Inspired by the great historical and cultural diversity of the American experience, Matt Davis’ Aerial Photograph is an original jazz ensemble that inspires audiences and fosters education through performances, recordings and educational outreach. Described as “brilliant” by the Philadelphia Daily News, this exciting and captivating band consists of a string quartet, clarinet, tenor saxophone, trumpet, guitar, bass, drums, and pre-recorded audio.
Hailed as “Inspired” by Downbeat Magazine, “Eloquent” by JazzTimes, and “Wildly imaginative” by Jazziz Magazine, the band has been active in the jazz scene since 2002. Aerial Photograph has recorded three albums of Matt Davis’ original music and has performed in a wide variety of venues including universities, jazz and arts festivals, performing arts centers, various art institutions and jazz clubs. The musicians who bring this music to life are nothing short of world class artists, having performed with such organizations as the New York Philharmonic, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and many internationally acclaimed jazz artists.
Much of Aerial Photograph’s original repertoire is inspired by the cultural pluralism that is both unique and fundamental to American society. The process of composing for this group begins with communication: band leader Matt Davis focuses on a specific community and has informal conversations with its various members about subjects including identity, their past experiences, their hopes, and how they view themselves within society. These conversations are recorded and then woven into compositions which endeavor to express the feelings and emotions which are conveyed through these communications, but which also draw from the deep American musical traditions of jazz, blues and popular song. Aerial Photograph’s music has been informed by this process with communities such as senior citizens, recovering drug addicts, immigrants, children in under-served areas, religious individuals, community volunteers, homeless people, teachers, victims of violent crime, caregivers, veterans, incarcerated adults, artists and musicians. The compositions, which arise from this process, give voice to a deeper understanding of the complexities of the modern world. This music gives both audiences and students the opportunity to experience different groups of people, about whom they may have preconceived ideas, in a new and engaging way.
In addition to leading Aerial Photograph, guitarist, composer and bandleader Matt Davis has performed and/or recorded with some of the biggest names in Jazz, including Odean Pope, Dave Liebman, Ralph Bowen, John Swana, Terrell Stafford, John Hollenbeck, Mickey Roker, and many others. He earned his Masters degree at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. He is a recipient of numerous awards and honors including grants from ASCAP, the American Composers Forum, The National Parks Service, The Banff Center, etc. Matt currently serves as Senior Lecturer in Jazz guitar performance at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and is a teaching artist for the New York Pops in New York City. He has performed and taught music workshops all over the world and is a highly in-demand guitarist. He is currently working on material for a forthcoming book on how to practice various dynamics techniques for jazz musicians. Matt is currently endorsed by Godin Guitars and plays a Godin Multiac Grand Concert guitar.
For more information Matt and to listen to Matt Davis’ Aerial Photograph, please visit www.mattdavisguitar.com.