Matthew Stevens

Associate Professor
Affiliated Departments

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A leading guitarist of his generation, two-time Grammy-nominated Matthew Stevens's "singular style dissolves the demarcation lines between jazz, rock, and ambient music," (Mojo). Stevens’s music is “honest and soulful” (Pitchfork.) and is described as “music [that] advances the ideals of modern jazz” (WBGO).

In addition to his critically acclaimed solo albums, Woodwork, Preverbal, Pittsburgh and In Common 1, 2 and 3 with Walter Smith III, Stevens’s songs and guitar playing are featured on over 50 recordings including those by Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington, Dave Douglas, NEXT Collective, Sean Jones, Linda May Han Oh, Harvey Mason, and Anna B Savage.

Stevens has performed at top venues and festivals all over the world with his groups as well as being a featured performer with artists from Chris Thile to Gustavo Dudamel. His performances have been lauded in Billboard, The Fader, The Guardian, Guitar Player Magazine, JazzTimes, Mojo, NPR, New York Times, Pitchfork, PopMatters, and more.

As a producer, Stevens worked on Esperanza Spalding’s groundbreaking album Exposure, and her Grammy-winning album 12 Little Spells. He also co-produced Terri Lyne Carrington’s Grammy-nominated albums Waiting Game and New Standards. Most recently, Stevens produced I Am A Pilgrim: Doc Watson at 100, which features artists including Valerie June, Dolly Parton, Rosanne Cash, Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell, and Steve Earle.

Career Highlights
  • Performed and recorded with Esperanza Spalding, Chris Thile, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Gustavo Dudamel, and Terri Lyne Carrington.
  • Recorded three critically acclaimed solo albums (Woodwork, Preverbal, Pittsburgh), three co-led albums with Walter Smith III (In Common 1, 2 and 3) and appeared on over 50 commercially released albums as a guitarist.
  • Performances and recordings covered in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Pitchfork, The Guardian, and Vice Noisey.
  • Performed at top venues around the world including The Village Vanguard, North Sea Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, and Royal Albert Hall.
  • 2023 Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Jazz Album for New Standards Vol. 1 by Terri Lyne Carrington, Linda May Han Oh, Kris Davis and Matthew Stevens
  • 2022 Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Jazz Album for Waiting Game by Terri Lyne Carrington, Social Science and Matthew Stevens
  • Downbeat Critics' Poll Top 10 Rising Star Guitar for 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022
In Their Own Words

"As a teacher of music, my primary goal is to empower students to create work that they feel proud of, that deepens their understanding of themselves and the world, and that resonates with an audience. I feel that the chief duty of a teacher is to enable students to create and critique music that will further their skills and develop their artistic voices. This approach aims to develop students into individual artists and into professionals, with tools to create and think critically at the same time."

"My teaching is heavily informed by my work as a musician, composer, and producer, and by the particular artistic relationships and community I have been in over the past two decades. I bring this ‘real-world’ experience to my teaching as my most valuable asset."