Matthew Wolfgang Garstka
Gig Seeker Pro

Matthew Wolfgang Garstka

Band Rock Funk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"New Blood by Waldo The Squid"


AGE: 16

EQUIPMENT Ludwig drums, Zildjian cymbals, Vater sticks, Evans heads

What’s the dang deal with all these child prodigies coming out of the woodwork, ripping licks that we old timers have been trying to parse for the past few decades? Okay, so life ain’t fair. Back to Matthew Wolfgang Garstka, who in 16 short years on Earth appears to have been doing everything right, studying with greats like Bob Gullotti and performing with established figures such a bassist Jo Sallins. It all began at the age of eight when Matthew sat down behind a set of drums at his father’s music store – Performance Music in Westfield, Massachusetts – and immediately took to the tubs. So much for his bio, now close your eyes and listen to Garstka’s rendition of Chick Corea’s “Got A Match?” recorded live with Two Man Trio, featuring Sallins playing bass and keys at once.The beat displacement, metric modulations, melodic fills, perfect time, and sheer dexterity simply don’t synch with the photo that came with the package of that skinny kid wearing a tie. It’s insane! Now if he could just learn to respect his elders…

- DRUM! Magazine July 2006

"Springfield Sunday Republican"

Drummer Found Beat Early

Staff writer

WESTFIELD- Percussionist Matthew W. Garstka was exposed to music at an early age.
Make that very early.
The 13 year-old middle school student’s father, Gregory F. Garstka, said that when his wife, Sunshine, was pregnant with Matthew, he would place a speaker against her belly and play different kinds of music.
“Mozart and Van Halen and little bit of Bob Marley,” Garstka said.
Something apparently took hold during those early sessions for Matthew, an eighth-grader at Powdermill Middle School in Southwick, has been interested in music ever since.
The elder Garstka, owner of Performance Music, started Matthew with piano lessons at age 5 and the boy tried his hand at guitar.
“But it wasn’t loud enough,” said Matthew, who turns 14 later this month.
One day, when Matthew was about eight, he sat at a drum kit in his father’s store, pounded out a few beats, and a drummer was born.
“He really showed a lot of coordination and inclination to playing the instrument,” Garstka said.
Matthew said he likes drumming because he gets to throw his whole body into the making of music.
“It came to me easy,” Matthew said.
By all accounts Matthew is a natural and he has even begun to make a name for himself performing locally with Springfield bassist Jo Sallins.
“He has excellent timing,” Sallins said. “He has the ability to do fills and then come back on the beat. It’s amazing for someone that young.”
“It’s a God-given gift,” the elder Garstka said.
Matthew is now in a study program with Sallins and appears on Sallins’ latest CD, “Jo Sallins Experience Studio Live.”
“Right now Jo has me working on Latin grooves,” Matthew said.
Earlier this year, Matthew performed with Sallins during a clinic at Powdermill designed to expose students to music.
“He is incredible,” Sallins said. “He definitely has what it takes to be a professional musician.”
Matthew has also performed locally with his father’s band, “Wolfgang” and plays in a band of his own called “The Trip,” which has yet to perform publicly.
Matthew said funk and rock are his favorite kinds of music. He is quick to add that he enjoys rap and engaging in so-called “free-style battles” with his friends in which they compete to see who can come up with the best raps.
“I am really into the rap now,” Matthew said.
Matthew said he aspires to be a chiropractor by day and a drummer by night.
“I really like the fact that music is one of the most popular things in the world,” Matthew said.
Matthew has a sister, Amber Lynn, 15, and a brother, 23 year-old Shannon, who is with the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry, Second Brigade in Iraq as a gunner on a Bradley tank.
Matthew plans to attend the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter High School in Hadley next fall.
- Springfield Republican Newspaper


Jo Sallins "The Gift" CD/DVD
Also Upcoming Debut CD will feature Joel Stroetzel of Killswitch Engage, Chris Regan of Fear Nuttin' Band FNB & Jo Sallins. Release winter 06



It’s conceivable that Matt Garstka’s music career began shortly after being conceived. Matt’s parents would play him Bob Marley , Mozart and Van Halen while Matt was still in the womb. It was evident at very early age that music had a positive effect on Matt. After taking two years of piano lessons from 5 to 7 years of age Matt insisted on trying the drums……wow. The natural inclination that Matt displayed was impressive even to the most seasoned veteran musicians who heard him. At age eight Matt was playing auxiliary percussion (congas, djembe etc.) in his Dad’s reggae band. At nine Matt started playing drum kit at gigs. When Matt turned twelve he was lucky enough to meet and play with the great Jo Sallins. With encouragement from his parents and Joe, Matt has continued to progress and has recently appeared on Jo Sallins CD/DVD entitled “The Present? Matt will also appear on an instructional DVD and continues to play with Jo at schools and festivals in NYC & throughout the Northeast. Most recently Matt has performed at The Burlington Jazz Festival in Vermont and The Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA.
Currently Matthew is playing with 13 yr old guitar sensation Desiree?Bassett. Their band Desiree?& The Time Machine is being produced by Rolling Stone/Madonna alum Doug Wimbish. The band has been rehearsing at Longview Farms Recording Studio to get ready to record their debut CD. In August, Matt attended KoSA International Drum Workshop @ Johnson State College,VT. There he met, took classes and made friends with the likes of Giovanni Hidalgo, Antonio Sanchez,Bernard Purdie Rick Van Horn & more.Matt was one of the few chosen to participate in the Friday Night Concert.
?Teachers ?Bob Gullotti
B.A., Berklee College of Music. Performances with J.J. Johnson, Kenny Werner, Joe Lovano, Attila Zoller, Nelson Riddle Orchestra. Over 30 recordings to his credit. Masterclasses and workshops at Dartmouth College, Harvard University, New York University, Bogota University (Colombia), Ramon School of Jazz (Israel). Faculty: Berklee College of Music, University of New Hampshire, Brandeis University.
?Jo Sallins (National Performer, Teacher and Recording Artist)
?Rick Marshall ( Session Player Western Mass)
?Jim Fogarty (Wolfgang, Zing Recording))
?Clark Seibold (Jazz Freelancer)
?Jon Adams ( SMA , Orange Crush)
?Born in Hopewell, Virginia April 27,1989 to Greg & Sunshine Garstka
Sunshine & Greg own Performance Music & Jester’s Coffeehouse in Downtown Westfield. Greg is a professional guitarist.