Matt Hall was born in East Tennessee where he began his musical journey playing the trombone around the age of 11. He began music in middle school and was quickly taken to the sound and feel of jazz after hearing local trombone phenom Rick Simerly. Matt’s musical influences quickly blossomed into a vast array of artists in the straight-ahead jazz genre, not limited to only trombonists.
By the fourth year of playing the trombone, Hall was leading his own quintet that kept a busy schedule of local and regional performances, even recording two albums of jazz standards independently under the group name “The 2nd Floor Katz”.
While in high school Matt was an active member of both the Milligan College Jazz Ensemble directed by Rick Simerly and The Knoxville Youth Jazz Orchestra directed by Don Hough. Both directors Matt considers to be exceptional musical mentors.
“These years were a very formidable experience for my musical growth as a trombonist, not only playing in a section, but also being around so many great musicians of all ages on a weekly basis was invaluable. Everyone in these particular ensembles played great (both on and off the page) and both bands were led by world-class trombonist/educators! These ensembles set me up for success in the years to come, especially in the U.S. Marine Corps Band Field.”
Matt Hall joined the United States Marine Corps in late 2011 where he was stationed in Southern California at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar serving a four year enlistment as a trombonist.
While in the Marine Corps, Hall was a member of the US Marine Corps Jazz All-Star Jazz Band, an ensemble created to showcase the Corps’ top jazz musicians. The band toured a majority of the United States and performed such prestigious stages such as Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City and The Monterey Jazz Festival.
Since moving to Southern California, Matt has been extremely active around the US with his brother Charlie Arbelaez, whom of which he met earlier in the service. The two co-lead various groups including “The Charlie Arbelaez-Matt Hall Big Band” which showcases some of the finest musical talent that the Southern California area has to offer.
During this time Matt was mentored by the world-renown trombonist Bill Watrous. Matt and Bill had a wonderful friendship filled with stories, laughter, trombone, and a lot of music.
After an Honorable Discharge from the Marine Corps in late 2015, Matt would embark on a journey with his brother Charlie to New York City where they would attend SUNY Purchase College-Conservatory of Music, studying with some of the top-call musicians of today.
While in NYC, Hall would perform at some of the city’s top clubs or record with such artists as Ingrid Jensen, Gary Smulyan, Ralph LaLama, Mike LeDonne, Ted Piltzecker, Dick Oatts, Steve Davis, and Jon Faddis. Matt would also be mentored by the great trombonists Slide Hampton and John Mosca during this time.
Matt graduated with his Bachelors Degree in Arts (Jazz Studies) from SUNY Purchase College-Conservatory of Music in 2018.
He would soon move back to Southern California mid-2018 where he would become an active member of the KSDS Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Gilbert Castellanos and The Jazz Garden Big Band directed by Dave Eshelman.
The Matt Hall Sextet had it’s debut performance at Birdland Jazz Club in New York City in early 2019 featuring a truly all-star group consisting of Jon Faddis, Charlie Arbelaez, David Hazeltine, Dr. Todd Coolman, and Kenny Washington. Further performances with this amazing group are in the works for the future! “To say the very least: A Dream Band Come True!!!”
Matt Hall is soon to be releasing his debut album as leader, “I Hope To My Never”. The album features all new original music in the modern jazz tradition spanning a wide range of personal chronological experiences. Stay tuned for details!
Currently Matt resides with his wife Jeanne and dog Pappy in Southern California where he is nearing completion of his Masters Degree at San Diego State University in the Jazz Studies Program.
Matt plays Michael Rath Trombones and AR Resonance Mouthpieces exclusively.