Matt Petty is a trombonist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and video artist based in Memphis, Tennessee. He is a graduate of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, where he received degrees in Music Education and Trombone Performance, while studying with low brass pedagogue Mark Thompson. Matt is also an alumnus of The Watermill Center: a Laboratory for Performance on New York's Long Island, where he was influenced by a variety artists including theater director Robert Wilson, filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, and the electronic freak-folk band CocoRosie. Most recently, Matt was one of 25 international artists selected for the Sally and Don Lucas Composers Fellowship at Montalvo Arts Center, in Saratoga, California.
Matt is known for creating music-based multimedia involving sound, video and live performance. He is the founder of the electro-acoustic collective Kisatchie Sound; an ensemble based in rural northern Louisiana that creates new music with a sense of place, rooted in the soil of the South. He is also trombonist and songwriter of the digital music collective You Can Call Me SIR with electronic musician Cristy Michel, whose upcoming EP invokes a dark rage embedded within modern queer identity. Inspired by history, folklore, pop-culture, and the natural world, Matt’s music has been described as “...An emotional and arresting juxtaposition of beautiful things" by composer and collaborator Eve Beglarian, and often includes reflections of his travels as a social explorer of the American landscape working from coast to coast.
As a collaborative artist, Matt’s work has been featured internationally at shows including Biome Arts’ ALT/FUTURE Environmental Art Series in Taipei, Taiwan, the 2017 Bad Video Art Show in Moscow, Russia, and the Ecos Urbanos electroacoustic music festival in Mexico City. Additionally, Matt is the co-creator of the feature documentary, Sacred as Folk about the life of Louisiana artist, Brother Michael David Elvestrom; and LIGHTEN UP, a multimedia fantasia about American “outsider" artists. Matt’s latest project Among These Ruins is a conceptual visual album written in collaboration with musicians in the United States, Honduras, and Mexico, which expands on the theme of ruin as a modern portrait of the American borderlands.