Celebrated for his warm tone, soaring lyricism and masterful technique, American musician Dmitri Matheny has been lauded as “one of the most emotionally expressive improvisers of his generation” (International Review of Music).
First introduced to jazz audiences in the 1990s as the protégé of Art Farmer, Matheny has matured into “one of the jazz world's most talented horn players” (San Francisco Chronicle).
Born on Christmas Day, 1965 in Nashville,Tennessee, Dmitri was raised in Georgia and Arizona. Attracted to his father’s collection of jazz and classical LP records, Dmitri began piano lessons at age 5, switched to the trumpet at age 9, and took up the flugelhorn at 18.
Matheny attended the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, then the Berklee College of Music, Boston, graduating magna cum laude in 1989.
After private studies with Carmine Caruso in New York City, Matheny became the protégé of the legendary Art Farmer, a formative relationship that lasted over a decade.
Farmer, “the bebop master who defined the sound of the flugelhorn in modern jazz” (All Music Guide), was Matheny’s public champion and private mentor. Generously sharing his wisdom, experience and influence, it was Farmer who encouraged Dmitri to devote himself exclusively to the “Big Horn.”
Under Farmer’s tutelage Matheny emerged as a promising new voice in jazz.“Art Farmer’s role in the early success of Dmitri Matheny cannot be overstated,” observed writer and historian Phil Elwood. “Without Art, there could be no Dmitri.”
At 29, after launching a busy recording career on the West Coast, Matheny made his New York debut at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, then began touring internationally.
The soulful sound of Dmitri's horn garnered praise from critics and audiences alike, drawing frequent comparisons to Miles Davis, Chet Baker and—not surprisingly—to Art Farmer. Upon Farmer’s passing in 1999, Matheny acquired his mentor’s copper-bell flugelhorn.
Today, Dmitri leads the Dmitri Matheny Group, “an all-star jazz band featuring some of the most accomplished musicians in the western United States” (All About Jazz).
Matheny has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He has traveled to 21 countries and has performed with many Motown and popular music acts including the Temptations, Martha Reeves, Fabian, the Four Tops, Bobby Vinton, Sandy Patty, Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon and the O'Jays.
Matheny has had the privilege of appearing in concert with such jazz luminaries as Larry Coryell, Nathan Davis, Amina Figarova, Tommy Flanagan, Wycliffe Gordon, Darrell Grant, Larry Grenadier, John Handy, Tom Harrell, Billy Higgins, Red Holloway, Denise Jannah, Joe Lovano, James Moody, Jean Louis Rassinfosse, Tony Reedus, Sam Rivers, Max Roach, the Rosenberg Trio, Bud Shank, Sonny Simmons, Mary Stallings, Akira Tana, Billy Taylor, Bobby Watson and Paula West.