Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On Deck: Matt Jennings

Our guest tonight is Matt Jennings.

Matt Jennings grew up in Pittsburgh mimicking hard rock guitarists as a kid. After moving to Minneapolis for college, he studied abroad in Mexico and later taught English in China. In Mexico, he was entranced by the sound of mariachi trumpeters and violinists practicing on the streets. And he learned the basic techniques of mariachi guitar firsthand from a man named Nacho. In China, he played in a live karaoke band and a Chinese hard rock band, while spending countless hours watching the South China Sea out his apartment window with a $20 Kapok guitar in his hands.

After soaking in how these different cultures use rhythm and melody, and learning that essentially every note in the chromatic scale is free game in bebop, he transformed his melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic hard rock roots into something akin to an open-minded journey around the globe. Upon returning from abroad he hit the American music scene with his own brand of International Rock.

Since then he has self-released two albums and toured the country extensively, sharing the stage with acts such as Bombino, Zee Avi, Ozomatli, Los Amigos Invisibles, The Beautiful Girls, and his brother Mason Jennings.

His latest self-titled EP was released in December 2010. It was produced by Adam Topol (Culver City Dub Collective, The Living Room, Jack Johnson) and features members of Ozomatli, CAVA, and Dengue Fever. It is available at CDBaby and iTunes.

Tune into KFAI (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, 106.7 in St. Paul, or stream online) between 10 PM and Midnight tonight to hear his in-studio performance!

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