Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Zebley, Matthew (Noel)

Zebley, Matthew (Noel), multi-reed instrumentalist, composer, educator; b. Sault Ste. Marie, MI, 19 June 1971. While an infant his parents moved to Tampa Bay, Fl (his parents divorced in 1975). In 1975, his mother (b. Linda Galeotti 1943) relocated to Calimesa, CA and remarried an LA Fireman (b. Ron Mihld 1941). Matt grew up in the Inland Empire of Southern CA. He began playing alto saxophone at 9 years old in the public elementary school system; he studied private lessons from the age of 10-14, at which time he was also exposed to the Bb clarinet. He attended and graduated from Yucaipa High School in 1989. He then pursued a BA in Jazz Performance from Berklee College of Music. Matt added flute to his repertoire and studied with woodwind and jazz masters Joe Viola, George Garzone, Herb Pomeroy, Hal Crook and Billy Pierce. He also took advantage of a semester exchange program with Rotterdam Conservatory in the Netherlands. There he studied with Joe Lovano, Bob Brookmeyer and Hariprasad Chaurasia in an extensive Indian music program. He graduated Magnum Cum Laude in 1993.

After hearing Joe Lovano in 1992, Matt began to explore some of the more elusive instrumental sounds like Eb alto clarinet and C melody saxophone. Recently, influences such as Yusef Lateef have inspired further development into non-western-tempered woodwind families. Matt began teaching private lessons in 1995 and continues today. He teaches the saxophone, flute and clarinet families. He also teaches jazz theory, composition and improvisation.

In 2000, he joined a new group entitled Kingcake. A recording of Arthur Blythe in 1974 inspired this trio which features reeds, tuba and hand percussion. Matt also joined another ensemble in 2001 called GO:Organic Orchestra. Created on commission by the master percussionist Adam Rudolph, this new project combines 14 woodwind specialists and 11 percussionists. The music combines 21st century composition techniques with African and Mid-East inspired grooves. Matt also continues a four-year stint with the Brian Setzer Orchestra. With this group, Zebley participated in two world tours, numerous TV appearances and three movie soundtracks. He also performed with Tony Bennett, Bob Dylan and a number of other outstanding musical celebrities. Recently, he joined the Grammy-nominated Anthony Wilson's nonet.

He has performed with saxophonists Yusef Lateef, Joe Lovano, Charles McPherson, Med Flory, Lanny Morgan, Gabe Baltazar and Gary Foster.  The tradition and roots of jazz were absorbed through his performances with some of the greatest living legends:  Dave Brubeck, Teddy Edwards, Ellis Marsalis, Gerald Wiggins, Chuck Flores, Putter Smith and Conte Condoli.

He married Maya Haddi in 2001 and now lives in Redlands, CA.

Live at Moondog (1998)

As sideperson:
Rich Latham: Psycho Cabbage Plays the Music of Rich Latham (1995); Markus Hauser: No Joke (1997); Brian Setzer Orchestra: Vavoom (1999); Kingcake (2000); Polin/Ceccarelli Project: ups and downs and downs (2001); Jason Jackson: Going Home (2001); Outside Pedestrian: Sunless City (2001); Alan Ferber: Playground (2001);Brian Setzer Orchestra: Best of the Big Band (2002); Adam Rudolph Go: Organic Orchestra: 1 (2002); Brian Setzer Orchestra: Live in Japan (2002);Adam Rudolph Go: Organic Orchestra: Web Of Light (2003); Hen House Studios Anthology 3: The Mynzeer (2003)

Brian Setzer Orchestra Live From Woodstock DVD 2000
Brian Setzer Orchestra Live in Japan DVD 2002

Movie Soundtracks
Three To Tango - Brian Setzer Orchestra
Stuart Little - Brian Setzer Orchestra
Me, Myself and Irene - Brian Setzer Orchestra
Disney's House of Mouse - Brian Setzer Orchestra

Television appearances:
Conan O'Brien
Dave Letterman
Jay Leno
Good Morning America
Today Show
Craig Kilborn
KTLA Morning Show

Contact information:

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