Learn about the other Paul Gormley Jazz Trio Players:
New York City native pianist Llew Matthews discovered music at age four playing the ukulele. Junior high school brought a switch to French horn, and singing with a neighborhood do-wop group. Llew’s talent began to be recognized when he won a scholarship to the renowned High School of Music and Arts. During this time he discovered jazz hearing Ahmad Jamal’s Poinciana, Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue, and the Gil Evans Orchestra. This inspired him to study piano, composition, and arranging. Llew continued his formal studies at New York College of Music, while getting a practical education working with two jazz legends alto sax master Jackie McLean and trumpeter Kenny Dorham.
1969 began an eight year stint in the US Air Force. He wrote arrangements for the Armed Forces Bicentennial Band, a multi service 97 piece symphonic band and 40 voice choir. Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles performed with this group. Llew also did arrangements of original songs composed by the King of Thailand, who is also a very accomplished alto sax and trumpet player.
Honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1977, Llew settled in Southern California. He immediately started working with a variety of musicians. Albums for Charles Owens, Carl Burnett, Ernie Andrews, and Paul Humphrey on the Discovery label soon followed, along with work for Lena Horn on the show “Pal Joey,79”. He also began his association with vibes master Bobby Hutcherson, and guitar great Kenny Burrell. Llew has also recorded with Buddy Collette, Hubert Laws, Kevin Eubanks, and Kristin Korb to name a few.
1987 brought Llew together with famed singer Nancy Wilson. Llew continues his creative collaboration with Nancy as her musical director, pianist, conductor, and arranger. This has given him the opportunity to arrange for symphony orchestras as well as for the jazz big bands of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Woody Herman. He was with Nancy for her recent 70th birthday concerts at the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall which included performing with jazz stars Kurt Elling, Patty Austin, Nneena Freelon, Natalie Cole, and Dianne Reeves.
Llew’s warm personality and great talent have made him one of jazz music’s most in demand performers.
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