Matt Penman hails from Auckland, New Zealand where he started playing bass at the age of 14. A scholarship from Berklee saw him move to the States in 1994 and to New York soon after that where he maintains a busy performing, recording and teaching schedule.
He is currently an established member of the SFJazz Collective, an 8-piece composer’s collective devoted to presenting the original works of its members as well as arrangements by the band of a different jazz great’s work every year. The Collective is in its sixth year and currently features Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas and Stefon Harris. He also performs regularly with John Scofield; in his trio-plus-horns formation, and in a quartet with Joe Lovano and Matt Wilson. He is also a member of Nils Wogram’s Root 70, the Aaron Parks Quartet, a drummerless trio with Hayden Chisholm and John Taylor, and the Joshua Redman trio. Past collaborators and projects include Kurt Rosenwinkel’s Heartcore band, Kenny Werner, Brad Mehldau, Chris Cheek, Brian Blade, Seamus Blake, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Mark Turner, Guillermo Klein, Rebecca Martin, Eric Truffaz, Nicholas Payton, and from 2004-2006 he toured extensively with the singer Madeleine Peyroux.
As well as composing for the SFJazz Collective, Matt continues to release his own projects - in 1998 the co-led album Flipside on Naxos, then in 2001 The Unquiet, and 2008 Catch of the Day, both on the Barcelona label Fresh Sound. He also features on about 85 CDs on various labels.
Matt teaches and has taken part in workshops and seminars in Sevilla, Spain, and Tavira Portugal, and in 2006 was Artist in Residence at the Brubeck Institute in Stockton, California.
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“Penman brought out the bottom of the music in a way of which
bassists rarely conceive” —David Miller, All About Jazz
“He can set up the most powerful of grooves” —Sebastian Scotney,