Biography

     Matt Berkeley began playing piano at a young age, studying the music of classical composers. His early years were heavily influenced by the music of 60's era. As his own musical tastes developed, he kept to his roots, but delved headlong into hip-hop. One night in high school, Matt spirited the Weather Report album "Sweetnighter" from his father's record collection. That would help shape his musical path for the next several years.

 

     He went on to Oberlin College after graduating from Berkeley High School. Once at Oberlin, he found himself walking backwards through the history of jazz seeing where the roots of this fusion music lay.  This eventually led to some study of most forms of African American music.In college, while studying _____, Matt invested his time and energy into co-leading a funk band in which he wrote the music to, performed and arranged for small jazz ensembles, played in numeorous cover bands, and was even  a percussionist for a dance troupe covering West African, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian dance forms. With that group, Matt traveled to Cuba to study with some of the masters of Afro-Cuban percussion including AfroCuba de Matanzas and Clave y Guaguanco. During these formative years, Matt also studied jazz piano and improvisation with world-class musicians: Steve Coleman, Bevan Manson, Neal Creque, Wendall Logan and others…all masters in their own right.

 

     After graduating from Oberlin, he returned to his native Berkeley and formed Reorchestra, a jazz fusion band which played locally, along with regional touring and festival appearances. During the past several years he has performed and toured with Will Bernard and Motherbug, Shimshai, The Speakers, Joe Bagale, Wisdom, OONA, The Jazz Mafia Symphony Orchestra and Supertaster. As a versatile craftsman, Matt spends his time now performing a variety of genres including pop, rock, funk, soul, hip-hop, reggae, and jazz. Current performance duties include the Jazz Mafia Symphony Orchestra, Joe Bagale, OONA, and Supertaster. He also writes and produces music for TV and film as well as composing and producing original songs for himself and other artists, often under the 'Spaceman' moniker. Current recording projects feature Supertaster, Timecops, Anonymous Pop Star and more. Recent studio collaborators include Joe Bagale (1Beat), Karyn Paige, Adam Theis (Jazz Mafia), Dave Tweedie and Steve Bradley (Jetstream).