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Matt Skelton LRAM ARAM

HPT (Wind Brass Percussion)


Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Faculty of Music
King Charles Court
Old Royal Naval College
SE10 9JF


Matt Skelton is a drummer equally at home in modern and vintage Jazz styles enjoying a diverse musical career that has already spanned three decades.

He has accompanied many leading Jazz luminaries such as Harry “Sweets” Edison, Conte Candoli, Bucky Pizzarelli, John Pizzarelli, Warren Vache, Scott Hamilton, John Hendricks, Kurt Elling, Curtis Stigers, Gregory Porter, and most recently Georgie Fame.

He has recorded and appeared with singers such as Marion Montgomery, Dame Cleo Laine, Claire Martin OBE and Dame Jessye Norman.

In 2015, he toured in the USA and recorded with Seth MacFarlane.

He was Sir Richard Rodney Bennett’s drummer of choice and for eight years, toured and recorded as a member of Stacey Kent’s group, including her Grammy-nominated 2007 release Breakfast on the Morning Tram on Blue Note.

Matt was a founder member of the Grammy-nominated John Wilson Orchestra performing on various televised BBC Proms and concert tours, 2010-19.

He regularly appears with the BBC Big Band and often with the BBC Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony orchestras, including the Last Night of the Proms, 2017.

Travelling as John Wilson’s drummer, he has most recently performed with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Antwerp Radio Orchestra and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 2018, Matt toured internationally with Sir Simon Rattle with the London Symphony Orchestra for various Leonard Bernstein centenary concerts including performances of Bernstein’s 2nd Symphony, The Age of Anxiety and a concert version of Wonderful Town.

In 2019, he performed at the Edinburgh Festival with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in a concert version of West Side Story for Sir John Eliot Gardiner OBE.

Matt played and recorded for Alan Barnes’s Parliamentary Jazz Award winning 60th birthday project +11 and subsequent album release.

Many appearances at Ronnie Scott’s have included main shows with Claire Martin, Jim Mullen’s Organ Trio, James Pearson’s Portrait of Bill Evans and Oscar Peterson Celebrations also with Dave Newton, Joe Stilgoe’s 80s big band project and as a frequent guest member of the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra.

West End musical theatre credits include the 2015 Savoy revival of Gypsy and ‘the Broadway transfer of An American In Paris‘ at the Dominion theatre, 2017.

Anything Goes at the Barbican, 2021/22

Recent film soundtrack includes Motherless Brooklyn, Catch 22, Doug Days, Four Kids and It, Blythe Spirit, The Lost Marilyn Tapes, A Spy Among Friends and The Great Escaper.

Matt played drums for Callum Au’s critically acclaimed orchestral album, Songs and Stories featuring Claire Martin OBE, released in 2020.

He continues to perform with orchestras such as the LSO, the RLPO, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Aurora Orchestra and with Britten Sinfonia for Alison Balsom’s 2022 Warner Classics album release.

2023 recording releases include Claire Martin’s Richard Rodney Bennett songbook album project along with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and John Wilson’s cast recording of the original score of Oklahoma with Sinfonia of London.

Matt appeared at the BBC Proms last year with the RSNO performing with Nicola Benedetti in a UK premiere performance of Wynton Marsalis’ Violin Concerto.

Recent activities also include concerts with the BBC Big Band, James Pearson’s Gershwin Rhapsody In Blue project, The Callum Au – James Davison Quintet, Pete Horsfall quartet, Purdy, Rob Barron’s Celebrating Bernstein trio project and festival appearances with the Guy Baker Big Band.

Forthcoming concerts include the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Southbank Centre as part of their American Music festival for conductor Marin Alsop and concerts and broadcasts with the Orchestre National de Lyon.

In November 2023, Matt will play on a national tour with John Wilson’s Sinfonia of London.

2023 sees the launch of Matt’s own project and recording release Beyond Category celebrating the music of Duke Ellington featuring Pete Horsfall, Alec Harper, Alex Garnett and Will Barry.

Matt is currently interim Head of Jazz at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he also teaches for the Woodwind, Brass & Percussion department.

He is director of the Guildhall Big Band devising a concert project series spanning the history of Big Band jazz.

For the Woodwind, Brass & Percussion department, Matt has most recently devised a project intended to bring the study of drum kit more closely aligned to that of multi-percussion. This has involved working closely with the composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and celebrated drummer Peter Erskine in preparing material and special events scheduled for the forthcoming academic year.

He regularly gives masterclasses and workshops at the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Matt is also a visiting Jazz and Drums consultant member of the Britten-Pears Foundation, Aldeburgh Young Musicians.