Matt Davis' Aerial Photograph
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Matt Davis' Aerial Photograph

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Jazz


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Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Formed in 2002, the group has recorded three albums and has performed in a wide variety of venues including universities, festivals, elementary schools, performing arts centers, various art institutions and jazz clubs. While the core ensemble consists of guitarist Matt Davis, bassist Leon Boykins, drummer Justin Leigh and saxophonist Jon Thompson, the group has been occasionally augmented by string quartets, vocalists, a children’s choir, and various audio recordings.

Much of Aerial Photograph’s original repertoire is inspired by the cultural pluralism that is both unique and fundamental to American society. The process of this inspiration begins with communication: band leader Matt Davis focuses on a specific community and has informal conversations with its various members about subjects including identity, their past experiences, their hopes, and how they view themselves within society. These conversations are recorded and then woven into compositions which endeavor to express the feelings and emotions which are conveyed through these communications, but which also draw from the deep American musical traditions of jazz, blues and popular song. Aerial Photograph’s music has been informed by this process of interpretation with communities such as senior citizens, recovering drug addicts, immigrants, children in underserved areas, religious individuals, community volunteers, homeless people, teachers, victims of violent crime, veterans, incarcerated adults, artists and musicians. The compositions which arise from this process speak to a greater understanding of the complexities of American life. This music gives audiences and students the opportunity to experience different groups of people, with whom they may have preconceived ideas, in a new and engaging way.