Matt Marantz & Sam Harris Quartet
On Matt Marantz: “a deeply sincere and meditative player.” – Downbeat Magazine
On Sam Harris: an expert in the art of “blur[ring] the edges, pushing the music towards an alternative centre of gravity” – The London Telegraph
Saxophone player Matt Marantz teams with pianist Sam Harris to lead a quartet with Martin Nevin on bass and Lee Fish on drums.
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Sam Harris’ life in music began at the age of two when his parents put him in early piano lessons. He quickly excelled in his classical training and under the guidance of his endlessly dedicated teacher Janet Jones, was soon competing regularly on the local and statewide levels. While attending Booker T. Washington High School for the Arts, he discovered jazz and was soon consumed with the dual pursuit of classical and improvisatory music.
He began studying with local piano legend Bill Lohr, who instilled in him a sense of dedication to melody and taught him the importance of listening. In 2004, he made the move to New York to study at the Manhattan School of Music, where he earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in only five years, studying privately with teachers like Jason Moran, Garry Dial, and John Riley.
He has since been touring extensively in bands led by forward-thinking musicians such as Ambrose Akinmusire, Logan Richardson, Gretchen Parlato, Ben Van Gelder, and has also had the opportunity to play with the likes of Greg Osby, Jeff Ballard, Dave Douglas, Nasheet Waits, Joel Frahm, among many others. He has appeared at venues and festivals all over the world, including the Playboy Jazz Fest, Jazz a Vienne, Duc des Lombards (Paris, FR), Istanbul Jazz Festival, Skopje Jazz Festival, Espacio Cultural Cajacanaria (Canary Islands, ES), Umbria Jazz (Perugia, IT), Bimhuis (Amsterdam, NL), The Concertgebouw (Amsterdam, NL), as well as New York venues like Carnegie Hall, Jazz Standard, Jazz Gallery, and Smalls.
Originally from Dallas, Texas, saxophonist Matt Marantz grew up in a musical family and attended high school at the Booker T. Washington Arts Magnet, gaining early recognition for his talents by publications such as Downbeat Magazine, Jazziz Magazine, and was even invited to the 2004 White House NEA Jazz Masters induction ceremony. While still in high school, Matt became the youngest endorsing artist for both the Julius Keilwerth saxophone company as well as the Rico Reeds company. After graduation, Marantz moved to New York City to study at the Manhattan School of Music with saxophonist Bob Mintzer on full scholarship.
Marantz was selected as one of the 2009-2011 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz artist-diploma class members, studying improvisation and composition with Terence Blanchard for 2 years. While in attendance there, Marantz had the opportunity to study and perform with the likes of Blanchard, Herbie Hancock, Jack DeJohnette, and Jason Moran.
In 2010 Marantz released a debut album, "Offering", which was received with critical warmth including a 3 1/2 star review in Downbeat Magazine. "Offering" is a collection of Marantz's original compositions performed by his NY band including guitarist Steve Cardenas (Charlie Haden, Paul Motian) and pianist Sam Harris (Ambrose Akinmusire.)
Marantz continues to teach and perform as a sideman and a leader, including appearances in the bands of drummer Peter Kronreif, trumpeter Jason Palmer, drummer Lee Fish, pianist Florian Hoefner, guitarist Davy Mooney, and trumpeter Evan Weiss. Marantz continues to lead his own groups at venues in NYC, as well as continuing to collaborate with his brother Luke and the Primary Colors Band as they perform in NYC, Boston, and across the US.