Viewing: Dmitri Matheny Quotes - View All Posts

COMING HOME ~ DM on Interlochen 



Toward the end of high school, I left home to attend a private boarding school in Michigan called Interlochen Arts Academy.

Interlochen was for me a magical place, populated by individualists, social misfits, and eccentrics — kids who, like me, were passionate about art.

I loved Interlochen. For the first time in my life, I was surrounded by creative people my own age: musicians, painters, actors, dancers...it was like coming home. Interlochen was where I learned the discipline required to build a life in the arts, and where I learned how rewarding an artist's life can be.

ARIZONA ~ DM on the Desert 



When I was twelve, my Dad and I moved west from Georgia to Arizona. I spent my formative years there, and I still feel a strong connection to the landscape.

The desert gives you a perspective. It calms your spirit and invites contemplation, in much the same way that the ocean does in California. Play your horn into those canyons and foothills, and you'll experience for yourself the Japanese concept of ma, the sacred silence between sounds.

THE SOUTHERN STROLL ~ DM on the South 



Despite deeply entrenched racial and class tensions, the south is a beautiful, soulful place. People smile at you and look you in the eye. Neighbors know one another.

Growing up in the south has given me a deep appreciation of human warmth and kindness; of southern hospitality. If you come to my show, I'm the host and you're my guest. It's my job to make you feel welcome and comfortable so we can enjoy each other's company.

The south also gave me a love of the blues and spirituals, and ingrained in me a relaxed pace -- the southern stroll. I imagine you can hear these influences in my music.

~Dmitri Matheny

INTERROBANG ~ DM on Improvisation 



The interrobang is a punctuation mark that combines the functions of an exclamation point and a question mark. It's also an excellent symbol of my approach to improvisation.

I intend to "tell a story" with conviction, intentionality and a strong sense of internal logic. At the same time, I hope to convey a sincere searching, listening quality, an openness to what comes, and something of the mysterious beauty in jazz.

EXCELLENCE SHINES ~ DM on the Grammy Awards 

The other day Christopher Orr [dreading this year's Oscars] wrote, "Even amid cosmic injustice we must be afforded glimmers of hope."

So true!

Here's a glimmer from 1998 which still gleams:

12 years ago today our Recording Academy awarded the Grammy for best jazz instrumental solo to trumpeters Nick Payton & Doc Cheatham, two of my favorite artists, for their tasty rendering of Hoagy Carmichael's masterpiece "Stardust."

It was one of those rare moments that occurs all too seldom in life, when excellence shines through and the universe nods in accord. Amazingly, the mind-numbing pop culture-drunk music industry briefly woke up, remembered its calling, and cast a collective vote for quality.

For a short while that year, music behaved like the meritocracy we all wish it could be.


We all voted for this record, but whenever I listen to it, I secretly believe it was created just for me.

Mine
, like my big wheel or my slice of Key Lime Pie!


Photo by Hal Leonard

This entire album is a keeper, but I especially dig their treatments of "Stardust," "The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise" and "Jeepers Creepers."

Hear it and get yours on
iTunes or Amazon.
RSS