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Matthew Steckler

Matthew Steckler, aka Matty Stecks, performs and composes in several musical settings internationally. Since Fall 2017, he is on the faculty in Jazz & Contemporary Popular Music at the renowned Brandon University School of Music in Canada. Primarily a saxophonist/woodwind specialist, he also performs on vocals, keyboards, percussion and electronic media, bringing a dynamic, holistic approach to the live musical experience. His Musical Tramps project on Ropeadope Records features Canada’s Keith Price, Eric Platz, Matt Kozicki and special guests, and is a research-based exploration in jazz, popular, film and electroacoustic music idioms.

As a composer and bandleader, Matthew has been recognized for his seminal work with the projects Dead Cat Bounce and Persiflage (Innova and Cuneiform labels), which made Best CD lists in Downbeat & Jazz Times, and earned commissions from Chamber Music America, Meet the Composer and American Composers Forum. He has been featured at festivals and major concert series in North America and abroad, including Blue Note and Lincoln Center (NYC), the Kennedy Center (DC), Winnipeg Art Gallery, Operetta Teatrul (Bucharest), House of Blues & Jazz (Shanghai), and the Tri-C, Key Maine, New Haven, Discover and Flint Jazz Festivals.

Over the course of his career, Matthew has also performed alongside Lonnie Plaxico, Gary Smulyan, Lee Konitz, Anthony Braxton, Roswell Rudd, George Russell, Gunther Schuller, Curtis Fowlkes, Pheeroan Aklaff, Jon Hendricks, Jay Hoggard, George Lewis, Marty Ehrlich, Wynton Marsalis, Tyshawn Sorey, Dan Weiss, Chris Lightcap, Greg Burk, Jim McNeely, Lenny Pickett, Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano, Bob Moses, Greg Hopkins, Gerald Cleaver, Bobby Sanabria, Gary Morgan, Ed Palermo, Club D’Elf, Max Creek and the Jazz Composers Alliance. He recently has shared the stage with Michael Cain & Sola, Tara Davidson/William Carn Nonet, Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, Jeff Presslaff, Keith Price, Ami Cheon & the Brandon Chamber Players. In other collaborative settings, Matthew has most recently been in recording projects led by the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, Eric Hangen y La Ruta, Alex Torres Latin Orchestra, News From Planet Kniffen, MC Frontalot and Jazz Composers Alliance.

Matthew has written for concert music, theatre, film and game audio settings, and continues his own foundational work in electroacoustics and multimedia that began with his 2013 research-based, extended work Eco Beat Heresy. His area of research interest is in the burgeoning field of embodied music cognition, to which he contributed the 2013 dissertation The Play Space in Embodied Composition: A Study of Social Process in the Creation of Music for Improvisers.

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Album Review

Matty Stecks & Persiflage: Night Cravings

Read "Night Cravings" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Like sneaking into the boy's room for a smoke, bassist Dave Ambrosio intros both Night Cravings, the concept and title track, with a sinister ease, sparking a slow burning fuse that once lit, ain't going out until all in attendance damn well reach accord. Or don't. Either/or, it's a spilling energy not unlike the frisson encounters of Keith Jarrett's storied, 70's American and European quartets. That alone makes Night Cravings well worth your investment. New York is not ...

Album Review

Matt Steckler: Persiflage

Read "Persiflage" reviewed by Donald Elfman

The dictionary defines “persiflage as “light bantering talk or “a frivolous style of treating a subject. Saxophonist/flutist Matt Steckler's compositional style can seem slangy and almost casual, but repeated listens reveal a depth of color, a true sense of shape, and a brilliant mix of the improvisational and the written.For Persiflage Steckler has found players who know how to stretch the tradition as well as go beyond it. Jazz Passengers trombonist Curtis Fowlkes heads the front line with ...

Album Review

Matt Steckler: Persiflage

Read "Persiflage" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Matt Steckler is a young saxophonist, flautist, and composer with an edgy saxophone style. Judging from this recording, he's got some provocative ideas. However, he still seems to be developing his craft and his approach. Not to imply that Steckler lacks something technically--rather, to this reviewer he seems unformed, as if he's not certain of his direction, other than the fact that he wants to play jazz.

Steckler gets around the horn reasonably well, yet I find his alto sax ...

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Dead Cat Bounce's "Chance Episodes:" Four Horns, Rhythm, and Matthew Steckler's Artistic Vision

Dead Cat Bounce's "Chance Episodes:" Four Horns, Rhythm, and Matthew Steckler's Artistic Vision

Source: Gapplegate Music Review by Grego Edwards

Matt Steckler, driving force behind the ensemble Dead Cat Bounce, joins three other reed soloists and an actively charged rhythm section in a program of Steckler compositions. Chance Episodes (Cuneiform Rune 323) is the concretion of the session, so to speak, and is some kind of concretion at that! It's the dynamic of a tightly interactive sax quartet with bass and drums, playing some charts that have a modern ring to them (sometimes a la Elvin Jones' classic recordings with ...


Top 50 CDs List/4 Stars (2012) - Downbeat “Experience together is obvious on this excellent collection of 11 Steckler originals, the blending of horns, or flutes and clarinet, superb… He’s clearly an intellectual but delightfully eclectic.” – Michael Jackson, Downbeat

Top 50 CDs (2011) – Jazz Times "Steckler’s writing has become more distinctive, at times combining the sonorities of a big band with a thoroughly avant-garde scrappiness and willingness to go anywhere and use anything. “Bio Dyno Man” closes with a pile of reeds that sounds like a mix of saxophones and toy horns; “Silent Movie, Russia 1995” evokes the melancholia you’d expect given the title, before dipping into a klezmer melody and later heading into gruff tenor sax overtones... The sextet’s name and song titles like “Food Blogger” betray a sense of humor. But the music’s sense of postmodern storytelling proves that the band’s wit is inspired by greater artistic depth. - Mike Shanley, Jazz Times

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Primary Instrument




Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced


I currently am Assistant Professor in Jazz Studies/Saxophone at Brandon University School of Music in Canada. I possess 15 years of K-12 music teaching experience prior to that. I teach private saxophone lessons via Skype.

Clinic/Workshop Information

"If I Sing It I Can Play It" - Secrets of the Lost Eye-Ear Ensemble Matt Steckler, Ph.D., Professor, Artist (assisted by musicians) Participation Welcome. Learn Aural Arrangements Using Modular Structures

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Wayne Shorter
Ornette Coleman
saxophone, alto
Dexter Gordon
saxophone, tenor
Joe Henderson
Steve Lacy
saxophone, soprano
Charlie Mariano
saxophone, alto
Charles Mingus
bass, acoustic
World Saxophone Quartet
band / ensemble / orchestra



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Night Cravings

Self Produced


Chance Episodes

Cuneiform Records


Chance Episodes -...

Cuneiform Records



Innova Recordings


Home Speaks to the...

Innova Recordings



From: Matty Stecks & Musical Tramps -...
By Matthew Steckler

Heads or Tails

From: Matty Stecks & Musical Tramps -...
By Matthew Steckler


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