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Matthew Sheens : Associate Artist

Sheens said of his music: When I compose, I like to draw upon a vast variety of genres. It allows the music to be shaped beyond what would be created otherwise.

Photo of Matthew Sheens

Photo: James Rush

Born in Bowral, Australia, in 1986, Matthew Sheens was raised in Sydney, Melbourne, Wollongong and Adelaide. He began playing the piano at age 4, and received the Jack De Vos Scholarship to study at the Elder Conservatorium. Upon graduating from Adelaide University in 2008 he had been named Top Undergraduate and received the University Medal.

In 2009 Matthew became the first Australian to win a Downbeat Magazine Student Award (best soloist category), and received a scholarship to pursue his Master's in Jazz Performance at the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA, studying with Fred Hersch and Jason Moran. In the same year Matthew received prestigious scholarships, including the Dame Ruby Litchfield Scholarship (South Australian Youth Arts Board) and the Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant (Victoria) to assist his pursuit of music in the USA. Matthew has also been awarded grants from the Australia Council for the Arts, the Southern Jazz Club (SA), and the Carpe Diem Trust (SA).

Sheens has performed with many musical luminaries, including Bob Mintzer, Chris McNulty, Paul Bollenback, Bob Moses, Cecil McBee, Jim Pugh, John Hoffman, Tom Patitucci, Jerry Bergonzi and Jon Gordon, and performs reguarly with bassist John Patitucci.

Sheens has performed across Australia, USA, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, at the Jazz Hoeilaart International Jazz Festival in Belgium, Montreux International Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Europafest in Romania, Australia's Wangaratta Jazz Festival, Melbourne International Jazz Festival, and at the International Panama Jazz festival in Panama City.

In 2011 Sheens relocated to New York City where he is currently engaged in a number of projects as a pianist and composer.

In 2012 Matthew released his debut album, Every Eight Seconds, to wide acclaim and won the 2013 APRA/AMCOS Professional Development Award. Matthew released his second album Untranslatable (ABC Music) in 2014, and Cloud Appreciation Day (QFTF) September 2016.


Matthew Sheens — current to January 2017

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2018 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Jazz Finalist American Counterpoint