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School of Music

Faculty and Staff

Matt White

Title: Associate Professor / Jazz Studies
School of Music
Phone: 803-576-7793
Office: Greene St. Church, 1100 Greene St., Room B108
Facebook: My Facebook page
Matt White

Trumpeter, Composer, Educator, and technologist Dr. Matthew White is Associate Professor, Chair of Jazz Studies, and Director of CSAM at the University of South Carolina School of Music. He holds degrees from the University of North Florida and The University of Miami and has appeared on numerous albums, radio broadcasts, and television shows, performing and composing music for artists as varied as: Rihanna, Becca Stevens, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, Oscar DeLeon, Duranice Pace, Charlie Peacock, the Czech Republic Arts Ministry, and Jeff Coffin, in addition to various other artists, ensembles, symphonies, and big bands.

Matt White uses his source material – age old hymns and blues – not as bricks to build a mortuary, but as the basis for an entirely new structure

-Downbeat Magazine

Matt’s music has been described as “rhythmically brash and invigorating” by the Washington Post, with “a knack for sweeping, cinematic statements” by Downbeat Magazine. While rooted in the jazz tradition, his music often draws on non-musical inspiration, such as local culture, literature, scientific phenomenon, or personal experiences. Matt’s two releases as leader of The Super Villain Jazz Band both received 4-star reviews in Downbeat Magazine and were included in the Best of the Year lists.

A 2019 Guggenheim Fellow in Music Composition and the 2023 SCArts Music Composition fellow, Matt’s recent works have been heavily influenced by southern folk music traditions, particularly those of the Gullah Geechee people of the Coastal Carolinas. In addition to contemporizing folk songs and oral histories, Matt does extensive work recording and archiving the songs and stories of Gullah elders in the region. He has engineered recordings for the “Free and Equal Project” in partnership with the NEA, and artists Ron Daise, and Dave Douglas. He was a keynote speaker at the 2017 National Association of Leadership Educators Conference, and a finals judge at the 2019 International Trumpet Guild Jazz Competition.  He is a member of the SC Masterworks Jazz Ensemble. 

Matt’s latest release, Lowcountry (Ropeadope Records) which features saxophonist Chris Potter and the St. Helena Island Singers, has received early praise from the Wall Street Journal, Downbeat Magazine, Glide Magazine, and Paris Moves.

Matt is a Bach Trumpet, Aston Microphones, Barkley Microphones, and Patrick Mouthpiece performing artist. He has another upcoming album, Dolly (featuring the music of Dolly Parton). He is currently composing music for "Songs of Protest" in conjunction with the Reconstruction Era National Park in Beaufort, SC.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.