Born and raised in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, guitarist Matt Richards grew up in the culturally fertile cross-currents of the late 1960s. His musical pathway opens in the mix of folk, rock and psychedelic music that defined that decade and eventually guides him into the hyperactive jazz-fusion of the 1970s. Initially a self-taught player, Matt began earnestly developing the technically advanced musical abilities necessary to be part of that highly-energized genre. As his musicianship developed, he discovered straight-ahead jazz and classical music and began incorporating the acoustic guitar in various projects. He assimilated Spanish, Latin American and various world influences while developing a unique fingerstyle approach to solo guitar.
With his acoustic performances, Matt gathers musical styles and influences together to create his unique approach to solo guitar. He has been featured as a solo artist on a variety of televised programs, including Miles of Music and Puerto Rican Panorama. Matt performed on-screen in the independent film Smoke And Mirrors. He has been featured at the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Historic Lewiston Jazz Festival, the Frankford Arts Festival, the NAMM Winter and Summer Shows, the Montreal Guitar Show, One Month Festival of South Korea, Daniel Pearl Music Days and Welcome America celebrations. In 2015, Matt established the locally-based Solo Guitar On A Saturday Morning series.
Matt has also worked with a range of artists, including Phyllis Chapell, Mike Clark, Larry Coryell, Joey DeFrancesco, Kenwood Dennard, Jay Katz, Essra Mohawk, Herbie Nix, Elio Villafranca, Bobby Zankel and Bill Zola. He has played in support for Peppino D'Agostino, Richie Havens, Phil Keaggy, Dave Mason and Paco Pena.
A current faculty member at the Ambler Music Academy, Matt has served as Head of Faculty at the FrankfordStyle School for Creative Arts and Music Program Director for Zanaras Music Stores. In collaboration with Kenwood Dennard, he has conducted workshops at Berklee College. Matt's guitar-based workshops and masterclasses focus on playing techniques, arranging and performing.
'Balance', released in 2017, features Matt in an all-solo-guitar setting, performing his own compositions and the music of Luis Bonfa, Lennon and McCartney and John Coltrane.
For his upcoming release 'Power Trio Project' Matt returns to the electric guitar and is joined by bass guitarist Tony Donato and drummer Paul Albrecht.
Lafayette Hill Business Association Best of 2016 award
Lafayette Hill Business Association Best of 2017 award
Hagstrom Swede (1975)
Godin Glissentar (11-string fretless)
LaPatrie Classical Cutaway
Lowden mini-jumbo acoustic
Hagstrom Viking (mid-1970s)
John Pearse Strings
Lab series amplifiers
Various effects, pedals and accessories