April 5, 2014
Matt Slocum has emerged as one of the great young drummers in New York City, and therefore all of jazz. Drummer and composer Matt Slocum celebrates the release of Black Elk’s Dream with a distinctive New York quartet featuring Dayna Stephens (Kenny Barron, Al Foster), Sam Yahel (Joshua Redman, Bill Frisell), and Massimo Biolcati (Lionel Loueke, Terence Blanchard).
As a composer, Mr. Slocum is the recent recipient of grants and commissions from the American Music Center, the Puffin Foundation, New Music USA and Meet the Composer. His ensembles have been featured throughout North America and Europe at venues such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, Yoshi’s, the Blue Note, Earshot Jazz Festival, Saratoga Jazz Festival, Twin Cities Jazz Festival and the Soka International Jazz Festival among others. He has performed and/or recorded with artists such as Seamus Blake, Alan Broadbent, Steve Cardenas, Gerald Clayton, Taylor Eigsti, Aaron Goldberg, Larry Koonse, Wynton Marsalis, Lage Lund, Linda Oh, Alan Pasqua, Jerome Sabbagh, Jaleel Shaw, Walter Smith III, Ben Wendel, Anthony Wilson, Sam Yahel and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota and raised in western Wisconsin, Mr. Slocum began musical studies on piano before switching to percussion at age 11. While in high school he was introduced to jazz through recordings featuring Max Roach and Philly Joe Jones. He received a full scholarship to attend the University of Southern California-Thornton School of Music where he studied with Peter Erskine. After graduating in 2004, Slocum spent three years in Pasadena, working with many of the West Coast’s finest jazz artists before making the move to New York in fall 2007. Slocum’s debut recording Portraits was released in January 2010. All About Jazz raved, “With this excellent premiere, Slocum steps out of the box as the full package,” while All Music Guide wrote, “This auspicious debut should put Matt Slocum’s name firmly on the jazz map.”After the Storm, his follow up recording, was released in October 2011 and received high marks from Downbeat, JazzTimes, Los Angeles Times and Jazzwise among others. After the Storm was one of 15 recordings by American composers to receive a 2011 New Music USA recording grant. Slocum was recently commissioned to compose a quartet project in honor of Black Elk. mattslocumjazz.com
“One of his generation’s most highly regarded drummers and composers”— JazzPolice
“Richly textured, hard swinging modern jazz…”— Time Out London
“Slocum clearly places empathy and ensemble eloquence over solo fireworks, with sublime results.”
— Minneapolis Star Tribune