Matt Masters is a 36-year-old Calgary singer, a guitar playing songwriter of original country and western music with a contemporary edge. Performing between 60 and 100 times annually across Canada and internationally, Matt is a full time musician since 2004, a self-managed, independent artist who makes a living singing.
In July 2011 Matt Masters released his newest album ALL-WESTERN WINNERS on Calgary label, Saved By Vinyl. It spent four weeks in the earshot! National Folk/Roots/Blues Charts top ten, peaking at #4. ALL-WESTERN WINNERS was recorded in Ashcroft, British Columbia where Matt worked with award winning producer/guitarist Johnny Ellis, drummer Pat Steward and bassist Rob Becker.
Matt has also recently begun to be featured in film and television. He has a support role in the feature film, “A Legend of Whitey,” directed by Canadian director Dave Lawrence. Matt was recently seen on TV in British Columbia, as part of the Grand Cariboo Opry band. CBC television aired a live concert from the Grand Cariboo Opry featuring Matt singing two of his songs. Matt is currently working on an upcoming TV feature in Calgary.
On September 21st, 2009, Matt was awarded the Telus Arts Award for Artistic Innovation at the Mayor’s Evening for Business and the Arts in Calgary. The award recognized his body of live performance and his ability to build unique musical events.
Matt spends most of his time at his home in Calgary but also tours extensively. Along with regular tours around Western Canada, Matt’s recent international tours have included Mexico, Qatar, Germany, Turkey, England and the US. Matt performs frequently on the west coast along with the Grand Cariboo Opry.
In 2008 Matt premiered his first full-length musical play, “Don Coyote.” It opened to strong reviews in Calgary and was promptly booked to play the prestigious Nuit Blanche festival in Toronto, where it was performed before 8,000 people. Subsequently, he took the show to London, England (2009) Calgary’s High Performance Rodeo (2010) and performed a live radio broadcast on CIUT, Radio Toronto (2009.) Excerpts of the play have been shown at the EnBridge New Playrites festival (2009) and at the Biennale De Montreal (2007). Don Coyote will be staged again.
“Don Coyote – Twelve Nuit Blanche Festival Exhibitions not to Miss #8″ Toronto Star, 2008
“Don Coyote Must See” Metro Magazine Toronto, 2008
Matt also works as the executive/artistic director of the Spaghetti Western Festival. This is a new annual festival that premiered in Calgary in 2008. A collaborative effort between the City of Calgary, Olympic Plaza Cultural Development District and Matt Masters saw the creation of this new festival, one that features “New sounds in country and western music.” In its first year attendance was over 3,000. The fifth annual Spaghetti Western will take place August 18th, 2011.
Matt has a degree in History from the University of Calgary (2002) and spent two years as the General Manager of the Toronto Blues Society (2003-2004.) He speaks French and English. Matt is married to Amanda and they are parents to a lovely baby girl.
Matt has shared the stage with the following folks: Corb Lund, Paul Brandt, The Reverend Horton Heat, Neko Case, Sam Baker, Romi Mayes, Justin Rutledge, Blue Rodeo, Prairie Oyster, Billy Cowsills, Jeff Healey, Barney Bentall, Emerson Drive, Wendell Ferguson and many more.
As for Matt Masters, this guy wields a remarkable voice – a true country and western singer in the traditional sense. A historian with a keen sense of the modern era, Masters intertwines his western heritage with a forward looking vision – Red Deer Express, 2006
A natural storyteller and an engaging performer – The Guardian, Charlottetown, PEI, 2006
Masters is what Calgary claims to be: an urban entity with an old country soul – Swerve Magazine, 2005