MM, University of Toledo
BM, The Hartt School, University of Hartford
Pianist Matt DeChamplain grew up in Wethersfield, Connecticut. During high school Matt attended the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts studying under Jimmy Greene and Dave Santoro. He obtained his bachelors degree from the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the Hartt School in 2010 and graduated with his masters from the University of Toledo in Ohio in 2012.
Matt has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz, Berks Jazz Festival, New York’s JVC Jazz Festival, the Berklee Jazz Festival, the Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center and renowned jazz clubs such as the Regatta Bar, Smalls and Yoshi’s. In 2008, Matt was selected for the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program where he engaged in a two week intensive composition and performance workshop under the instruction of jazz luminaries Dr. Billy Taylor, Nathan Davis and Curtis Fuller culminating in three performances filmed live from the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. That same year he was part of a group lead by bassist Nat Reeves that toured New Ross, Ireland. In 2010, Matt participated as a semifinalist in the Martial Solal Jazz Piano Competition in Paris, France.
At the age of 16, Matt had the privilege of playing three duets with Dave Brubeck in two concerts. Since then, Matt has shared the stage with Marion Cowings, Paul Brown, Dianne Mower, Jaimoe, John Benitez, Shawnn Monteiro, Nat Reeves, Steve Davis, Dezron Douglas, Javon Jackson, Arti Dixon, Jose Feliciano, Jon Hendricks, Paul Keller, Norman Johnson, Rich Goldstein, and Kris Jensen.
Matt’s pianistic influences range from Thomas “Fats” Waller, Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Nat “King” Cole, and Phineas Newborn to Hank Jones, Meade Lux Lewis, Bud Powell, McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea and Gary Versace. In concert settings, he has lead or been a part of groups that opened for Hank Jones, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, the Wynton Marsalis Quintet, Michael Wolff, and most recently the Renee Rosnes Quartet.
As a sideman, Matt has appeared on guitarist Norman Johnson’s album “Get It While You Can” (2011), jazz violinist Jason Anick’s album “Tipping Point” (2012), and recorded several songs with vocal legend Jon Hendricks for “Holiday Wishes II: River of Stars” (2013). Also in 2013, he recorded a solo piano album titled “Stride-Bop” that sought to fuse the Harlem stride tradition with bebop and hardbop language. “Jazz’s rich heritage has been such an inspiration to me, and I hope that my combination of stride, swing, bebop and blues elements in these arrangements and compositions will honor it.” In 2015, Matt and his wife vocalist Atla DeChamplain released their first collaboration together titled “Pause.” The album features a guest appearance by Hendricks.
Currently Matt holds faculty positions at the Hartt School (University of Hartford), the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and leads the big band at Glastonbury High School. He has also taught at the Artist’s Collective, the Litchfield Jazz Camp and New Hampshire’s Jazz All State.
While maintaining an active performance and teaching schedule, Matt continues to arrange and compose.