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Matt Ridley began his musical journey on piano, aged six. By his mid-teens, he gravitated towards bass guitar, and was gigging professionally at 19 years old. In 2001, he enrolled at Trinity College of Music, and it was there that he began learning the double bass. Matt performed his final recital entirely on this instrument and, upon graduating with a Bmus honours degree in Jazz Studies, he was awarded the Trinity College of Music 'Friends in New York' award. Matt has also made a comprehensive study of classical music under the tutelage of LSO bassist Jani Pensola and, in 2017, Matt won a Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music diploma in classical double bass.

A true devotee of his instrument, discernible influences on Matt's playing span the last 60+ years of jazz history to include Ray Brown, Ron Carter, Scott Lafaro, Miroslav Vitous, as well as more modern players such as Christian McBride and Larry Grenadier. As well as being exceptionally studied, Matt’s outlook is also forward looking and individual. His own music represents a unique melange of contemporary jazz, classical music and world music.

Based in London, Matt has performed internationally and at many of the UK’s most prestigious venues such as the Purcell Room, Cadogan Hall, Ronnie Scott’s, King’s Place, the Barbican and the O2 Arena.

As a band leader, Matt released his debut album, Thymos, on Whirlwind Recordings in 2013, featuring the talents of award-winning pianist John Turville, drummer George Hart, and guest appearances from saxophonist Jason Yarde, oud maestro Attab Haddad and percussionist Vasilis Sirikis. Matt’s follow-up album, Metta, was released in February 2016. Jason Yarde having joined the original trio as a permanent member, the entire quartet recording was completed in one day, a testament to the empathy and communication between the musicians.

Matt is an in-demand sideman, known equally for his work with younger musicians on the contemporary jazz scene, and with older, more established names. He has worked extensively with guitarist Ant Law in his quintet and 'Art of Rhythm' trio with drummer Asaf Sirkis, and with Darius Brubeck (son of Dave Brubeck) in a quartet featuring Dave O’Higgins on saxophone. Matt was bass player in Michael Garrick's many ensembles, and continued his 'MJQ Celebration' band featuring Jim Hart, Barry Green and Steve Brown after his death in 2011. ¬¬In a more ad hoc capacity, Matt has performed at home and abroad with the best of the UK jazz scene, and with artists from the US, Europe and Africa.

Matt’s upcoming release, 'The Antidote', is a new and exciting quintet album, bristling with young talent. Their eponymous album was recorded in October 2019, (yes, the name 'The Antidote' precedes the current Coronavirus crisis) where 12 tracks were shaped over a three-day period.

Matt describes his inspiration for the music: "I spent a long time reflecting on musical culture in the UK, and my own identity and relationship with all of the different music that I have encountered over 15+ years of being a professional bassist. When it came down to it, I concluded that what the English do really well, is ROCK, FOLK, and CLASSICAL music. I realised that, deep down, I've always wanted to ROCK OUT, to be wild and free, to fly unhindered and answerable to no-one. So I set out creating my own music, that would combine 'thinking man's' Rock music (Radiohead/Beatles...without the posturing and banal dumbing-down which is inevitable in more commercial pop music), with Jazz improvisation (without falling foul of pretentious self-indulgence), simple, memorable, Folky melodies, and the detail, sensitivity, and emotional depth of Classical music."

The result is 'The Antidote', remarkable for its depth, integrity, and refreshing insistence on strong melodic and thematic material.

Matt continues: “I am tremendously excited to finally be releasing this latest chapter of my music. To do so, I formed my dream band, made up of truly amazing musicians who really understand what I'm trying to achieve. Alex Hitchcock is a rising star saxophonist who brings great energy with his soloing but also really plays with his heart. Ant Law has been a close musical ally for years. In addition to extremely burning solos, he brings a huge palette of sounds and symphonic textures. Tom Hewson, similarly burning, brings great imaginative flair and, unusually for a jazz pianist, really understands and loves the rockier elements of the music. Marc Michel provides all levels of accompaniment, ranging from combative hi-octane interaction, real commitment to groove, and sensitive brush work at the other end of the spectrum."
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