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Music for the Inside of Your Body...♪♪♪

Matt Starr

MattStarr 02Drums, Percussion

The Coffee Cartel
The Equator Cafe

EP: Waldo Bliss
Akadak Sessions
Castle Oaks Sessions


When Matt Starr plays the drums, he's not just keeping time.

To him, it's all about the groove and putting his own unique stamp on the music, delivering solid backing and great feel to those he's playing with.

Born in Toronto, Canada, Matt started playing music at the tender age of five when his parents insisted he study the violin. At 13, he fell in love with the music of The Beatles and drummer Ringo Starr, prompting him to take up the drums.

Primarily self-taught until the end of high school, he went on to study privately with Toronto drummer Vito Rezza who instilled in Matt the importance of maintaining his identity as an artist.

In 1996, Matt began his formal jazz education at the University of Toronto, but felt constrained by the program's strict parameters and teaching methods. In search of inspiration, he traveled to New Jersey and began a formative mentorship at the feet of jazz legend Joe Morello, best known for the drum solo on Dave Brubeck's Take 5.

Matt continued to make regular pilgrimages to visit Joe until his passing, soaking up everything he could from the drumming icon."Of all the people who have studied my technique," Joe once told Matt, "I can't think of anybody who understands it better than you."

Finally, Matt moved to Los Angeles to take his career to the next level.

He has divided his time playing and recording in the jazz and pop/rock worlds and has recently begun producing music in his own studio.

He has played with Alphonso Johnson, John Daversa, Jeff Richman, Russell Ferrante, Steve Tavaglione, Joe Bagg, Bill Reichenbach, Billy Mitchell, 2azz1, The Andrew Campbell Network and Brad Rabuchin. He has also accompanied artists such as Christopher Cross, Kevyn Lettau, D. Booker, Lily Wilson, Sara Lovell, Dan Carlson (Waldo Bliss) and Kiki Ebsen.

"Matt is an an extremely intuitive musician who seems to read my mind when we perform together," Ebsen says. "No matter what the song is, whether he's heard it before or not, he nails it every time with the right feel and vibe."

In 2006, Matt had the opportunity to accompany jazz-fusion artists Mike Stern, John Scofield and Oz Noy during separate clinics at the LA Music Academy in Pasadena, where Matt teaches drums.

It was also around this time that he established a mentorship with the late Jim Chapin. As with Joe Morello, Matt would pay regular visits to Chapin at his Florida home, absorbing the teachings of this jazz legend, the Moeller technique in particular.

Matt has taken what he's learned from Morello and Chapin and used it to form the basis of his own voice, a unique blend of style and sound for a new generation. Before he died last summer, Chapin left Matt with simple but poignant instructions: "Pass it on."

No doubt he will.

Take a tour of Starrdrum Studios

To find out more about Matt, please visit  www.starrdrum.com/drum-tracks.