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Bassist, composer, and educator Matt Smiley navigates his broad sonic world with imagination, openness, and artistic vision. Matt merges his deep roots in the jazz bass tradition with modern explorations of sound, texture, and improvisation from the world of contemporary composition, making him a favorite and frequent collaborator of creative musicians across a variety of musical genres.

As a performer, Matt has toured nationally and internationally, appearing on stages, festival performances, and university residencies in the United States, Costa Rica, and the Netherlands. He has performed with bandleaders and composers including David Murray, Terrell Stafford, Christian Wolff, Greg Osby, Vinny Golia, Tony Malaby, Walter Thompson, and Sam Newsome. Matt leads frequent workshops and lessons on free improvisation, jazz bass, and composition, working with educational partners including Denver School of the Arts, the Gift of Jazz, and Casper College.

Matt was born in Staunton, Virginia, where his earliest experiences with creative music were inspired by the area’s vibrant jam band scene. He received a bachelor’s degree in music industry with a jazz studies minor from James Madison University. Matt moved to Colorado to attend graduate school at the University of Northern Colorado, where he graduated with a master’s degree in jazz studies. He completed a doctorate at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and currently teaches adjunct in the jazz studies department at Boulder.

Tom Amend – flute, bass clarinet

Heath Walton – tenor saxophone

Briana Harris – alto saxophone

Ben Markley – piano

Matt Smiley – bass

Dru Heller


Matt Smiley: A Love Supreme


July 25
6:30 pm
$15 – $25


1080 14th St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 839-5100

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