Rich Matteson (1929-1993)
Rich Matteson was internationally recognized as one of the most exciting jazz soloists and clinicians. A graduate of the University of Iowa, Rich had a wide and varied career as public school music teacher, professional performer, conductor, arranger, composer and university professor. He was an outstanding recording musician in every jazz idiom. Rich recorded with Louis Armstrong & The Dukes of Dixieland on tuba, college and professional big bands on bass trumpet, valve trombone and euphonium, his own small group recordings and Matteson-Phillips Tubajazz Consort albums.
Rich was a professor at North Texas State University for 13 years where he taught jazz improvisation. Rich was the director of the National Stage Band Camps and Summer Jazz Camps in Sweden. He hosted the Rich Matteson Summer Jazz Camp in Colorado, served as a faculty member for the Stan Kenton Jazz Camps and was a featured guest artist at the Clark Terry Great Plains Jazz Camps.
Rich became involved with Jazz Education in 1968 and performed as clinician and guest soloist at high schools, colleges and universities throughout the world. He appeared at State, Regional and National Conventions, major jazz festivals and clubs worldwide. Rich appeared on network television and recorded radio shows in the United States, Sweden, Germany, England, Norway and Australia. Rich was also co-leader and arranger for the Matteson-Phillips Tubajazz Consort and was special guest artist with the St. Johns River City Band at Carnegie Hall in 1987.
Regarded as one of the foremost authorities on teaching jazz improvisation and jazz band performance, Rich was clinician and concert artist for the Yamaha Corporation and served 17 years as a clinician and performer for the Walt Disney All American College Workshop Program. In 1986, Rich was appointed the Koger Distinguished Professor of American Music at the University of North Florida and in 1992 was honored as Distinguished Professor Emeritus.
Some of the awards presented to Rich include Down Beat Magazine clinician of the year and Spirit of Disney for outstanding contributions to music and music education. In 1990, the International Association of Jazz Educators inducted Rich into the Jazz Educators Hall of Fame for his musical contributions and dedication to jazz education worldwide. Disney’s 1991 Mousecar Award was presented to Rich as the Ambassador of Jazz to the World. In 1992, Down Beat Magazine presented Rich with the Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2000, Rich was inducted into WJCT’s Jacksonville Jazz Festival Hall of Fame as Educator, Musician and Jazz Giant.
Rich Matteson was recognized worldwide as the premier jazz artist on the euphonium.
(c) The Rich Matteson Foundation, Inc., 14274 Crystal Cove Drive, South Jacksonville, FL 32224
Download the MP3 of Rich playing "Georgia on My Mind"
Click here to go to the 1983 Interview of Rich by Les Tomkins