Matt Penman


Originally from New Zealand, Matt Penman moved to the U.S in 1994 to attend Berklee College of Music, and in 1995 to New York, where he maintains an international performing, recording and teaching schedule as one of jazz music’s most in-demand bassists.

He is an established member of the SFJazz Collective, an eight-piece composer’s collective devoted to presenting the original works of its members as well as arrangements of the jazz greats’ oeuvre. The Collective features some of the finest composer/improvisers on the scene, including Mark Turner, Stefon Harris and Miguel Zenon.

In 2009, Matt founded a collaborative quartet with Joshua Redman, Aaron Parks and Eric Harland called James Farm. The band released their debut album in spring, 2011 on Nonesuch Records.

In addition to his main projects, Matt performs regularly with John Scofield; in trio and in quartet with Joe Lovano. He is a member of Nils Wogram’s Root 70, and Breve, a drummer-less trio with Hayden Chisholm and John Taylor. Other collaborators have included Kurt Rosenwinkel, Kenny Werner, Dave Douglas, Chris Cheek, Seamus Blake, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Guillermo Klein, Rebecca Martin, Nicholas Payton, Fred Hersch and Madeleine Peyroux.

As a teacher, Matt has led workshops throughout Europe, and was an Artist-in-Residence at the Brubeck Institute in Stockton, California. He was also on the faculty of the Banff Workshop for Creative and Improvised Music.

Matt’s projects as band-leader include the co-led album Flipside (Naxos, 1998), The Unquiet (2001) and Catch of the Day (2008), both on the Barcelona label Fresh Sound. He is featured on well over 100 recordings on various labels.