Born and raised in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, guitarist Matt Richards grew up in the culturally fertile cross-currents of the late 1960s. His musical pathway opens in the mix of folk, rock and psychedelic music that defined that decade and eventually guides him into the hyperactive jazz-fusion of the 1970s. Initially a self-taught player, Matt began earnestly developing the technically advanced musical abilities necessary to be part of that highly-energized genre. As his musicianship developed, he discovered straight-ahead jazz and classical music and began incorporating the acoustic guitar in various projects. He assimilated Spanish, Latin American and various world influences while developing a unique fingerstyle approach to solo guitar.
With his acoustic performances, Matt gathers musical styles and influences together to create his unique approach to solo guitar. He has been featured as a solo artist on a variety of televised programs, including Miles of Music and Puerto Rican Panorama. Matt performed on-screen in the independent film Smoke And Mirrors. He has been featured at the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Historic Lewiston Jazz Festival, the Frankford Arts Festival, the NAMM Winter and Summer Shows, the Montreal Guitar Show, One Month Festival of South Korea, Daniel Pearl Music Days and Welcome America celebrations. In 2015, Matt established the locally-based Solo Guitar On A Saturday Morning live series where a local newsfeed dcribed his music as One Guitar - A World of Influences.
In addition to his solo work, Matt regularly collaborates in duos with musicians such as guitarists Larry Coryell and Tony Hughes, flutist Katherine Barbato and vocalists Jay Katz and Phyllis Chapell. Matt's Power Trio Jazz Project, his current electric guitar-driven jazz trio, is a showcase for the energized, interactive talent of master improvisers. The group's current roster includes bassist Steve Beskrone and drummers Mike Clark, Kenwood Dennard or Adrian Valosin.
Matt has also worked with a broad range of musical artists, including Larry Coryell, Joey DeFrancesco, Essra Mohawk, Herbie Nix, Elio Villafranca, and Bobby Zankel. He has played in support for artists such as Peppino D'Agostino, Richie Havens, Phil Keaggy, Dave Mason and Paco Pena. Matt also worked as a studio-based session musician on innumerable recording projects throughout the 1980s.
A current faculty member at the Ambler Music Academy, Matt has served as Head of Faculty at FrankfordStyle School for Creative Arts and as Music Program Director for Zanaras Music Stores. He conducts guitar-based workshops and masterclasses and has co-led workshops on improvisation with Kenwood Dennard at Berklee College.
Balance, an all-solo-guitar recording, was released in Spring of 2017 on Matt's FingerMusic label.