Born in Towson, MD, and raised in Decatur, IL, Matthew Muneses is a 26-year-old saxophonist currently residing near Chicago, IL. He began learning the saxophone at age 10, after beginning music studies with the violin at age 6. After high school, Matthew completed degrees in Saxophone Performance at Illinois State University and in Jazz Performance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since then, Matthew has become recognized as an up-and-coming talent, garnering recognition as a finalist in multiple fellowship competitions throughout his education as well as winning the 2012 JazzPhil-USA Annual Jazz Competition, thus becoming one of the most on-call young musicians in the area.
Recently, Matthew participated in an invitation-only workshop with Steve Coleman and the Five Elements, hosted by the University of Chicago. Through this workshop, he was afforded the opportunity to study with and perform alongside Steve Coleman and members of his band, including Jonathan Finlayson and Miles Okazaki.
Matthew has also had the pleasure of playing at a number of respected establishments and music festivals, including the Green Mill, (Chicago), Catalina Bar & Grill (Los Angeles), Kranzberg Arts Center (St. Louis), and Andy’s Jazz Club (Chicago), as well as the Pygmalion Music Festival (Champaign, IL). Having developed a love of educating future generations of musicians, Matthew has given clinics and masterclasses at the high school and collegiate level, notably at Illinois State University, Larkin High School, and MacArthur High School. Matthew has also studied with Miguel Zenon, Steve Coleman, Jonathan Finlayson, Chip McNeill, Ron Bridgewater, Tito Carrillo, Chip Stephens, Larry Gray, Dr. Bill Koehler and Dr. Paul Nolen.
In March 2015, Matthew recorded his debut record, “Threshold,” featuring trumpeter Zubin Edalji, pianist Steven Feifke, bassist Raviv Markovitz, drummer Jay Sawyer, and produced by fellow saxophonist Adam Larson, which was released in November 2015.
Matthew resides in South Elgin, IL with his wife, Renee, and their two dogs, Peanut and Jelly. He also teaches through his private studio, as well as running the South Elgin High School Jazz Combo.