Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5434 USA
- M.M., Jazz Studies, University of Tennessee, 1993
- B.M., Jazz Studies, Ithaca College, 1990
Matthew Fries is an assistant professor of keboard jazz studies at Western Michigan University. He grew up in a musical home in a Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, learning piano from his father, a piano professor at Susquehanna University. Fries played trumpet and sang in high school but returned to the keyboard after a college course awakened his interest in jazz piano. After earning degrees from Ithaca College (B.M.) and the University of Tennessee (M.M.), Fries lived and worked in New York City for many years, recording and touring with his collaborative trio, TRI-FI, with singer Curtis Stigers as a regular member of his band, and with a diverse lineup of other artists that has included Stacey Kent, Ann Hampton Callaway, DeeDee Bridgewater, Vincent Herring, Steve Wilson, Dave Samuels, Claudio Roditi, Terell Stafford, and many others.
The winner of the Great American Jazz Piano Competition, Fries’ debut album, "Song for Today" (TCB Music), was named a critics’ pick by Jazziz Magazine, and his work a sideman has been called “the best jazz accompaniment I’ve seen in a cabaret in years” (The New York Times) and “the crispest rhythm section imaginable” (The London Times).