Matt Silver

Matt Silver is a writer and broadcaster who has been performing, in one way or another, since his grandparents told him as a toddler that singing "Sunrise, Sunset" in rooms full of strangers was the cool thing to do.

His love of jazz comes from his father, Ken, an accomplished clarinetist, bandleader, and educator, who's passed on his extensive knowledge of the Real Book and an abiding love for jazz tunes with Broadway origins.

In addition to writing for WRTI's Arts Desk, Matt can frequently be heard hosting on the jazz side, whistling Gershwin or Bernstein with gusto, or trying to replicate the sounds of Stan Getz and Larry McKenna on his saxophone, which he's found is a good deal harder than it looks.

He is a proud member of that group of hardy souls who got their start at WRTI hosting Jazz through the Night.
 

Ways to Connect

March 16, 2020. While his better-known brothers, Branford and Wynton, are global phenomena, Delfeayo Marsalis, the trombonist, production whiz and fourth son born into jazz’s first family, has always preferred to keep things mostly about New Orleans.

March 2, 2020. Wayne Shorter’s music has long deserved big band treatment, and in 2015 it finally got it—from the world’s most prestigious big band, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO). Then 81, Shorter joined the Wynton Marsalis-led JLCO on stage for three consecutive nights, producing unforgettable live shows and a new album: The Music of Wayne Shorter.

February 24, 2020. Late in 2018, trumpeter Joe Magnarelli released his latest record, If You Could See Me Now. Curious title—might Magnarelli have been slyly foreshadowing his forthcoming appearance on WRTI’s NPR Live Sessions series? Anything’s possible. Though it’s much more plausible that the album takes its name from the iconic tune Tadd Dameron composed for Sarah Vaughan in 1946.

February 17, 2020. At just 37 minutes, and comprising eight takes of only five distinct tunes, it’s hard to categorize John Coltrane’s Blue World as an album, per se.

February 3, 2020. Miles Davis once said, “You can tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong. Charlie Parker.”

January 20, 2020. The Pretenders’ front woman Chrissie Hynde has cut her first jazz album, Valve Bone Woe, which includes 14 songs and some that weren't originally composed as jazz tunes—interpretations of music first conceived by pop-rock icons Brian Wilson, Nick Drake, and The Kinks’ Ray Davies sit right alongside takes on Hoagy Carmichael, Mingus, and Coltrane.

January 6, 2019. Looking for some good old-fashioned fun? Here it is. Rachael Price has made a name for herself as lead vocalist of Lake Street Dive, the harmonizing folk-rockers erring on the side of Motown. What fans of her sound might not know is that, for years, she’d been dying to sing jazz, more specifically the kinds of tunes popularized by the big-band singers of the '30s and '40s. 

December 23, 2019. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s (JALCO) Big Band Holidays II is a thoroughly enjoyable holiday-time jazz album, and those aren’t always so easy to come by.

December 2, 2019. Art Blakey pased away nearly 30 years, but his old Jazz Messengers are still busy, perhaps none more so than drummer and Pleasantville, NJ native Ralph Peterson. Peterson, much like his legendary mentor, has shown a knack for getting the most out of young talent, a truth revealed on last year’s I Remember Bu and, now once again, on the latest from Peterson and his Gen-Next Big Band, Listen Up!

November 11, 2019. Michaelle Lordi, described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “an emotionally insightful performer with an arrestingly beautiful sound," has a new album, Break Up with the Sound. The title comes from its very first track, “Poor Bird.” The poor bird is Lordi herself, who felt compelled with this— her fourth album—to make a break with the music that, artistically, brought her to this point.

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