Furman University Professor of Saxophone Matt Olson debuts new jazz CD ‘789 Miles’

Furman University Professor of Saxophone Matt Olson debuts new jazz CD "789 Miles"

Furman Professor of Saxophone and Director of Jazz Studies Matt Olson has produced a new CD recording to be officially released June 21 on OA2 Records, part of Seattle-based independent jazz label Origin Records.

The recording, “789 Miles,” is Olson’s fourth project and features his original compositions as well as those of his current and former students at Furman.

Funded in part by Furman Research and Professional Growth grants, the project includes three titles by Olson and pieces written by Furman students and alumni: Adib Young (Class of 2022), J. Jay Berthume (Class of 2019), Matthew Storie (Class of 2018), Cyrus Givianpour (Class of 2011), and Ken Ge (Class of 2009).

Olson launched the project in keeping with The Furman Advantage, a strategic approach to education that promises students, among other benefits, opportunities for engaged learning to help them prepare for successful and meaningful lives.

“I am proud of this project … All of these students are and were very active jazz performers and composers, and they graciously worked with me to craft their music for this recording,” said Olson.

Performed in trio, “789 Miles” includes Olson on tenor saxophone with his longtime colleague Mike Kocour on Hammond B-3 organ, and drummer Dom Moio, both from Arizona State University.

OA2 offers this description:

“Reflecting on the path his life has taken him on, ‘789 Miles’ represents the distance from saxophonist Matt Olson's childhood home in Wisconsin to his present residence in South Carolina, where he's on the faculty of Furman University. Through his original compositions, he sought to capture pieces of his upbringing and the lasting influence of his late parents. To bring it to today, he presents several compositions by current and former students at the University, performed in a trio with his longtime colleague Mike Kocour on B-3 organ, and drummer Dom Moio. From the hard swinging "Dance of the Dragonflies," to the modern and open "The Wishing Well," to Olson's lone tenor on the title track, this trio covers a lot of road.”

Hear selected clips and learn more about “789 Miles” at https://originarts.com/oa2/recordings/recording.php?TitleID=22167. Or contact Matt Olson at 864-294-3284, matt.olson@furman.edu, and through his website http://www.MattOlsonMusic.com. The Furman News and Media Relations office may be reached at 864-294-3107.

About Matt Olson
A native of Racine, Wisconsin, Matt Olson is professor of saxophone and director of jazz studies at Furman. A scholar and performer, he has performed with renowned artists including Randy Brecker, Chris Potter, Kurt Elling, Benny Carter, Wayne Bergeron, Jeff Coffin, Jason Marsalis, Byron Stripling, John Fedchock, Wycliffe Gordon, Ryan Keberle, Doc Severinsen, Manhattan Transfer, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Bernadette Peters, Lou Rawls, Ben Folds, the Temptations, the Four Tops, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, among others.

His debut CD “Vortex” was released in 2007. Olson is co-founder and co-leader of Unhinged Sextet, a collaborative ensemble featuring distinguished jazz educators from around the country. With this ensemble he has released two projects, “Clarity” (2015) and “Don’t Blink” (2017).

Olson is active as a clinician and adjudicator, including presenting clinics at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic and the Jazz Education Network Conference. His work has been published by Downbeat magazine, The Saxophone Symposium, and Walrus Music.

A Conn-Selmer and D’Addario Endorsing Artist, Olson holds a doctorate from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Northwestern University.

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