Matt Brown

Musician, Teacher & Producer


Oct
26
8:00 PM20:00

House Concert: Matt, Max & Otto and The Cody Sisters

Join Matt Brown, Max Allard & Otto Allard in a co-bill with The Cody Sisters for an evening of acoustic music in a breathtaking loft in Wicker Park. This house concert will feature a set from each band plus delicious homemade treats between the sets. The location is a private home and seating is limited. RSVP via the Facebook event to secure your seats & receive the address. $20 suggested donation at the door.

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Matt, Max & Otto
Take one millennial raised on old-time music in Pennsylvania and add two teenage brother bluegrass phenoms from Chicago, and you get Matt, Max & Otto. This will be their second gig. Their first was in the back room at The Grafton in Lincoln Square, and was so well received that one audience member requested an encore performance of a particularly lonesome fiddle tune from their set. And that guy has a PhD!

Matt Brown is a musician, producer & teacher based in Denver, Colorado. For seven years, he taught at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music, where he met Max & Otto. A multi-instrumentalist on fiddle, banjo & guitar, Matt has taught hundreds of students and produced 10 albums. In addition to playing shows in living rooms, barns, and converted mortuaries, he has performed twice on the Grand Ole Opry and once at The Kennedy Center. He has yet to play at The White House or a Waffle House.

Max Allard is a banjo and guitar player from Chicago. He performs original compositions as a solo artist and in the bands From the Start and Bushel & Peck. He has played in Chicago at various venues (Wishbone, Uncommon Ground, The Grafton, Schubas) as well as farmers markets, block parties and square dances, though he has yet to dance in one. Max makes contest-worthy French Toast and is the winner of the 2019 FreshGrass Banjo Award and the 2018 RockyGrass Banjo Competition.

Otto Allard is a mandolinist and a fiddler who performs in the bands From the Start and Bushel & Peck. He, too, has played in Chicago at various venues (Wishbone, Uncommon Ground, The Grafton, Schubas), farmers markets, block parties and festivals. Otto wears hats and makes indecipherable Instagram posts featuring his elder brother. He also orders his burger with just the meat and the bun. We're not entirely sure why.

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The Cody Sisters
Their music falls from the clouds like a soft warm rain and in an instant thunders down like a Colorado storm. Audiences are left emotional, inspired, and exhilarated all at the same time. The soft sister harmonies remind the crowd of a simpler, slower time. As the show builds, the award winning sound of their guitars, mandolins, banjos, and bass will fill the hall such that the audience is swimming in a roaring river of perfect sound. These are just three musicians, but their almost entirely acoustic sound is the feeling of a full orchestra. Seeing the Cody Sisters Band is an experience. These young women and their bass player fuse so many different influences, it’s often difficult to define them. The Cody Sisters experience blends Old Time, Swing, Gypsy Jazz, Jazz, Folk, and Modern Bluegrass together in a completely unique sound that stays with the audiences for weeks to come. Their original songs and sound always leaves a lasting impression. Not simply a family band by any stretch of the imagination. Any bio of the Cody Sisters would be remiss if their chief roadie ‘Heather’ wasn’t mentioned. While not on stage, her influence provides the perfect grounding for this unique sound.

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Oct
20
1:00 PM13:00

Fiddle & Banjo: Paul Warren & Earl Scruggs

Join fiddler Matt Brown and banjoist Andy Malloy to learn the ins and outs of the Paul Warren & Earl Scruggs duet sound. Fiddlers will spend the first portion of the workshop with Matt learning a tune, while the banjoists will hang out with Andy learning the banjo approach, then we'll all play together at the end! Though we'll focus on one particular tune, the concepts addressed will be applicable to any number of fiddle & banjo duets you'd like to try with your favorite duet partner.

Prerequisites
Bluegrass Banjo 3, Fiddle 3

Click here to register.

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Oct
20
11:00 AM11:00

Two-Finger Banjo Intensive

Get a deep dive into the thumb-lead, two-finger banjo style that Matt loves and taught at the Old Town School for seven years. You'll be plucking the strings with your thumb and index finger. No picks required.

This workshop is well suited for those who didn't have a chance to take his two-finger banjo class as well as those who did ~ Matt will have new arrangements to teach. Comfort in G/A tuning as well as double C/double D tuning will make the workshop way more enjoyable. It will also help to know how to slide, hammer-on, and pull-off.

Prerequisites
Clawhammer 1, Bluegrass 1, or Two-Finger 1

Click here to register.

