MATT DWONSZYK "A Year and a Day"
A young bass player that brings us a different kind of daddio, this one showing many instances of Tom Waits hovering in the background. Not content just to keep thumping along, his creativity ranges well beyond those four strings. A set that gleefully colors outside the lines, this is the jazzbo that serves up something completely different.
Seasoned Bassist Matt Dwonszyk
Releases "A Year And A Day"
by Sherman Schlar
Matt Dwonszyk is an accomplished bassist, composer, arranger and educator from Rocky Hill, CT. Dwonszyk graduated from the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz studying under his mentor and world-renowned bassist, Nat Reeves and then went on to receive his Masters degree from SUNY Purchase College. Based in Brooklyn, NY since 2015, Dwonszyk still frequents back home to Connecticut to perform and teach.
Throughout his career, Dwonszyk has performed and recorded with numerous contemporaries as well as legendary jazz artists including Steve Davis, Harold Mabern, Jazzmeia Horn, Bennie Wallace, Dr. Eddie Henderson, Abraham Burton, Herlin Riley among many others. In 2018, Dwonszyk toured through Russia apart of the Rainy Days Jazz Festival and in 2019 he toured through Canada with the Oleg Butman Trio. His last tour was in 2022 with Jonathan Barber and Vision Ahead through the West Coast of the U.S. He frequently performs at some of the top jazz clubs in New York City including Smalls Jazz Club, Dizzy's Club, Smoke and The Blue Note.
Following his highly regarded 2019 debut album, Matt Dwonszyk’s new release, A Year and a Day, contains 12 original tracks and a jazz standard that highlight the bassist/composer’s versatility and mastery across a range of jazz idioms. His seven-piece band, the Dwonztet, first came together in 2012 while attending Hartford’s renowned Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz. The band plays with a relaxed confidence and tightly woven interplay that only comes with years of performing together.
Although composed and recorded during COVID’s time of loss and isolation, the recording is filled with Dwonszyk’s bass virtuosity and signature generosity, optimism, and resilience. It opens with the haunting, hip-hop infused cannon “Souls on Ice” featuring spoken word artist Ghazi Omair, moves on to the R&B-inspired “Peaceful World”, and takes a swing at the blues in “Blues for Donny”. Led by vocalist Shenel Johns, the standout tune “Afro Blue” is a bold new interpretation of the Mongo Santamaria classic. The album’s closing song, the hypnotic “Be Strong Carry On”, gives us renewed vigor to face the challenges that lie ahead.
Ever indebted to his many mentors, Matt Dwonszyk dedicates this recording to the jazz masters that have left us over the past few years. Their enduring legacy is proudly carried on by Matt Dwonszyk and his Dwonztet.
“Bassist/Composer/Bandleader Matt Dwonszyk is one of today's bright, young stars in the jazz world. On his latest release, A Year and a Day, Matt's bass playing, composing and band leading talents are all on full display. Dwonz always brings a calm, steady, inspired presence to any musical situation he is part of. His creative playing and writing are the very definition of musicality. Matt is truly a team player, melodic and grooving, always connecting with his fellow musicians & audience members. Brother Dwonz is one of my favorite musicians and people to be around!"