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Rick   VanMatre

Title: Adjunct Professor of Jazz Studies (Saxophone); Professor Emeritus
Tel: 513-559-1134

Rick VanMatre is Adjunct Professor Emeritus of Jazz Studies and Saxophone. He has presented solo recitals and jazz club performances in the US, Europe, Israel, Brazil, and Asia. In addition to recording his compositions with his own quintet, he is featured as a jazz soloist on CD’s by the PsychoAcoustic Orchestra, Kim Pensyl Ensemble, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Manhattan Transfer, John Pizzarelli, and many others. He has commissioned and premiered unique jazz/classical concerti with the New York Repertory Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Sichuan Symphony Orchestra (China), Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra, Middletown Symphony, and Illinois Philharmonic. He also has performed with such diverse ensembles as the Duke Ellington Orchestra led by Mercer Ellington, the Woody Herman Orchestra led by Frank Tiberi, Roland Vazquez’s contemporary Latin groups, and artists like John McNeil, Tim Hagans, and Gene Bertoncini. As a classical saxophonist, he has recorded interactive drama/music videos with composer/bassist Frank Proto, and appeared with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, concert:nova, and James Conlon’s Linton Series. Other collaborations have featured art installation, aleatoric computer music, organ, vocal ensemble, Indian music, drama, poetry, and dance. He holds the soprano chair in the New Third Stream Saxophone Quartet, an innovative ensemble combining jazz and classical elements. He is also active as a conductor and has directed programs on AJRF, NPR, and for artists like Kenny Garrett, Slide Hampton, Joe Henderson, Ahmad Jamal, David Liebman, Jim McNeely, Joshua Redman, Kenny Werner, and Kenny Wheeler. In the field of broadcasting, he served as the on-air host and interviewer for the nationally syndicated radio series “Jazz - Live From the Hyatt” featuring artists like Joe Lovano and John Clayton.

Formerly as CCM’s Director of Jazz Studies, he was responsible for expanding the BM in Jazz, creating the MM in Jazz Studies and the DMA in Saxophone, and establishing the Jazz Recording Studio. He also headed the CCM Visiting Artist Series, including over 150 jazz performers and composers such as Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Maria Schneider, George Duke, and Eddie Daniels. As conductor of the CCM Jazz Ensemble, he produced four CD recordings for Sea Breeze Records.

He has presented performances and lectures for IAJE, MENC, NASA, World Saxophone Congress, Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Clinics, International Summer Jazz Academy in Warsaw, Poland, and for universities and conferences in Europe, China, Thailand, and Brazil. He has written for Saxophone Journal, has served as Executive Board Member and Jazz Coordinator for NASA, was President of the Ohio Unit of the National Association of Jazz Educators, and was on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Saxophone Symposium. He has been named “Best Jazz Musician” by Cincinnati Magazine, a “reed titan” by Midwest Jazz magazine, “technically superb and musically inventive” by the Cincinnati Enquirer, Ohio Jazz Educator of the Year by NAJE, and the “Ernest N. Glover Outstanding Teacher” by CCM students. His undergraduate studies were at CCM and Berklee College of Music, and he received his MM from the Eastman School of Music. Many of his former students are active performers throughout the nation and others hold teaching positions at universities. Mr. VanMatre is an endorsing artist for Selmer Saxophones.


  • BM, summa cum laude, University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music.
  • MM, Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY.