Matt Falker- 2021 North Dakota All-State Vocal Jazz Director
Kawai artist Matt Falker is a jazz and gospel pianist, vocalist, arranger and clinician. As a full-time professor at MiraCosta College, Matt directs the Downbeat award-winning Frequency vocal jazz program, teaches theory and piano classes, and is founder and director of the Oceanside Jazz Festival, a non-competitive vocal jazz festival hosted at MiraCosta. Matt was also one of a select group of teachers chosen as a quarter-finalist for the GRAMMY’s Music Educator Award.
Matt distributes music through his own publishing company, Matfal Music, and many of his vocal arrangements are also published by Sound Music Publications, Sheet Music Plus, and JW Pepper. He was the musical director and baritone singer for professional vocal ensemble True North, who presented featured sets at both the Jazz Education Network (JEN) Conference and the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Western Division Conference. Matfal Music also runs a series of one-day vocal jazz workshops for teachers and students called the Vocal Jazz Academy. In 2021, the Academy will be hosted in five locations around the United States.
A native of northern Michigan, Matt received his undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo in jazz piano and his graduate degree from the University of Southern California in jazz voice. An active performer and clinician internationally, his recent appearances as a guest clinician or performer include festivals in Washington, Oklahoma, Illinois, Alberta, Manitoba, and California, including prominent events such as the Monterey Jazz Festival and the ACDA National Convention. He has also served as the guest conductor for All-State Vocal Jazz Ensembles for Washington, Colorado, Iowa, Arizona, and others. In 2019, he presented a performance of his singing, playing, and arranging at the International Jazz Voice Conference in Helsinki, Finland. He currently teaches piano and arranging for Jeremy Fox’s “Jazz Harmony Retreat”.
He has published an instructional DVD through Sound Music Publications entitled “Jazz Piano For Singers, Volume 1”. On Matt’s last sabbatical, he arranged and scored a new musical based on the life of Nat ‘King’ Cole, which premiered at Morgan State University in Baltimore, and was scheduled to be performed as a staged reading in New York City in 2020.
Matt’s most recent albums include his solo CD ‘Playpen’ featuring his singing, playing, and writing, and the True North CD ‘Voyage’. Matt also plays keyboards for the Los Angeles Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America.