Matthew Fogg


Matthew Fogg's musical journey began as a trumpet player at the age of 10. His interest in the piano, however, didn't develop until high school, when he began listening to greats such as Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett. These legendary jazz musicians, among others, helped Matt discover a new passion to pursue … jazz piano. Matt attended the University of New Hampshire, earning a degree in Music Education. He performed in various university ensembles and had the opportunity to play with legendary jazz musicians such as Clark Terry, Slide Hampton, Bud Shank and Jimmy Heath.

During his UNH years, Matthew began a musical collaboration with vocalist and fellow student Nicole Hajj. The two compiled an extensive repertoire of Matt's original arrangements of classic jazz pieces and began performing at respected clubs and upscale restaurants throughout New England. Following graduation, Matt embarked upon a career as a music educator, working as the choral director at Morse High School in Bath, Maine. He nevertheless maintained an active performing schedule, and his musical partnership with Nicole reached a pinnacle with the recording of a live CD in the fall of 2004.

The release of Live at the Azure Café in early 2005 resulted in two television appearances on the WCSH news magazine show 207 as well as a live-in-the studio concert for Rich Tozier's Friday Night Jazz program on Maine Public Radio. The disc garnered glowing reviews and received airplay in numerous states and half a dozen countries.

Matt received an additional musical highlight in 2005 when he was asked to join an impressive roster of artists performing for jazz legend Clark Terry's 85th birthday celebration at UNH.

Shortly after the release of the album Azure, Matt began to develop a keen interest in the sounds (not to mention recording possibilities) of vintage keyboards. He began composing in earnest, and was soon hard at work on a second CD, a collaborative venture with vocalist Cheri Gaudet Grimmett and guitarist Scott Morgan. The CD, released in May of 2006, was called This Is What You Want and effortlessly embraced a wide range of musical styles. Matt's determination to record original material resulted in a CD filled with songs that conveyed humor, charm, honesty, and a sense of searching; personal, as well as spiritual.

As with the Azure disc, This Is What You Want was greeted with consistently positive reviews, and received a surprising amount of airplay for an independent release. Not only were Matt's keyboard and arranging skills frequently singled out for special praise, but the disc as a whole was commended for the "big label" sound of its production—not bad for a shoestring budget! Once again, Rich Tozier invited Matt, Scott, Cheri and the band onto Friday Night Jazz. This ensemble also played two enthusiastically received and energetic sets at the Festival of Cultural Exchange in Portland.

In the fall of 2006, Matt was asked to join an up-and-coming new band then making its mark on the local Portland concert scene, Jaye Drew and A Moving Train. The band has subsequently been in the process of recording their debut CD, and the project is being helmed by noted New York producer Mark Zuppe. The CD promises to be an exciting mix of hip hop, R&B, soul and jazz.

In the spring of 2007, Matt was invited to participate in a special series of concerts celebrating the inauguration of Bowdoin College's new state-of–the-art, acoustically perfect Studzinski Recital Hall. Matt headlined a concert with a first year jazz piano student of his, Hassan Muhammed, an incredibly talented musician in how own right. The two were supported by a sterling group of noteworthy jazz musicians and a CD was recorded for future release.

Finally, 2007 has also been the year of print media. In January, Keyboard Magazine ran a piece on Matt, which, true to that publication's format, emphasized his musical influences as well as equipment preferences. Being featured in a national magazine definitely felt significant! This fall, Matt will be featured in Port City Life as one of four native Maine "twenty-somethings" whose lives are having a noticeable impact on the world around them.

As an educator (he continues to work as Music Educator/Choral Music Director for the Lyman Moore Middle School in Portland, as well as an adjunct professor at both Bowdoin College and the University of Maine at Augusta), composer, performer, arranger and producer, it would seem Matt is a logical choice for that article, and, at 28, it's safe to assume there's so much more to come!

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