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Artist Stories

Matt Lemmler, true New Orleans Jazz

August, 2019 — This month in the JAZZ ROOM, we cover one of the most currently popular jazz icons of all time – Stevie Wonder.

Matt Lemmler will be channeling the beloved music of Stevie Wonder with a sizeable ensemble of the best of Charlotte, to ensure we get the full wonder of Wonder.

An incredible jazz pianist who once feared singing, it took the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina for Matt Lemmler to share his soulful voice with the world.
Matt Lemmler follows in the long tradition of great New Orleans pianists, from the Storyville jazz of Jelly Roll Morton, to the boogie of “Fats” Domino, to the New Orleans Stride of James Booker, to the modern jazz of Ellis Marsalis, to multifaceted entertainer (and childhood piano rival) Harry Connick, Jr. His abilities embrace all of these styles- as well as film scoring and large scale arranging – are a tribute to his prodigious talent. Matt Lemmler is true New Orleans Jazz.

Matt’s family first immigrated to New Orleans in the 1750s from France and the Canary Islands. This unique Spanish and French Creole heritage trickled down into Matt’s DNA in the form of music. Raised just blocks away from the home of legendary Fats Domino, Matt’s childhood in the Lower 9th Ward was constantly filled with music. Along with his brothers and father (musicians in their own right), Matt played jazz and classical piano around the clock.

Matt Lemmler, Steinway Artist, is currently a Jazz Piano Professor at Loyola University, College of Music in New Orleans. He performs weekly in the historic French Quarter. The New Orleans Times Picayune has commented on his band’s spirited jazz re-imaginings of Stevie Wonder.

Matt’s band for this month’s JAZZ ROOM includes many of your favorite Charlotte jazz musicians:

Kobie Watkins on drums

Eleazar Schaefer and Matt Postle on trumpet

Harvey Cummings on alto saxophone

Andrew Snapp on baritone saxophone

David Lail on tenor saxophone

Dave Vergato on bass

Darryl Payton on trombone

Robyn Springer, Matt Kelly, & Mercury Carter join Matt on vocals.

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