Matthew Fries

matthewfries.com

Matthew Fries is looking forward to performing in the Wellspring Theatre at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, Jul 22, with his friends John Hébert on bass and Keith Hall on drums. It will be streamed online at the Gilmore Keyboard Festival website, as part of its Virtually Gilmore series. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, Fries says he plans to play a number of his own compositions, some written years ago, some just weeks ago. 

Fries is the professor of jazz piano at Western Michigan University. In late March, he had to switch to online teaching when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the school to close its doors. Fries "had to re-think" how to teach, overcome technical issues, and provide assistance to students without access to pianos at home. When many of his students became active in the Black Lives Matter protests, they challenged the status quo to the faculty in new, and sometimes uncomfortable, conversations. Fries says that the WMU jazz department is "seven white guys in love with a music that is 100 percent the result of Black culture." He plans to be more vocal in support of his students' concerns. "There's hope in the energy behind this," Fries says.


Casey Spring Photography, caseyspring.net

On Friday, Feb 7 at 8 pm, Kanola Band will host and perform a live concert recording/party at the Jazz & Creative Institute in Kalamazoo. Drummer Jeff Moehle and trumpeter Benje Daneman, who started the project in 2014, join Cara Lieurance in the studio to share their appreciation for the music of New Orleans, the birthplace of so much American popular music.  


Keith Hall

Pianist Matthew Fries, bassist Phil Palombi, and drummer Keith Hall have performed together as Tri-Fi for over 15 years and recorded five albums. Tri-Fi will appear in concert in the Dalton Center Recital Hall on Wednesday, Oct 3 at 7:30 pm on the Bullock Performance Institute Series at WMU, but first, they showcase their chemistry in conversation with Cara Lieurance at WMUK.


matthewfries.com

In two sessions, at 6 and 8 pm on Friday, jazz pianist Matthew Fries and bassist Phil Palombi will record a concert in an intimate live setting in front of an audience at Overneath studios in downtown Kalamazoo.  It's part of a series hosted by Overneath called the KBR Sessions.

Fries is the newest member of Western Michigan University’s jazz faculty, having joined the WMU School of Music last September. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, he discusses his decision to leave New York City after 23 years, his influential teacher, Donald Brown, and his recent project with his sister, artist Loryn Spangler-Jones

Reservations for the KBR Sessions are available at this website.  


Matthew Fries is an established New York City-based jazz pianist who has performed with a wide variety of jazz singers and instrumentalists.

He joins Jazz Currents host Keith Hall to talk about his early musical opportunities, and takes advantage of the rare opportunity to play as a solo artist in the Takeda studio. An experienced ensemble player (he and Keith are both members of Tri-Fi), Mr. Fries talks about the difference between solo and ensemble playing.

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