Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley started his musical journey at age 6. He was already playing the piano in his teens and had begun to gravitate towards the bass guitar by his teens. By age 19, he was performing professionally as a guitarist. He enrolled at Trinity College of Music in 2001, where he learned the double bass. After completing his final recital on the instrument, he received the Trinity College of Music Friends in New York award. He has continued his studies in classical music since graduation, under the guidance of Jani Pensola (LSO bassist), and was awarded a Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music diploma for classical double bass in 2017. He is a true fan of the instrument and has a wide range of influences that can be seen in his playing, including Ray Brown, Ron Carter and Miroslav Vitous as well as modern players like Christian McBride or Larry Grenadier. He is based in London and has performed at some of the most important venues in the UK, including the Purcell Room and Cadogan Hall, Ronnie Scott’s and King’s Place. Matt was the band leader and released his debut album, “Thymos”, on Whirlwind Recordings. The album features the talents of John Turville, a pianist who won an award, George Hart, a drummer, and special guest appearances by Jason Yarde, Attab Haddad, Vasilis Sirikis and Jason Yarde. It is a significant artistic statement of both compositional as well as improvisational brilliance. Matt’s second album, “Metta”, was released in February 2016. The album continued the rhythmic, melodic and inventive sound of ‘Thymos’. Jason Yarde was now a core member. They performed at festivals and jazz clubs across the UK, and were called ‘One of Britain’s finest contemporary quartets’ by Jazzviews. Matt formed the band ‘The Antidote, which featured Ant Law (guitar), Tom Hewson, Marc Michel (drums), and Ant Law (guitar). Their eponymous album will be released on 23 July 2021. Matt was also the leader of the MJQ Celebration from 2011 to 2016. The band was inherited from Michael Garrick MBE and featured the award-winning vibraphonist Jim Hart, pianist Barry Green and Steve Brown on drums. The group performed all over the UK, and Ridley produced a eponymous CD. It received rave reviews and was called ‘a tremendously entertaining project’ by the London Jazz Blog. Matt is a highly sought-after sideman. He is well-known for both his work with young musicians in contemporary jazz and older, more established artists. He has been playing with Darius Brubeck, the oldest son of Dave Brubeck, in a quartet that includes Dave O’Higgins as saxophone. He has been a frequent collaborator with Ant Law, guitarist in the quintet, and the ‘Art of Rhythm trio with drummer Asaf Sikis. Also, he worked with a variety of musicians who were at the forefront of their movement, including Tim Garland and Nikki Iles, Don Weller and Jim Hart. He has also collaborated with international artists like Mulatu Astatke and Leon Foster Thomas, a Trinidadian steel pan sensation. Matt is active in education and has taught masterclasses and workshops at conservator level. He also teaches on Sound and Music’s Summer school for young composers. At the Brentwood School, he is the ‘Jazz Specialist’. He teaches improvisation and musicianship and also directs the Senior and Junior jazz groups. He is available to provide private tuition via Zoom and from his teaching studio. Tuition inquiries are welcome from all levels, abilities, and instruments. from

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