Matt Butler grew up around music in Oregon. His mother was a violinist and founding member of the Eugene Symphony. Matt socialized with classical conductors who would visit and stay with his family. He received an education from people like Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Marin Alsop and radio host and conductor Bill McGlaughlin. Butler spent a decade drumming for Jambay in the 90s. He started to organize open mic nights in the Bay Area and gathered musicians from all sorts of backgrounds to improvise and compose together. This idea eventually manifested itself into the Everyone Orchestra. Matt started out as the drummer for the band but one night he jumped into the conductor’s role, where he has been ever since. With a whiteboard and a joyful grin, Matt serves as a sonic ringleader, driving and getting the most from the musicians in Everyone Orchestra.
“It’s a sacred sandbox. The stage, or in this case the studio, is a sacred place to share the music. You’re fully improvising, and the only preparation you can do is to be in the moment, the way an athlete is during a game. Not to withdraw into yourself, but to be engaged, to dodge and throw the ball.” – Matt Butler
Now, Everyone Orchestra has taken their thrilling live sound into the studio to record Brooklyn Sessions, out May 15th on Harmonized Records. Butler invited past collaborators – musical friends like drummer Jon Fishman (Phish), keyboardist/pianist Marco Benevento, Al Schnier (moe.), Jen Hartswick (Trey Anastasio Band), saxophonist Jeff Coffin (Dave Mathews Band), guitarist Steve Kimock, and bassist Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green), among others – to join him for several days of improvisation and co-creation. With such a diverse range of musicians, it’s no surprise that Everyone Orchestra’s music is all over the map. From funk to jazz, rock to soul, no stone is left unturned. Just when the group settles into a groove, they shift direction to keep the listener on their toes. These unexpected turns combined with Matt Butler’s charismatic style and leadership propel the music to another level. Don’t take my word for it, watch a video featuring Everyone Orchestra’s wild performances below. Be sure to catch the band on tour for the full experience and grab Brooklyn Sessions at your local record store on May 15th.