bassist * composer * improviser

Matt Pavolka

Biography

Matt_Pavolka. Photo by Peter GannushkinMatt Pavolka. Photo by Peter Gannushkin

For twenty years bassist/composer Matt Pavolka has been a vital force in the New York Jazz and Creative Music scenes. A partial list of musicians and bands that he has performed with includes Lee Konitz, Paul Motian, Guillermo Klein, Chris Cheek, Kevin Hayes, Ben Monder, House of Illusion, Josh Roseman’s Extended Constellations, Dave Binney, The Ryan Scott Orchestra, Magalie Souriou, Elysian Fields, Joe Beck, J. Geils, Tony Malaby, Bill McHenry, Matt Renzi and Ohad Talmor’s Newsreel. He has toured extensively in the United States, Europe and Japan and can be heard on many recordings, including releases from Magalie Souriou, Guillermo Klein, Marlon Browdon, Andre Fernandes, Nate Radley, Noah Preminger and House of Illusion. He has released two albums as a leader, “Something People Can Use”, on Tone Of A Pitch Records and “The Horns Band” on the Fresh Sounds, New Talent label.

Pavolka grew up in Bloomington, Indiana. He began playing the trombone at an early age and studied with David Baker before heading to Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship as a trombonist at age 18. He switched his major to bass in his first year there and was awarded an outstanding performance award on that instrument as well as the Charles Mingus Award for his work as a composer. He moved to New York in 1994. In addition to his work as a performing musician, composer and bandleader, he is active as a music educator. He is also the musical director for the Redeye Grill in Manhattan’s live performance series.

Good Bio

Matt Pavolka is, like, a dude who plays the bass. Some people think that he's totally awesome. He started out as a trombonist but couldn't take the derision. He thought chicks would dig him if he played the bass. He had it confused with the guitar. He is a redneck from the State of Indiana. He was born in Muncie. His parents went to college there with David Letterman. He grew up in Bloomington. Not far from there is a town called Raccoon, and another one called Needmore. He went to Berklee College of Music in Boston, mostly to get the hell out of Indiana. He played a lot of music there. He met many of the musicians that he works with to this day. He met his future wife. He wrote some music. He won some awards. He drank lots and lots of coffee, smoked lots and lots of cigarettes, ate bad pizza and didn't sleep much. He's much healthier now. He currently resides in Brooklyn, New York with his beautiful and talented wife Akiko. He makes a lot of great music with amazing musicians in New York City and abroad. He occasionally makes mediocre music with mediocre musicians, for money. He has a band that plays sporadically in the New York area, called “The Matt Pavolka Band”. They have one album out on Tone Of A Pitch Records, entitled "Something People Can Use". If someone gives them some money, they may make another one at some point. He recently formed a second band, called “The Horns Band”. It is kind of like the first band but the music is different. And the musicians. And there are horns. They have a new record out on Fresh Sound New Talent Records entitled “The Horns Band”. Someone gave them money. 

Official website