Vibraphonist and tunesmith Matt Moran „plays the vibraphone like a speed-chess master, always darting off into flurries of ingenious, unexpected activity” (Village Voice). Although he was named „Rising Star” on vibraphone by the 2014 Downbeat Critics Poll, Moran is just as often known for his work as the drummer and bandleader for brass band Slavic Soul Party! His career exists in diverse musical environments, from chamber music to jazz to Balkan folk music, and evinces a dedication to music education for incarcerated people.
Moran has released 10 albums as a leader, and performed on nearly 100 albums by other artists, including Sufjan Stevens, Theo Bleckmann, William Parker, Ellery Eskelin, and Luciana Souza. His longtime collaboration with percussionist/composer John Hollenbeck has been documented on 8 recordings by Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet as well as recordings of his Large Ensemble and chamber music. Lengthy relationships are a hallmark of Moran’s style: in addition to Slavic Soul Party!’s 20 years of music making, he has worked for many years with the artists Nate Wooley, Curtis Hasselbring, Daniel Levin, Brian Shankar Adler, Peter Hess, Raif Hyseni, Bojan Vuletic, and Mat Maneri.
For the past decade, Moran has been an educator and performer for Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, with a special focus on education, creation, and performance for New Yorkers in many different parts of the judicial system. Currently he co-leads Carnegie Hall’s music education program at Sing Sing Correctional Facility.
Moran has a Master’s degree in jazz composition from New England Conservatory where he studied with composer and improviser Joseph Maneri, and a Bachelor’s degree in jazz composition from Berklee College of Music where he studied with Ed Saindon and Gary Burton.