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Oct
20
10:00 AM10:00

Beyoncé on the Banjo

Ever wondered what one of Beyoncé's songs would sound like when played on the banjo? Let's find out! This workshop is for intermediate to advanced banjoists (either bluegrass or old-time) who are comfortable reading tab, playing basic chords, and are willing to bring and use a capo. Have a request for a particular Beyoncé song? Send Matt a note by October 10 to have your choice considered: mbrown@brownsdream.us

Prerequisites:
Clawhammer 2, Bluegrass 2, Two-Finger 2, or the equivalent

Click here to register.

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Oct
19
1:00 PM13:00

Old-Time Fiddle: The Stylings of John Morgan Salyer

Learn how to play one of John Salyer's memorable tunes in cross tuning (he referred to cross tunings as "wildcat keys"). You'll spend time on the bowing sequences and emphasis required to conjure up Salyer's sound, so this workshop is best suited for intermediate to advanced fiddlers who are comfortable learning by ear and are able to retune their instrument.

Click here to register.

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Oct
5
1:00 PM13:00

John Morgan Salyer's Style

Learn a piece from the repertoire of legendary Kentucky fiddler John Morgan Salyer. Matt will teach Salyer's melody along with a bowing pattern that fully conjures up Salyer's sound. The tune will be taught phrase by phrase in a call-and-response fashion. Recording is highly encouraged. This workshop is recommended for intermediate players and advanced players who are willing to play in standard tuning as well as ADAE and AEAE.

Each workshop is $25. To pay in advance, send your money via Venmo to @mattbrownsdream. Otherwise, payment can be made in cash or via personal check at the workshop(s).

This workshop will be followed by a free old-time jam from 2:30-5pm!


RSVP via the Contact Page to reserve your spot and receive the address for the workshops and/or the jam.

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Oct
5
11:00 AM11:00

Old-Time Jam Favorites

Learn an exciting version of a standard jam session tune like "Soldier's Joy," "Mississippi Sawyer," or "Forked Deer." Even if you know a version of the tune we choose, you'll likely gain a new insight into variations you can incorporate as well as new bowing ideas. Matt will pay equal attention to the bowing patterns and to the melody. The tune will be taught phrase by phrase in a call-and-response fashion. Recording is highly encouraged. This workshop is recommended for intermediate players with some experience playing in the key of D.

This workshop will be followed by another focused on John Morgan Salyer’s style.

Each workshop is $25. To pay in advance, send your money via Venmo to @mattbrownsdream. Otherwise, payment can be made in cash or via personal check at the workshop(s).


RSVP via the Contact Page to reserve your spot and receive the address for the workshops and/or the jam. The jam is free!

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Jul
8
to Jul 12

CBMF Bluegrass Kids Camp

The Crested Butte Music Festival Bluegrass Kids Camp is a fun, 5-day music camp in Crested Butte that provides kids (ages 7-14) an amazing experience in bluegrass music education. Students learn to play in a bluegrass band with other students, write songs, and advance their individual skills through instrument break-out sessions. The day camp offers training for first-timers as well as intermediate players. Register here.

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Dec
22
9:00 PM21:00

Big Sadie Country Christmas

We are returning to the Hideout for our second annual Big Sadie Country Christmas. The quartet (fiddle, banjo, guitar, and bass) will be augmented by electric guitar, pedal steel, and drums. This was such a blast last year, I can only imagine it will be even more fun this time!! Come celebrate the cold months with a cheap drink and warm friends! Tickets here or at the door.

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Dec
2
7:00 PM19:00

On Big Shoulders release show

Concocted in 2016 by executive producer Matt Brown as a showcase of Chicago's rich musical history, On Big Shoulders is a grant-funded Americana album Matt co-produced with GRAMMY-nominated producer Liam Davis in the summer of 2017. The album was recorded at I.V. Lab Studios in Chicago and features a dozen of the city's busiest musicians. The core band comprises Steve Dawson (vocals & guitar), Brian Wilkie (pedal steel & guitar), Aaron Smith (bass), and Gerald Dowd (drums), with guest appearances from Elise Bergman (background vocals), Gia Margaret (lead & background vocals), Keely Vasquez (lead & background vocals), Liam Davis (lead vocals), Liz Chidester (background vocals), Anna (trumpet) & Evan (trombone) Jacobson, and Matt Brown (fiddle).

