Matthew Steckler, aka Matty Stecks, performs and composes in several musical settings internationally. Since Fall 2017, he is on the faculty in Jazz & Contemporary Popular Music at the renowned Brandon University School of Music in Canada. Primarily a saxophonist/woodwind specialist, he also performs on vocals, keyboards, percussion and electronic media, bringing a dynamic, holistic approach to the live musical experience.
As a composer and bandleader, Matthew has been recognized for his seminal work with the projects Dead Cat Bounce and Persiflage, which were recognized in Downbeat & Jazz Times, and featured at festivals and major concert series in the United States. Other projects he has led include SWIPE Cartel and Lavender Jones & The Dead Giveaways. Most recently, his Musical Tramps on Ropeadope Records is a welcome addition to the Canadian jazz community.
In other collaborative settings, Matthew has most recently been in recording projects led by the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, Eric Hangen y La Ruta, Alex Torres Latin Orchestra, News From Planet Kniffen, MC Frontalot and Jazz Composers Alliance. He recently has shared the stage with Michael Cain & Sola, Tara Davidson/William Carn Nonet, Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, Jeff Presslaff, Keith Price, Ami Cheon & the Brandon Chamber Players.
Over the course of his career, Matthew has also performed alongside Lonnie Plaxico, Gary Smulyan, Lee Konitz, Anthony Braxton, Roswell Rudd, George Russell, Gunther Schuller, Curtis Fowlkes, Pheeroan Aklaff, Jon Hendricks, Jay Hoggard, George Lewis, Marty Ehrlich, Wynton Marsalis, Tyshawn Sorey, Dan Weiss, Chris Lightcap, Greg Burk, Jim McNeely, Lenny Pickett, Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano, Bob Moses, Greg Hopkins, Gerald Cleaver, Bobby Sanabria, Gary Morgan, Ed Palermo, Club D’Elf, Max Creek and the Jazz Composers Alliance.
Matthew has written for concert music, theatre, film and game audio settings, and continues his own foundational work in electroacoustics and multimedia that began with his 2013 research-based, extended work Eco Beat Heresy. His area of research interest is in the burgeoning field of embodied music cognition, to which he contributed the 2013 dissertation The Play Space in Embodied Composition: A Study of Social Process in the Creation of Music for Improvisers.
Matthew holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Composition from New York University, an M.M. in Jazz Performance from New England Conservatory of Music, and a B.A. in Music from Wesleyan University. He studied performance with Jerry Bergonzi, Thomas Chapin, Danilo Perez, Cecil McBee, Nick Brignola, Jay Hoggard and Paul Bley, and composition/theory with Jim McNeely, Anton Vishio, Marc Consoli, Jerica Oblak, Justin Dello Joio, Dinu Ghezzo, Ron Sadoff, Lee Hyla, Anthony Braxton and George Russell.
Top 50 CDs List/4 Stars (2012) - Downbeat “Experience together is obvious on this excellent collection of 11 Steckler originals, the blending of horns, or flutes and clarinet, superb… He’s clearly an intellectual but delightfully eclectic.”
– Michael Jackson, Downbeat
Top 50 CDs (2011) – Jazz Times "Steckler’s writing has become more distinctive, at times combining the sonorities of a big band with a thoroughly avant-garde scrappiness and willingness to go anywhere and use anything... But the music’s sense of postmodern storytelling proves that the band’s wit is inspired by greater artistic depth."
- Mike Shanley, Jazz Times
"There's so much going on rhythmically and melodically in the music of Dead Cat Bounce that influences are called to mind like items on a to-do list... When so much jazz settles for nods of the head, DCB goes right for your midsection."
- Jeff Stockton, All About Jazz
"What one remembers most about it are the compulsive, seething grooves and the brawling saxophones... Great Stuff all around: for sheer snaggletoothed excitement Home Speaks to the Wandering is hard to beat."
– Nate Dorward, Cadence (also written as among Top 10 CDs of 2005 in Canada's Exclaim!)
Selected Festival Performances: Winnipeg Jazz Festival, Brandon Jazz Festival. Tri-C Jazz Festival, Flint Jazz Festival, Costanta International Music Days, Hennessy XO Jazz Festival Shanghai, New Haven Jazz Festival, Key Maine Jazz Festival, Discover Jazz Fest, EdgeFest, Albany Latin Fest
Selected Concert Series: Brandon Chamber Players, Brandon University Pro Series, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Kennedy Center Millenium Stage, Barbés Stochastic Music Series, Tang Museum Upbeat on the Roof, First Night Boston, First Night Saratoga
Selected Venues: The Blue Note NYC, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Vermont Jazz Center, Shapeshifter Lab, The Stone, Regattabar, Eyedrum Arts Center, Urban Institue for Contemporary Art, Proctors Theatre