Originally from Texas, Matt Marantz got his start growing up in a musical family. At a young age, he heard the music of Charlie Parker, Phil Woods, and Cannonball Adderly via his father's record collection during the early years of his saxophone studies.
At Booker T. Washington High School for the Perfoming and Visual Arts in Dallas, Marantz grew alongside like-minded musical peers and was propelled to learn the ropes of playing in ensembles under the tutelage of then-director of the jazz bands, his father Bart Marantz. It was here that Marantz was exposed to historical artists that became the roots of his musical foundation such as Keith Jarrett, John Coltrane, and Sonny Rollins. Arts Magnet High School provided a wide musical color palette and Marantz was a sponge for all of the information. Some of Marantz's peers at Arts, most notably pianists Sam Harris and Frank LoCrasto, have gone on to lead musical careers of their own and are known to collaborate with Marantz on musical outings.
With the goals of becoming a performing artist in mind, Marantz moved to New York City in 2004 and began a musical journey that has taken him as far away as The Middle East, Europe, and Asia for tours gaining opportunities to perform live with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, and Jason Moran along the way. Marantz's 2010 album "Offering" got 3 1/2 stars in Downbeat, and two more full length albums are slated for 2015 and 2016 releases.
Press Bio, long version:
Originally from Dallas, Texas, 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 to perform in an ensemble led by Dr. Billy Taylor for then US President George W. Bush in Washington, D.C. After graduation, Marantz moved to New York City to study at the Manhattan School of Music with saxophonist Bob Mintzer on full scholarship, and was also awarded an additional $25,000 scholarship from NYC's Music for Youth Foundation in support of his move from small-town suburban Texas to study music in the US's biggest city.
In New York, Marantz was exposed to the high level of creativity and technical precision that is the norm in the artistic mecca of the city, spurring him on to further hone his musical skills. Marantz began appearing alongside his musical peers at NYC venues as well as across the US and overseas at venues such as the Monterey Jazz Festival in California, the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy, and the TIM Jazz Festival in Brazil.
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. "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.)
2012 saw the release of a second recorded work, this time a joint collaborative effort between Marantz and his brother, pianist Luke Marantz, “The Primary Colors”. Luke, who resides in Boston, contributes half of the compositions for the “Primary Colors” album. The band, including vocalist Julia Easterlin, drummer Lee Fish, and guitarist Greg Duncan, forms a unique blend of the harmonies and inflections of songwriter music & rock with the improvisational openness of jazz. Together Matt and Luke led the Primary Colors Band on a CD release tour of the northern Texas area during summer 2012, where the band performed for hundreds of concert-goers at several of north Texas’s finest venues.
Matt Marantz, currently residing in the NYC metro area, 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 Marantz.