Matt Olson Quartet

Matt Olson Quartet


The Matt Olson Quartet performs straight-ahead jazz, and draws from influences like John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Stitt, Jerry Bergonzi, and many other master jazz musicians.


A native of Racine, Wisconsin, Matt Olson is Assistant Professor of Saxophone and Director of Jazz Studies at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Master of Music degree in Jazz Pedagogy and Bachelor of Music degree in Saxophone Performance from Northwestern University. Matt’s teachers have included Frederick Hemke, Debra Richtmeyer, Mike Kocour, Don Owens, Paul Bro, and Jonathan Helton.

Matt’s professional work includes performances with Randy Brecker, Kurt Elling, Benny Carter, Kevin Mahogany, Chris Vadala, Doc Severinsen, Manhattan Transfer, Lou Rawls, Johnny Mathis, Wayne Newton, Aretha Franklin, the Temptations, the Four Tops, children’s entertainer Shari Lewis, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble. His performances have taken him to the Montreal Jazz Festival as well as to Chicago’s Jazz Showcase and Orchestra Hall. Matt was selected to perform at the 2002, 2004, and 2006 North American Saxophone Alliance national conferences and the 2003 World Saxophone Congress. He has also been a featured guest artist and clinician at Northwestern University, Arizona State University, Samford University, and high schools throughout the United States. His article on Jerry Bergonzi’s approach to intervallic improvisation appeared in the January 2006 issue of Downbeat magazine. Matt's big band compositions are published by Walrus Music. Matt’s debut jazz recording, Vortex was released in March 2006, and has received international radio airplay.

Matt is active nationally as a clinician and adjudicator and previously served as instructor of saxophone for the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, and as the summer instructor of jazz saxophone and jazz combos for the National High School Music Institute at Northwestern University. He also conducted one of two 2005 South Carolina Band Directors Association All-State Jazz Ensembles. He holds memberships in a variety of professional music societies including the International Association of Jazz Educators, North American Saxophone Alliance, BMI, Pi Kappa Lambda, MENC, Music Teachers National Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.


Matt Olson - Vortex (self-released). Streaming audio clips are available at .

Set List

The Matt Olson Quartet performs a wide variety of tunes, including original compositions and arrangements, as well as classic jazz tunes and standards from the American song book.