MATT VENUTI Appearing Sun Aug 12th 2018 at 7:30pm




Tickets:
$12 in advance

$15 at the door

“A soul-stirring Maestro who invokes the essence of

love into his music” 

Jill Lawson, Huffington Post



“Matt’s performance opens the heart, 
quiets the mind and touches the soul”
Arun Gandhi, author, lecturer, 
grandson of Mahatma Gandhi


“A self-styled, modern day Rumi”

Midwest Records




Matt Venuti is a singer/songwriter who plays rare and captivating acoustic and electronic musical instruments. His songs, stories, spoken word and instrumental music have earned him the accolades of many world-wide fans. He tours nearly year-round, accompanying himself on 21st Century melodic-percussive instruments where he creates kaleidoscopic rhythms and melodies that are awe-inspiring and unforgettable. He’s one of the premier players of this new breed of instrument, starting with the Hang in Switzerland, that inspired a modern renaissance in musical instrument design. Matt is also one of the longest standing players of the equally captivating Electronic Valve Instrument (EVI) wind-synthesizer, upon which he creates lush layers of symphonic, cinematic and other-worldly textures and melodies.

Matt has a history of performing at progressive events and diverse venues that range from house concerts to concert halls. His band, The Venusians, have for years been influential in the ambient and world music scene of San Francisco and the West Coast and were in the forefront of merging electronic music with more traditional instrumentation.






“Matt’s music immediately pulls in your heart and mind, then releases them to a transcendent, meaningful experience.”

Mark Lavonier. Senior Producer, WRVO Public Media




“The way Matt plays makes me believe that a human being can transcend his or her body and mind through music"
John Saylor, Encounters With The Great Spirit







Matt’s father was a jazz pianist and Matt started piano lessons at an early age before switching to trumpet. He became enthralled with the EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument) after seeing Mike Metheny performing on an early experimental model. Matt got one of the rare instruments, and when the Akai Corporation began marketing it, he was hired to travel around the country demonstrating the progressive instrument. In addition, his band The Venusians were getting popular in San Francisco and became favorites of the SF underground and Burning Man community as well as the “digerati” of Silicon Valley with Apple, Google, Yahoo, Oracle and Microsoft hiring them to play gala industry events. According to Venuti, “My band-mates are stellar musicians who can play anything that I could conjure up, including something you might hear from the Star Wars “Cantina Band”. That was when George Lucas hired us to be that band for his Star Wars Gala event in San Francisco when he released the first prequel of the classic series. That event was a game-changer for the band and the calls were pouring in. We were employing cirque-like acrobats and exotic performing artists that complimented our interstellar identity. Craigslist founder Craig Newmark dubbed us the ‘Emissaries of Sonic Shamanism’.”




THE EVI






Because of Venuti’s reputation with the cutting-edge EVI, pop music celebrity Thomas Dolby asked Matt to play at the main TED Conference in his “TED House Band” with Dolby, Michael Manring and Rachelle Garniez in front of the most influential leaders in the worlds of technology, entertainment and design. In addition, Venuti was asked to open the conference with a solo EVI performance, and TED curator Chris Anderson asked Matt to give his own TED talk about the instrument on the closing day. Although he was riding high as the a frontman in this new world of technology and music, Matt was yearning for something new in his musical repertoire. He was experiencing, in his own words, “electronic overload” and he began to search for an acoustic instrument that would best help him express his musical ideas.






THE HANG, GUBAL AND OTHER INSTRUMENTS FROM PANART


Eventually Matt discovered the Hang, a contemporary instrument introduced at the beginning of this century that resembles a flying saucer. Remarkably this metal-alloyed instrument, which is played with the hands, can be performed both melodically and rhythmically…simultaneously…with a tonal quality never before heard that has the capacity to melt a frosty heart. It’s a magical sound that leaves him and his audiences captivated and enchanted. Explains Venuti, “Hang means ‘hand’ in Swiss-German, where two brilliant artists and instrument-makers, Felix Rohner and Sabina Sharer, created it from their small company named PANArt in Bern.

This instrument was not available in stores and very few were brought into the USA. I fatefully managed to acquire two Hangs and recorded a CD combining the Hangs with other instruments. I sent the CD with a note of gratitude to the instrument-makers and they replied by requesting more CDs and inviting me to visit them. It would be the first of yearly trips to Switzerland. The Hang kept evolving along with the material that it was made of; a patented metal alloy that Felix and Sabina created call Pang. Their Gubal instrument came some years later and was PANArt’s definitive step forward from the Hang.

With the Gubal the sounds of a small ensemble can be accessed from my lap. It’s also an ideal accompaniment for my vocal compositions, stories and spoken-word poetry. PANArt continued to develop more instruments; most notably the Gudu and the Hang Gu. These instruments have offered me a unique expression that has deepened my connection to the world, to music and to sound.”