Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Felix, Brian (Matthew)
Felix, Brian (Matthew), pianist; b. Livingston, NJ, 12 May 1977. Brian was encouraged at an early age to pursue music. His parents, Steve Felix (b. 1948) and Sharon Felix (b. 1949) we both artistically minded, and Steve was an accomplished Blues/Rock keyboardist himself. Brian spent his youth and adolescence in suburban NJ with his parents and his brother Kevin (b. 1979). During this time, Brian studied piano, saxophone, bass, and drums, before finally settling on piano as his main instrument. He has studied with Janet Lemansky (1988-1995) and Noah Baerman (1996-1998).
In 1995, Brian enrolled at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, where he had the opportunity to study under Jazz Piano Legend Kenny Barron. In addition to his classwork, Brian honed his skills by playing everything from jazz to heavy metal in various NJ clubs. He graduated in 1999 with a B.A. in Music, and quickly moved out to the West Coast in order to form the band OM, now known as OM Trio. The group is comprised of Ilya Stemkovsky (drums) and Pete Novembre (bass) and has released four albums: The Clarified Butter (1999) Jazz Trio (2000) Meat Curtain (2000) and Live (2001). In 2001, the band was dubbed Best Jazz Band by readers of the San Francisco Bay Guardian. The group currently tours 150 dates a year, and focuses on breaking down the barriers between jazz, funk, metal, and electronica.
He has also played in Trim (1997-1999) with Andrew Lindstrom (drums), and Daniel Fusco (bass) (later replaced by Bob Hart (bass)) and Victor Diggs and the Boogie Love (1995-1999).
Jazztimes June 2002