Desert Island Jazz
Dmitri Matheny (2003)

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Few horn men in America enjoy such universal acclaim as DMITRI MATHENY, whose unforgettable sound has been described as "so cool it'll run a shiver through your martini" (Los Angeles Times).

Celebrated for his warm romantic tone, soaring lyricism and masterful technique, Matheny was first introduced to jazz audiences in the 1980s as the protégé of flugelhorn legend Art Farmer (with whom he studied privately for ten years). Now hailed as "the first breakthrough flugelhornist since Chuck Mangione" (San Jose Mercury News), Dmitri Matheny has received numerous awards and honors, including selection as "Best New Artist" in the JAZZIZ Readers Poll and "Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition" in the Down Beat International Critics Poll.

Born on Christmas Day, 1965 in Nashville, Tennessee, and raised in Georgia and Arizona, Dmitri began playing the trumpet at age 9. He is an honors graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

While still in college, the young trumpeter led his own bands while working professionally as a sideman with touring popular and Motown acts such as the Temptations, Bobby Rydell, Fabian, and Martha Reeves, and appearing frequently with the True Colors Big Band (co-directed by Ken Schaphorst and Rob Scheps). In 1989 Matheny graduated magna cum laude from Berklee and relocated to San Francisco, California, where he resides today.

Dmitri Matheny has appeared on dozens of recordings as a composer, arranger, producer and featured soloist. He has released eight critically-acclaimed recordings as a leader: RED REFLECTIONS (1995), PENUMBRA (1996), STARLIGHT CAFE (1998), SANTA'S GOT A BRAND NEW BAG (2000), NOCTURNE (2005), THE SNOWCAT (2006), SPIRITU SANCTO (2007) and BEST OF DMITRI MATHENY (2008).

Although best known as a flugelhorn player, Dmitri Matheny is also a prolific composer and lyricist whose published compostions span the jazz, popular, symphonic, choral, chamber and world music genres. Matheny has received premieres and commissions from Meet the Composer, the Manhattan New Music Project, the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers, the Bay Area Jazz Composers Orchestra and 20th Century Forum.

His film scoring and soundtrack credits include the PBS documentary Mary, Paradox & Grace (1996), the industrial short film Greenhorn Creek (1997), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art production Voices & Images of California Art (1997), and the RKO Pictures feature film Shade (2003) directed by Damian Nieman and starring Gabriel Byrne, Jamie Foxx, Melanie Griffith, Thandie Newton, Sylvester Stallone and Stewart Townsend. Most recently, Matheny contributed music for the Cannes Film Festival premiere of "Stanley's Girlfriend," a short from the horror anthology Trapped Ashes (2006).

Matheny's most ambitious creation to date is Spiritu Sancto (a.k.a. the "New Millennium Mass"), a monumental sacred work scored for chorus, organ, percussion, brass quintet, jazz ensemble and gospel soloist. Commissioned by Ted W. Hall for St. Dominic's Church in San Francisco, the composition received its world premiere at midnight on the dawn of the new millennium.

Dmitri is also passionate about arts education. He presents clinics, lectures and workshops at leading universities and conservatories, and offers private lessons on an availability basis. He has held teaching faculty and arts management positions with the Jazzschool (Berkeley, CA), Boston Center for the Arts, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Monarch Records. He has served as Director of Education for SFJAZZ, the San Francisco Jazz Organization, as Assistant Education Director for the Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Colony at Jazz Aspen Snowmass, and as Artist-In-Residence for the Young Musicians Program of the University of California, Berkeley. In 2008, in association with the San Francisco Symphony's innovative Adventures in Music program, Dmitri and his band have performed free concerts for more than 15,000 children in over 100 public schools.

Dmitri Matheny performs worldwide as a soloist, sideman and bandleader. He has appeared in concert with a number of jazz greats, including Larry Coryell, Nathan Davis, Amina Figarova, Darrell Grant, Larry Grenadier, John Handy, Red Holloway, Denise Jannah, James Moody, Sam Rivers, Tony Reedus, Max Roach, the Rosenberg Trio, Bud Shank, Mary Stallings, Billy Taylor and Bobby Watson.

On tour, Matheny leads the DMITRI MATHENY GROUP and performs with longtime artistic collaborator, pianist Darrell Grant, in the GRANT & MATHENY duo.

At home in San Francisco, Dmitri presents two annual series of concerts and educational programs. Each spring, he collaborates with leading Bay Area arts organizations and visiting artists to produce the DMITRI MATHENY HOME SEASON (celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2009). During the winter holidays, Dmitri and his band stage THE SNOWCAT, an original theatrical production created for children and families.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Miles Davis Ascenseur pour l'Échaffaud Générique (Fontana)
# 2 Art Farmer Warm Valley Eclypso (Concord)
# 3 Taj Mahal The Real Thing Sweet Mama Janisse (Columbia)
# 4 Ingrid Jensen Vernal Fields Marsh Blues (Ejna)
# 5 Charlie Haden and Hank Jones Steal Away Wade in the Water (Verve)
# 6 Darrell Grant Black Art Tilmon Tunes (Criss Cross)
# 7 Ella Fitzgerald The Cole Porter Songbook, Vol. 1 Too Darn Hot (Verve)
# 8 Rufus, featuring Chaka Khan Rags to Rufus Swing Down Chariot (MCA)
Book Lao Tzu, "Te-Tao Ching"
Luxury Item A self-contained martini bar with Bombay Sapphire gin, Spanish olives and Cinzano vermouth
Alternate Picks/Not Broadcast
Alt 1 Johannes Brahms San Francisco Symphony conducted by Herbert Blomstedt Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45 (London)
Alt 2 Nat Cole Hit That Jive, Jack (The Earliest Recordings, 1940-41) N/A (Decca)
Alt 3 Amina Figarova Firewind N/A (Munich)
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