Matt Blair is a pianist, composer, improviser, and educator currently based in Minneapolis, MN. His latest projects include performing with Good Trouble, a jazz septet dedicated to playing all original music; Slipstream, a chamber quartet that focuses on the commissioning and performing of new music; and with Vacant Paradise, a solo piano project that is a personal quest to find a deeper connection to the instrument he has devoted his work to.
Matt has performed across the United States in a variety of venues and festivals including The Bay View Jazz Fest, Chicago’s Park West Theatre, Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, Milwaukee’s Jazz Estate and historic Pfister Hotel, the Museum of Wisconsin Art, The Trout Museum of Art, The Fox Valley Performing Arts Center, and Lawrence University’s improvised music festival Improvisationalu.
He has had the honor of performing with many great improvisers including John Christensen, Devin Drobka, José Encarnación, Jonathan Greenstein, Christopher Porterfield, Hal Rammel, Dane Richeson, and Chris Weller. As a part of Slipstream, Matt has also premiered new compositions by Patrick Marschke, John Mayrose, JP Merz, Chris Misch-Bloxdorf, and David Werfelmann.
As an educator, Matt has taught both classical and jazz piano lessons to beginners and advanced students of all ages. He has given workshops or performances at Drake University, Interlochen Center for the Arts, University Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Middleton High School in Middleton, WI, Appleton Public Montessori, Clovis Grove Elementary School in Menasha, WI, Nicolet Elementary School in Menasha, WI, and Wilson Elementary School in Neenah, WI. He has also had the opportunity to intern at the New York Jazz Academy in New York City helping teach jazz piano lessons, jazz theory courses, and coach small ensembles.
Matt received a Bachelor of Music degree with a self-designed major in contemporary improvisation at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. His mentors include Tim Albright, Bill Carrothers, Patty Darling, José Encarnación, Michael Mizrahi, Anthony Padilla, and Matt Turner.