Basic Background Info

Birth: September 27, 1964
Location: Knoxville, Illinois
Band: A.T. Michael MacDonald, The Brunt, Emery Davis, Vic Juris, Dominique Eade, Third Person, Cecil McBee, Steve Grismore, Russ Gershon, Bob Bowen, Matt Balitsaris, Ohad Talmor, Allan Chase, Grismore Scea Group, Matt Langley, M.O.B., Doug Yates, Garrison Fewell, Fred Hersch, Bob Nieske, Matt Wilson Quartet, Charles Socci, Pete McCann, Lee Konitz, John Turner, Janis Siegel, Charlie Kohlhase, Peter Kontrimas, Dewey Redman, Cherls Pillow, Silver Linings, John Carlson, Curtis Hasselbring and many more
Genres: Jazz
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician, Composer, Instructor



Matt Wilson was raised in Knoxville, Illinois, by supportive parents who encouraged artistic endeavors. As a child Matt Wilson's interests included art, theater, writing, and music. During the third grade he became interested in the drums after seeing Buddy Rich on an episode of "I Love Lucy." Matt Wilson then purchased a pair of Ludwig 9A drum sticks and started looking for a drum set. Cookware and five gallon buckets sufficed for a while until his parents invested in a used, off-brand snare, drum, and cymbal set.

Together with his saxophone-playing brother Mark and armed with his minimal orange sparkle kit, Matt immersed himself in the local PTA and 4H music scene, playing the hits of the 1960s and 1970s from a book. In school, Matt Wilson played in the music groups and learned to read music. His eighth grade band director even hired Matt Wilson to drum for his weekend dance band.

This early experience led Matt to play with all sorts of local groups in a wide range of genres including big band, creative rock, country, and Dixieland while he was still in high school. Matt Wilson also studied with a local drummer who taught him music rather than just quick playing. Matt referred to that teacher as "very inspirational and was very helpful in my preparing for college."

While attending Wichita State University, Matt Wilson met one of his most influential mentors ñ Dr. J.C. Combs. Matt Wilson kept a busy schedule, balancing classes and performing, commonly sleeping in lecture classes. Matt Wilson also met his future wife Felicia in Wichita. They married in 1987 and moved to Boston. While Felicia earned her Masters degree from the New England Conservatory, Matt Wilson took full advantage of the Boston music scene, seeing and playing with everyone he could. Matt Wilson toured and recorded with some great bands and musicians including the Either/Orchestra, Charlie Kohlhase Quintent, John Medeski, Dominique Eade, and Bevan Manson.

