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matt marvuglio: Bio

I grew up in New Jersey. Woody Allen once said, " God watches over the world except for certain parts of New Jersey." That's where I grew up. My brothers and I all grew up playing musical instruments. Tony started on trumpet and my brother John played the accordion. My Dad was proud that he could play the radio and my Uncle Joe played trombone and bass.

I started playing the clarinet when I was about eight years old. In elementary school you had to fill out a form to select an instrument. I thought the clarinet was the name for the saxophone and I really wanted to play sax. So you could imagine my demise when the next week I was handed this licorice stick. I was such an introvert, that I didn't speak up and accepted the instrument and played it for about four years! Back then I was told that if you could play the clarinet, you could play anything. I think if you can play the clarinet, you can do anything!

I quit playing the clarinet and took up the sax in my freshman year in high school. The first recording that piqued my interest in jazz was hearing Cannonball and Charles Lloyd play "Sweet Georgia Bright." Then I checked out other Charles Lloyd recordings and his flute playing knocked me out. That was it for me, and it has been the flute ever since. Then Ian Anderson hit the scene (and let’s not forget Traffic) and everybody wanted a flute player in their rock band, go figure. I was happy playing in rock bands and trying to learn jazz at the same time. My music teacher, Mrs. Christiansen was a graduate student at Rutgers and she invited me to come up and play with the jazz band there. Life was pretty good for a young high school flute player in New Jersey.

One night she invited me up to the campus to hear a visiting artist from NYC. She didn’t quite know who it would be but she knew there would be a sax player in the band. Well, it was Monk with his band and Charlie Rouse was playing tenor. My friend John O’Neill ( the drummer in my band, Joint Effort) and I started getting into Monk so I knew some of the tunes. I remember they opened with Boo Boo’s Birthday. That’s when I knew I wanted to play jazz! I had a chance to talk with Charlie afterward and we had something in common. We both started on the clarinet!

Playing the flute opened the world of classical music to me. By now, my brother Tony switched to playing the guitar and he and I played a lot together, like all of the time. We played all kinds of stuff from classical music to jazz and a good amount of rock stuff. We recorded all kinds of things in the basement with a ¼ inch Wollensak recorder. He was drafted into the army and that ended an era for us. He was stationed in Fort Monmouth (down the road a piece) and I would go hang with the band. He played french horn in the marching band and guitar in the jazz band. Some of the guys in the band went to Berklee and that’s how I got turned on to the place.

I attended Berklee as a composition major and studied with Andy McGhee, Herb Pomeroy, Jeronimas Kacinskas, and John Bavicchi. During my stay at Berklee I continued to play the saxophone as a double so I could play in a number of big bands. It was kind of rough being a flute player doubling on sax. The more I practiced the sax, the more a flute career seemed out of reach. I finally sold all of my saxes and bought a Haynes flute. This instrument changed my life and I now had the equipment to embark upon a flute playing career.

After finishing Berklee, I studied flute with Bill Grass at the Boston Conservatory and private counterpoint and composition with Hugo Norden. These two teachers had a major impact on my music. I stopped attending the conservatory to gig around town doing a lot of freelance work and ended up playing in the orchestras at the Shubert and Colonial Theaters. I finished my MA degree at the University of Massachusetts with an emphasis on Critical and Creative Thinking.

This was a busy time for me with eight performances a week and teaching privately as well. Then I received a call from the chair of the harmony department at Berklee. He needed someone to teach an advanced harmony course because one of his teachers was hit by a car and broke his leg. I said, “sure I was interested!” So he asked me to teach the Horace Silver tune “Peace” at the next department meeting. I did and believe it or not, he hired me for the gig. This started a long teaching career for me at the institution. I guess you can say that I’ve been institutionalized.

The musicians on my “Why Cry” CD, I’ve known for a long time. Ed and Barry are great friends and we’ve played a number of festivals and gigs all over the world. My most recent recording is with trombonist, Phil Wilson for the Capri label. This was a great date with a beautiful rhythm section: Oscar Stagnaro, bass; Mark Walker, drums; Dario Eskenazi, piano; and Larry Baione, guitar. I am playing bass flute on the CD which adds a very haunting color to the date. A couple of other CDs to check out would be “Tommorow’s Dream” which is a harp quartet with Felice Pomeranz, and “Meditations in a Contemporary World.” The meditations CD is a two flute improvised album where I play alto flute and Mia Olson plays concert flute. This is a CD that can really put you in the zone.

My most recent recordings have been with The Eddie Gomez Quintet and with Danilo Perez. I appear on Danilo's "Providencia" CD which was recently nominated for a Grammy for the Best Jazz Instrumental Album. You can check it out on Mack Avenue Records.

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