It’s a player like Matt Lagan that gets me excited about the new and future generations of jazz in this country. He’s a serious thinker and a player who isn’t afraid to dig deep and dream big. As someone who has known Matt since his early childhood, I know he grew up steeped in music of the highest caliber and that’s what you hear when he plays. He is the real deal.Michael Bates
Toronto based Saxophonist, composer and bandleader Matt Lagan is “an exciting Canadian voice on the tenor saxophone” (Nancy Walker) and is one of the most recognized jazz students in Canada. He is the winner of the Oscar Peterson Grant for Jazz Performance, a prestigious award given to one student each year from across the country. “Matt’s recent project, Tribute to Michael Brecker was a superb presentation!” (Mark Promane). It features original compositions of his own and and his arrangements of Michael Brecker’s music. They have performed a Michael Brecker Tribute concert at Humber College and at the Rex Jazz and Blues Hotel.
His most recent project features Toronto based musicians Ewen Farncombe, Jessica Chen, Austin Gembora and Holt Stuart-Hitchcox. They will be releasing an EP in the spring of 2017.
As well as being active in Toronto Matt has played all across Canada, including Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa, a venues such as the Rex Hotel, Jazz Bistro, Beaches International Jazz Festival, Toronto International Jazz Festival, and The Jazz Room in Kitchener Waterloo. Matt has recorded and performed with Larnell Lewis, Mike Downes, Ben Monder, Dick Oats, Peter Bernstein, Seamus Blake, Kelly Jefferson, Tom Scott, Lew Tabackin, Ewen Farncombe, David Richards, Pat LaBarbera, Luis Deniz, Ahmed Mitchell, Jim Vivian, Nick Fraser, Ted Quinlan, Dave Restivo, Nancy Walker, Mason Victoria’s Sonos Capos Jazz Orchestra, the David Richard’s band, the Pan American Jazz Orchestra, Kirk MacDonald, and Kieren Overs.
Matt won the 2016/2017 Oscar Peterson Award in Jazz Performance from the Hnatyshyn Foundation, which is awarded to one Jazz student in Canada each year. He was also awarded the Gordon and Anne Wragg Scholarship in 2016 and he was the first recipient of the Dave McMurdo Scholarship at the Kincardine Music Festival.
Matt is an excellent all-around musician. He is mature beyond his years, with a full sound, great feel and depth of musical knowledge.Mike Downes
It is not often when one gets to witness a hugely talented young musician develop into a full bore artist in the twinkle of an eye, but such is the case with Matt Lagan. As the recent winner of the Hnatyshyn Foundation Award, which recognizes him as Canada’s top post-secondary Jazz student, Matt continues to blossom, displaying the uncanny combination of techinque and artistry which has resulted in a jazz voice which belies his years.
Lagan’s musical curiosity displays elements of both current and seminal tenor masters, evoking the heritage from Stan Getz to Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, and Michael Brecker. One can only wonder what is coming next ….. I can’t wait to hear it!!Denny Christianson
Matt Lagan is one of Canada’s new young tenor saxophonists who has studied the tradition of Jazz and yet brings his own unique modern voice to the music. I have listened to and worked with him over the last few years and I am delighted at his growth and maturity. I know you will enjoy his music.Pat LaBarbera
Matt Lagan is an exciting Canadian voice on the tenor saxophone. This young man is serious – his playing has the depth and maturity of a musician well beyond his years. Watch out for Matt Lagan!Nancy Walker
Matt’s recent project, Tribute to Michael Brecker was a superb presentation! Take note of this young saxophonist…. he has all the chops and musicality necessary to make a name for himself. Matt’s fresh compositions featuring mature solo excursions, accompanied by the chamber orchestra were extremely compelling. Exceptional playing and writing on display!Mark Promane