Meet the Board: Matt Brown

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Chicago Chapter

Matt Brown is a teaching artist at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. His latest release, "Speed of the Plow," is a collection of instrumental old-time duets with guitarist Greg Reish that was engineered and co-produced by GRAMMY® winner Dave Sinko (Punch Brothers, Bela Fleck). Matt has toured as a soloist, with the percussive dance ensembles Rhythm in Shoes and Footworks, and has made guest appearances with Tim O'Brien, The John Hartford Stringband, Uncle Earl, Dirk Powell & Riley Baugus, Della Mae, and with Mike Snider on the Grand Ole Opry. Thanks to his banjo-playing father, Brown grew up with the old-time music of the Appalachian South. He studied with tradition bearers Brad Leftwich, Bruce Molsky, Rafe Stefanini, Paul Brown, Dirk Powell, Ginny Hawker, and Tracy Schwarz.

What was your first live music experience?

My first live music experience occurred on September 7, 1984. It was the square dance at the Hay Creek Festival in Morgantown, Pennsylvania. My father played banjo in the band, my mom and I sat and listened. I was born the very next day.                                                                                                   

What is your favorite thing about the Chicago music scene?

My favorite thing about the Chicago music scene is its remarkable vitality. I regularly debate between two or three shows I'd love to attend on any given night.

Why did you choose your profession?

I chose to become a professional musician because I am useless doing anything else. I chose to teach at the Old Town School of Folk Music because it allows me the incredible opportunity to share music with people on a daily basis and still sleep in my own bed every night. 

What are your 2 favorite albums?

"The Lonesome Touch" - Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill

"Cup of Loneliness: The Classic Mercury Years" - George Jones

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Chapter Information

Chicago Chapter Executive Director - Sarah Jansen

President - Mark Hubbard

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