In 1992, Matt Wilson relocated to New York, playing with Cecil McBee, Lee Konitz, Fred Hersch, Redman, Tim Hagans, Ingrid Jensen, and more. Matt loved the energy of the New York music scene. Matt Wilson is currently very involved with his two bands, The Matt Wilson Quartet and Arts and Crafts.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1989 Dante's Blues The Emery Davis Quartet
1989 Spada di San Galgano (The Sword of St. Galgano) The Mandala Octet
1990 Calculus of Pleasure Either/Orchestra
1990 Research and Development Charlie Kohlhase Quintet
1991 No More Mr. Nice Guy Lello Molinari Quintet
1992 Good Deeds Charlie Kohlhase
1993 Brunt Either/Orchestra
1993 Just Play Steve Grismore
1994 Blue Deeper Than Blue Garrison Fewell
1994 Dark Clouds with Silver Linings The Allan Chase Quartet
1995 Almost Everything Don Friedman
1995 Are You Afraid of the Dark Garrison Fewell
1995 Dart Night Charlie Kohlhase Quintet
1995 Lucky Water Third Person
1995 Minnesota Modern Radio, Vol. 1 Various Artists
1995 Second Sight Joe Mulholland
1996 Across the Omniverse Either/Orchestra
1996 As Wave Follows Wave Matt Wilson
1996 In London Dewey Redman
1996 Pastels Victor Juris
1996 Sings Rodgers & Hart Dawn Upshaw
1996 Strings for Holiday Lee Konitz
1996 This Is Me Andrew Cheshire
1997 Music for Films of Francois Truffaut Georges Delerue/Wolff/London Sinfonietta
1997 Of What Grismore Scea Group
1997 Unspoken Cecil McBee
1997 Visit Charles Socci
1997 When the Wind Was Cool Dominique Eade
1997 You Should Be Nicer to Me Lisa Michel
1998 Currents Charles Pillow
1998 Dancing on My Bedpost Charles Kohlhase
1998 Going Once, Going Twice Matt Wilson
1998 Last Days of Jazz Various Artists
1998 Watch Out Misako Kano Quartet
1999 Lili Marlene Bruno De Filippi
1999 Only in New York Joe Traina
1999 Other Side of Ellington: Duke's Motivation Various Artists
1999 Other Side of Standards Various Artists
1999 Parable Pete McCann
1999 Remembering Thomas Mario Pavone & Nu Trio
1999 Smile Matt Wilson Quartet
1999 Tender Trap Janis Siegel
1999 Walking Woman Mary LaRose and Ledhead
2000 New Spirit in Jazz, Vol. 4 Various Artists
2001 Bonemeal Ray Anderson
2001 Drift Michael Blake
2001 Freedom and Jealousy Paul Tynan
2001 Liebman Plays Puccini: A Walk in the Clouds Dave Liebman
2001 Strange City The Herbie Nichols Project
2001 Summer Sketches Bill Mays Trio
2001 Threeplay Ted Rosenthal
2001 Totem Blues Mario Pavone
2002 Circle Squared Mark Taylor
2002 Final Answer Conference Call
2002 Gong with Wind Suite Lee Konitz/Matt Wilson
2002 Love's Holiday Dena DeRose
2002 Mythos Mario Pavone Nu Trio/Quintet
2002 Pianissimo Andy LaVerne
2002 Real Standard Time Prism Saxophone Quartet
2003 Blueprint Project The Blueprint Project
2003 Blues Chris Bergson
2003 Going Home Bill Mays
2003 Holiday Sampler 2003 Various Artists
2003 Humidity Matt Wilson
2003 Not Just Another Pretty Voice Various Artists
2003 Still Evolved Ted Nash
2003 Subtextures Ron Horton
2004 Art and Architecture Pete Mills
2004 Boom Mario Pavone
2004 Green Up Time Ellen Zachos
2004 Long and Short of It Fred Hess
2004 Lullabluebye Frank Kimbrough
2004 New Sticktet: The Answer's Inside Steve Adelson Sticktet
2004 Portrait in Black and White Helio Alves
2004 Samba de Novembro Rick Stone
2004 Slickrock Denny Zeitlin
2004 Wake Up! (To What's Happening) Matt Wilson's Arts and Crafts
2005 Another Day Chris Bergson
2005 Crossed Paths Fred Hess
2005 Espada de la Noche Ted Nash
2005 I Think It's Going to Rain Today Curtis Stigers
2005 Live at Jazz Standard Bill Mays Trio
2005 No One Knows Eric Comstock
2005 Not in Our Name Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra
2005 Quite Live in Brooklyn M.O.B. Trio
2005 Still Life Teri Roiger
2005 Walk in the Park Dena DeRose
2006 Climbing the Gates Falkner Evans Trio
2006 East Coast Cool John McNeil
2006 Fragile Forms Michael Musillami's Dialect
2006 Gamzelim Volcano
2006 Greater Love Nancy Donnelly
2006 In the Loop Ted Nash & Still Evolved
2006 Jam Session, Vol. 17 Kisor/McNeil/Goode
2006 Jazz Improv Companion CD, Vol. 7 No. 1: Blue Various Artists
2006 Lee Konitz New Nonet Lee Konitz
2006 Many Places Gary Vercase
2006 New Nonet Lee Konitz
2006 Quartet Larry Goldings
2006 Torchsongs Jeremy Udden
2006 Voice in the Night Carla White
2006 Whispers the Heart Chris McNulty
2007 4 Brothers 7 Frank Tiberi
2007 Arc Falkner Evans
2007 Big Picture Trio M
2007 Let It Go Josh Nelson
2007 Live at Jazz Standard, Vol. 1 Dena DeRose
2007 Nothing But Blue Sky Chris Humphrey
2007 Scenic Route Matt Wilson's Arts & Crafts
2007 School of Tristano Eric Rasmussen
2007 Sun Set Linda Ciofalo
2007 When the Night Is New Abigail Riccards
2007 Story, So Far [DVD/CD] Katie Bull
2008 Assemblage 1998-2008 Various Artists
2008 Break Dawn Clement
2008 Fascinatin' Rhythms Melody Breyer-Grell
2008 Mental Weather Jane Ira Bloom
2008 Trio Arc Mario Pavone
2008 The Mancini Project Ted Nash
2008 Live at Jazz Standard Vol. 2 Dena DeRose
2008 It's Always You Lainie Cooke
2008 Can You Hear Me Now? Madeline Eastman Live Madeline Eastman
2009 The Whole Tree Gone Myra Melford
2009 The Old Mercer Magic! Jalala
2009 That's Gonna Leave a Mark Matt Wilson
2009 Tenor Treats Ari Ambrose
2009 New York Rendevous Irene Atman
2009 In the Key of Comedy Joan Crowe
2009 In Concert featuring Buster Williams and Matt Wilson Denny Zeitlin
2010 One for Three: The Jones Suite Jazz Baltica Ensemble
2010 Meeting of the Spirits Matt Haimovitz
2010 Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O Matt Wilson
2010 Hear You Say Marty Ehlrich
2010 Boiling Point Brandon Wright
2011 You'll See Holli Ross
2011 Sunwatcher Jeff Lederer
2011 Guest House Myra Melford
2011 'Round Midnight Karrin Allyson
2012 WeBop: A Family Jazz Party Matt Wilson
2012 Speak Fred Hess
2012 Never Let Me Go: Quartets '95 & '96 Thomas Chapin
2012 Live at Kitano Frank Kimbrough
2012 Digging Me Digging You Amy Cervini
2012 An Attitude for Grattitude Matt Wilson
2013 Mybe Septamber Ken Peplowski
2014 Stairway to the Stars Danny Zeitlin
2014 Gathering Call John Medeski


  • Matt has a pair of old K Zildjians, but he only plays them in New York; he refuses to travel with them.

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Craviotto
Cymbals: Zildjian
Hardware: Drum Workshop
Heads: Remo
Percussion: Factory Metal
Sticks: Zildjian

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