Matt Butler

Matt Butler

First introduced to music by his mother, who would play Rachmaninov on the family piano, Butler began playing keyboard instruments at age 9. With heavy doses of classical music festering in his blood, Butler started composing at 14...well, by composing, we mean “copying piano scores to blank manuscript paper by hand". Actually, composition started approximately a year later, once he understood the correlation between the dots and the sound they made. His interest soon expanded to guitar, leading Butler down a winding path. His was the way of the fledgling self-taught composer, shirking the rules he was learning through classical theory in favor of the more organic need to unleash what was banging around in his head. Though Butler engaged in formal education (he attended an art-oriented high school and then attended the Grove School of Music), the headstrong guitarist was going in other directions.

The terrain Butler navigated as a young artist was the usual predictable “list of heavies" as he investigated jazz fusion (Allan Holdsworth, Miles Davis, Steve Coleman, Scott Henderson, Jan Garbarek, Eric Johnson), traditional jazz (Miles, Coltrane, Cannonball, Mingus, Bill Evans, Nat King Cole , Keith Jarrett, Bunky Green), classical (Rachmaninoff, Medtner, Scriabin, Brahms, Hindemith, Carl Stalling), free jazz (Ornette, Cecil Taylor), progressive rock (Rush), pop (Bjork, Jeff Buckley), world music (Ravi Shankar, Babatunde Olatunji, Zakir Hussain, Ali Akbar Khan), rap (Busta Rhymes, Big Pun, Juvenile, Eminem, Jay Z, Snoop), and the obligatory list of shredders that included Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen. The full list reads like a $400,000 iTunes purchase.

As Butler’s interests grew, so did his ideas about music and composition – and about performance. In his 20s, Butler began piecing together bands to perform his compositions. Though functioning within a jazz framework, Butler’s music never quite fit the mold. Heavy on thematic improvisations, Butler’s live gigs became workshops of a sort, where musicians could breathe within Butler’s expansive compositions. With the Matt Butler Quartet, the Matt Butler Quintet and the End of the World Orchestra, Butler leveled his sights at the senses of those willing to listen.

Over the years Butler has been featured at numerous jazz festivals, played jazz clubs, rock clubs, and art museums, he’s been a clinician, and private teacher, but he’s most at home practicing, composing, and recording in his studio.

Butler is a Godin Guitars and Graph Tech artist.

Eoghan McCloskey

Eoghan McCloskey

Eoghan McCloskey has been active in the Texas music scene for over 12 years, first making a name for himself in several successful metal bands in his hometown of San Angelo, Texas. After relocating to Austin in 2003, Eoghan branched out into progressive rock, jazz and fusion genres and worked regularly as a drum teacher and session drummer, recording and gigging with acts ranging from Texas Country to primitive black metal to be-bop and modern folk. During this period, Eoghan also studied with some of the top drummers in Texas such as Matt Thompson, Mike Koennig, Ed Jarusinsky, Greg Seale and others.

Currently, Eoghan teaches private lessons and performs with the Matt Butler Quartet, Vex, Batcastle, Dragonwrench and The Stan Laurels.

Sterling Steffen

Sterling Steffen

He's a horn player.. waiting for bio.. In the meantime, you can stalk him on his facebook page.

Michael Day

Michael Day

He's a bass player.. waiting on bio. In the meantime, you can stalk him on his facebook page.