Each song on the album was written by a Chicagoland artist or was previously recorded in Chicago. Repertoire includes "I'm Mississippi Bound" from Grand Ole Opry stars The Delmore Brothers (who recorded in Chicago in 1933), "Heavy Traffic Ahead" from the seminal formation, with Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, of Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys that recorded in Chicago in 1946, "Shake Your Head" from Barbara Carr's Chess Records output, "Long Tall Mama" from Big Bill Broonzy, "It's Just That Simple" from Wilco, and new songs from Collin Moore, Steve Dawson, and GRAMMY-nominated Chicagoland resident Robbie Fulks (an exclusive commission). This album release concert will feature all of the material from On Big Shoulders as well as a slew of additional songs with notable Chicago connections. Buy tickets here.

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Aug
31
to Sep 3

American Roots Music Program

  • Rocky Ridge Music Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

I'm excited to be returning to teach at the American Roots Music Program at Rocky Ridge in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado. In addition to director Stephen Wade, this year's faculty comprises Val Mindel, Chris Walz, Harry Tuft, Mary Flower, Dick Weissman, Larry Edelman, Peggy Browning, yours truly, and Sharon Arms. This is a truly remarkable weekend immersion in traditional music with the ideal student to teacher ratio. Details and registration can be found here.

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Mar
24
8:00 PM20:00

Kaia Kater / Big Sadie at the Old Town School

Join Big Sadie as we share a night of music with Kaia Kater at the Old Town School of Folk Music.  Born of African-Caribbean descent in Québec, Kaia's old-time banjo skills, jazz-fueled voice and deft songcraft have garnered acclaim from Rolling Stone, BBC Music, and No Depression.  Big Sadie is a Chicago-based acoustic band fronted by Elise Bergman (upright bass, vocals) and Collin Moore (guitar, vocals) and featuring yours truly (fiddle) and Andy Malloy (banjo). Learn more and snag your tickets here.

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Mar
14
8:00 PM20:00

Ed Haley Tribute & Old-Time Fiddle Night

I'm playing the Station Inn! Ed Haley's music will be fiddled by Matt Combs, Brittany Haas, Tim O'Brien, Matt Brown, Rayna Gellert, Clelia Stefanini, Tyler Andal, Casy Meikle, and Austin Derryberry, each of whom will be accompanied by the band of Mike Compton, John Fabke, Dan Margolies, and my favorite guitarist, Greg Reish. Snag your tickets at the door or watch online here: https://stationinn.com/event/20180314-ed-haley/

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Dec
17
7:00 PM19:00

Matt Brown & Greg Reish at SPACE

Matt & Greg take their duo sound to SPACE in Evanston, IL, for their first Chicagoland show since selling out their CD release concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music in 2015. They'll play favorites from that album, "Speed of the Plow," as well as a diverse array of hand-picked music from across rural America. For tickets and more, click here.

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Sep
8
to Sep 10

Intermediate/Advanced Old-Time Fiddle Workshop

Matt is teaching a weekend fiddle workshop at the 3rd Annual Sustainability Weekend at Folklore Village. With the backdrop of cultural sustainability unifying the weekend, individual workshops will incorporate traditional knowledge, strategies and DIY tools for sustainable and historic architecture, traditional crafting, healthy eating, and community music making. Click here for more details and registration.

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Sep
1
to Sep 4

American Roots Music Program

  • Rocky Ridge Music Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

I'm excited to be returning to Stephen Wade's American Roots Music Program for the second year in a row. Now in its third year, this weekend workshop welcomes singers, banjo pickers, fiddlers, guitarists, and mandolinists—players interested in many facets of roots music. Along with private and group instruction, students learn to craft vocal and instrumental music arrangements of their own. The program probes blues, bluegrass, Cajun and Creole, old-time mountain ballad and song styles, honky-tonk fiddling, and works by newer singer-songwriters and instrumentalists who draw their inspiration from traditional music. Events include a live dance with caller, a banjo seminar, a student and faculty sing-around, and a workshop on Rio Grande fiddle tunes from Native American and Spanish colonial traditions. Details, faculty, and registration can be found here.

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Aug
7
to Aug 11

Fiddle Camp

  • Old Town School of Folk Music (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Fiddle Camp is a wonderful week-long musical immersion at the Old Town School of Folk Music. The camp is open to kids ages 7-14 who have completed Suzuki Book 1, Old Town School's Advanced Fiddle class, or have received a teacher recommendation. It features old-time and New Mexican fiddling and a Kodály singing class. Details and registration can be found here.

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