A native of Racine, Wisconsin, Matt Olson is a scholar and performer in the areas of jazz and saxophone. He performed with a number of renowned artists, including Randy Brecker, Kurt Elling, Benny Carter, Ken Peplowski, Kevin Mahogany, Chris Vadala, Doc Severinsen, Manhattan Transfer, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Lou Rawls, Johnny Mathis, Wayne Newton, the Temptations, the Four Tops, children's entertainer Shari Lewis, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. His performances have taken him to the Montreal Jazz Festival as well as Chicago's Jazz Showcase and Orchestra Hall.
Olson has performed at numerous conferences of the North American Saxophone Alliance and the World Saxophone Congress. He has also been a featured guest artist and clinician at Northwestern University, Arizona State University, the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, the University of Idaho, and high schools throughout the United States. His article on Jerry Bergonzi's approach to intervallic improvisation was published in Downbeat magazine, and his jazz compositions are published by Walrus Music. Olson's debut jazz recording, Vortex, was released in 2006.
Olson is active nationally as a clinician and adjudicator. He presented a clinic on playing "both sides" of the saxophone at the 2009 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. He previously served as instructor of saxophone for the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities and summer jazz instructor for the National High School Music Institute at Northwestern University. Olson also conducted one of two South Carolina Band Directors Association All-State Jazz Ensembles in 2005. He holds memberships in a variety of professional music societies, including the North American Saxophone Alliance, BMI, Pi Kappa Lambda, MENC, Music Teachers National Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Frederick Hemke, Mike Kocour, Don Owens, Paul Bro and Jonathan Helton