Chicago based bassist/composer and bandleader, Matt Ulery, has developed an
instantly recognizable sound. Known for his sweeping lyricism, unconventional phrase
structures, expressionistic emotionalism, Ulery’s music, from small, diverse chamber
ensembles to full orchestras, is informed by the entire spectrum of jazz, classical, rock,
pop, and folk– specifically American, South American, Balkan, and other European folk
styles. He has been performing for 23 years on upright, electric, and brass basses.
For a decade, Ulery has been the leader of his own groups and frequent collaborator.
Ulery has produced and released 8 albums of all original music under his name
including three recent releases of critical acclaim, “By a Little Light,” “Wake an
Echo,” and “In the Ivory,” on Dave Douglas’s Greenleaf Music record label in 2012-2014
and his latest, “Festival (2016),” and “Sifting Stars (2018)” on his own label,
Ulery earned a Master of Music degree at Depaul University and Bachelors degree
in music composition at The Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University
and has played in bands with Kurt Rosenwinkel, Fareed Haque, Howard Levy, Patricia
Barber, Goran Ivanovic, Greg Ward, Jeff Parker, Zach Brock, Jimmy Chamberlin,
Makaya McCraven, Marquis Hill and countless others. As a composer, Ulery has
collaborated with diverse ensembles such as Eighth Blackbird, Miami String Quartet,
New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago, Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, Chamber
Music Festival of Lexington, Axiom Brass, Wild Belle, and the Guimaraes (Portugal)
When not touring parts of the U.S. and Europe, Matt is extremely active in the
Chicago area music scenes and has performed with his own groups at prestigious
venues such as Carnegie Hall, NYC Winter Jazz Festival, Chicago Orchestra Hall,
Millennium Park Pritzker Pavillion, Chicago Cultural Center, The Krannert Center, Jazz
Showcase, The Metro, Chicago Jazz Festival, Hyde Park Jazz Festival, Chicago World
Music Festival, and countless other fine music listening rooms. In addition to
performing, recording, and writing, Ulery is on faculty at Loyola University Chicago and
gives masterclasses and clinics nationwide.
Matt Ulery leads and composes all the music for several of his own ensembles,
including Sifting Stars Orchestra (orchestral art songs), Loom Large (jazz big band),
Loom (jazz quintet), Pollinator (jazz brass band), By a Little Light Ensemble (chamber
jazz nonet), string quintet, and various other pet projects including hosting a jazz jam
every Monday night at The Whistler in Chicago.