Biography

A native of the Hartford, Matt Dwonszyk attended art high school at The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts where he was introduced to jazz. He was soon encouraged to join The Artists Collective, Inc.’s Youth Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of saxophonist and multi-woodwind instrumentalist Rene McLean. 

The Collective led Matt to continue his studies within The Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at The University of Hartford founded by saxophone legend Jackie McLean.

 

Dwonszyk quickly developed an exceptionally strong rapport with the “jazz” bass professor Nat Reeves. Reeves instilled a strong sense of swing, conviction, phrasing, time, pulse, beat and vocabulary upon Dwonszyk. Graduating with a Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz Studies in 2013, Matt went on to obtain a Master’s of Music in Jazz Performance at SUNY Purchase in 2015.

In 2015, Matt attended the Bosyie Lowery Jazz Living Residency for his original compositions and was awarded in Down Beat Magazine for his arrangement of the jazz classic, “What A Wonderful World”. In 2018, Dwonszyk went on to record his debut record as a leader, entitled "Wonderful World", featuring the awarded arrangement as well as nine of his original compositions. The album features a wealth of talent, which is predominantly made up of former classmates from the previously noted Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz, including trumpeter Joshua Bruneau, saxophonist Jovan Alexandre, guitarist Andrew Renfroe, pianist Taber Gable, drummer Jonathan Barber and vocalist Shenel Johns. Matt was also able to include several elders, “Hartford legends” and world renowned musicians, such as trombonist Steve Davis, percussionist Ed Fast and percussionist Jorge Fuentes.

Matt has been living in Brooklyn, NY since 2015 and can be seen playing at some of the top jazz clubs including Smalls, Smoke, Dizzy’s Coca Cola Club, Minton’s, Zinc Bar, The Blue Note, Birdland and the Jazz Standard. Dwonszyk’s has shared the bandstand with world renowned jazz musicians such as: Harold Mabern, Larry Willis, David Hazeltine, Anthony Wonsey, Rick Germanson, Hal Galper, Dave Kikoski, Donald Vega, Pete Malinverni, Steve Wilson, Abraham Burton, Javon Jackson, Gary Smulyan, Bill Saxton, Bennie Wallace, Wayne Escoffery, Mike Diruboo, Myron Walden, J.D. Allen, John Farnsworth, Steve Davis, Steve Turre, Joe Farnsworth, Carl Allen, Winard Harper, Herlin Riley, Willie Jones III, Joe Strasser, Dr. Eddie Henderson, Joe Magnarelli, Jeremy Pelt, Jumaane Smith, Wallace Roney, Freddie Hendrix and Duane Eubanks. Matt also leads his own ensemble, the Dwonztet, featuring some of the top jazz musicians on the scene today.

 

In 2018, Matt toured through Russia apart of the Rainy Days Jazz Festival. In 2019, he toured through Canada with the Oleg Butman Trio and in 2020 he completed a west coast U.S tour with Jonathan Barber and Vision Ahead. Matt has performed at the NYC Winter Jazz Festival, BRIC Jazz festival, JVC Jazz Festival, the Jazz & Colors Festival at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, D.C Jazz Festival, the Kennedy Center, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Saskatoon Jazz Festival, Edmonton Jazz Festival, Litchfield Jazz Festival, Hartford Jazz Festival, Hartford Baby Grand Jazz Series, New Haven Jazz Festival and the Baikal Jazz Festival in Yakutsk, Siberia.

 

When he is not performing, Matt teaches Jazz Bass at Manchester Community College in CT. He is called into coach ensembles at the University of Hartford and teaches in the summer at Litchfield Jazz Camp and Bennie Wallace’s Back Country Jazz Program.

"It has been my pleasure to work a great deal with Matt over the past few years not only in the classroom, but also on the bandstand with Ed Fast & Conga Bop, with pianist Don DePalma and vocalist Linda Ransom, and with my own quintet playing original compositions as well. Matt certainly has a very bright future. I am excited to hear where he and others of his generation take the music."

-Steve Davis

"It's hard for me to think of very many bass players anywhere whose solos I enjoy as much as Matt's; he has so much language ... You can hear a lot of history in the melodies he plays. You can hear evidence of a lot of listening to musical elders."

-Kris Allen

"He helped me with my own compositions playing through things to see what would work and what wouldn't. He has such good input into what will sound good. We would play his originals as well and I was always blown away at how creative he could be ... Matt is so humble in a real way - not in some fake way."

-Jen Allen

 "Laid back, very easy to work with, always ready to embrace a challenge ... Every time I hear him he has some new surprise up his sleeve ... It happens in his solos mainly. He'll play some stuff you don't expect to hear."

-Ben Bilello

 "Deep, sincere, a fine musician, hard working ... valuable to know and work with: There is a decency to Matt that is palpable and this comes through in his music."

-Peter  McEachern