jr., Bill Doggett, Nicholas Payton, Christian McBride, Mose Allison, Maxine Brown, Gil Evans and his orchestra and many illuminating etceteras too numerous to list.

Born in Sacramento, CA Mike had the benefit of traveling around the country with his father, a union man for the railroad, while growing up. He was also a drummer at one time and had a keen ear, a killing record collection, and a great appreciation for music. This allowed the younger Clark to soak up the diverse regional music of the United States, which he credits as providing an invaluable education. Clark was a prodigy as well, picking up his first sticks at the tender age of five and sitting in--and getting “house" --with bands in Texas and New Orleans when he was as young as 7 and 8.

He continued to play in a variety of blues, R&B, organ trios, and jazz bands, settling in Oakland, CA, until his introduction to Herbie Hancock and his recruitment into the Headhunters in 1973.

Born in Sacramento, CA, Mike had the benefit of traveling around the country with his father, a union man for the railroad, while growing up. He was also a drummer at one time and had a keen ear, a killing record collection, and a great appreciation for music. This allowed the younger Clark to soak up the diverse regional music of the United States, which he credits as providing an invaluable education. Clark was a prodigy as well, picking up his first sticks at the tender age of five and sitting in--and getting “house" --with bands in Texas and New Orleans when he was as young as 7 and 8.

He continued to play in a variety of blues, R&B, organ trios, and jazz bands, settling in Oakland, CA, until his introduction to Herbie Hancock and his recruitment into the Headhunters in 1973.

Jerry Z is a fresh voice on the organ/keyboards and is quickly gaining recognition as one of the most original and innovative musicians on the New York jazz/funk scene. With a style all his own, Z has captured the attention of audiences at home and abroad with fresh melodies, potent grooves and soulful compositions.

Notable collaborations include two recordings for soul-jazz pioneer Melvin Sparks “Groove on Up" (featuring Z’s funky opus “Onion Patch") and “This Is It"; Jim Paynes “Sensei" and “Energie"; and John Basile’s “It Was A Very Good Year." Sought after as a sideman, Jerry Z has enjoyed performing and recording with Doug Munro, Delbert McClinton, Hiram Bullock, Adam Nussbaum, John Scofield, Mark Whitfield, Bernard Purdy, Fred Wesley, Oz Noy, and others. 

More recently, Jerry Z has been touring with the Headhunters and Mike Clark’s “Prescription Renewal Trio."

Matthew Finck is one of the most respected and versatile guitarist on the scene today. At home in most styles, he has been earning his living by playing in organ trios, Funk and Big Bands, as well as playing mandolin and guitar on some of the biggest video games titles in the US and Europe. After graduating High School in 1990, Matthew made the move to NYC in order to pursue a BA in music from LIU, Brooklyn Campus. While attending university, Matthew was a staple on the Harlem music scene, establishing himself as a formidable blues and Bop guitarist.

After receiving his BA in 1997 Matthew lived and performed in NYC until 2000 when he returned to his native Hudson Valley. Since then he has performed and recorded with many of the great musicians residing in the greater NY area including Roswell Rudd, Adam Nussbaum, Jay Anderson, Dennis Mackrel, and Ira Coleman. He has also taught at Poughkeepsie Day School, Dutchess Community College, and currently teaches at College of Saint Rose in Albany as their guitar instructor and ensemble director.

11/20/11Premier of my arrangement of Bohemian Rhapsody by the College of Saint Rose Guitar ensemble!

06/18/113 Generations of Jazz Guitar!

LVanHart Artist Productions is proud to announce the kick-off to the Summer Series of Jazz @ Stella May Gallery Theatre on Saturday, June 18, 2011, the series will highlight the wealth of talent that can be found here in the Hudson Valley. The first concert, "Three Generations of Jazz Guitar," will feature three local guitarists, Eddie Diehl (who celebrates his 75th birthday on June 16th) Matt Finck, and Gabe Schnider (who will have just graduated high school). The ensemble will be rounded out by one of the area's talented young bassists, Adam Coté, and the always popular Jeff "Siege" Siegel on drums.

As usual, the evening will begin with a Meet the Artist at 8:00pm, the music begins at 8:30pm. Reservations are strongly recommended by calling Stella May Productions at 845-331-7955. Tickets, which are also available at the door, are $15 per person or $8 with valid student ID (credit cards accepted). This show is all ages. There is ample parking on both sides of Sterling at Greenkill Ave. Visit our website.

Jazz @ Stella May Gallery Theatre
101 Greenkill Avenue, Kingston, NY 12401

Jazz has always had a tradition of being passed from one generation to the next by apprenticeships and elders sharing their experiences by storytelling - orally and through their chosen instrument. Though the great apprenticeships (the schools of Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Betty Carter, etc) have diminished greatly in the recent past, there are still those opportunities where wise young players take advantage of elder mentors. Our three generations of jazz guitar are a fine example of one generation fostering young talent and carrying on this great tradition.

About their relationships, Finck writes: "Growing up, my father was a professional jazz musician so any musical whim I had, he supported. I started getting into jazz in high school and my father recommended that I go take some lessons from Eddie Diehl who was residing in Poughkeepsie, NY. It was really great! Little did I know that it would turn into a life long friendship! I would go there and sometimes our sessions would last 3-4 hours with a lunch break in between at the wonderful Mexican restaurant El Bracero. What's really cool is that Eddie now eats there with Gabe so it really has become a tradition. Maybe there is something in that food that helps young guitarists find their way!

Eddie is one of the true improvisers; meaning he always tells a story that is different every time. Like any great poet he weaves a narrative that reveals a life's journey. He unveils it to the universe and then let's it go to be followed by another story of equal beauty but with a whole new plot.

At some point we started doing gigs together which were really a treat for me and still are. When we play we can just go off into any direction and groove on what the other is doing. The great thing is that Gabe and I do the same thing. I met Gabe when he was in 5th grade. His mother asked me at PoughkeepsieDay School, where I was teaching at the time, if I would give her son guitar lessons at my home instead of at the school. When we traded addresses it turned out that we bordered each other's properties in Accord! What are the odds?

Over the years Gabe and I have developed a beautiful relationship originating as teacher/student and it has developed into a great friendship. Like Eddie, Gabe deeply realizes his connection to those around him and the profound impact music can have on the world. What he expresses is beautiful and he's willing to be vulnerable enough to experience the beauty that life has to offer.

Overall Eddie, Gabe and myself care deeply about one another and when we all get together to play (which is not often enough) there is a kinship there that not only stems from playing guitar but of loving the music, life (the hang!), and one another. There ain't nothing wrong with that!"