Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Teenager to perform at iconic jazz venue

A TEENAGER from Sonning Eye is to play at a legendary jazz venue.

A TEENAGER from Sonning Eye is to play at a legendary jazz venue.

Matt Maltese, 17, will perform at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London’s Soho on November 26.

The Henley College student will be part of the line-up for an unsigned night after visiting the 54-year-old venue as a child.

He said: “It’s such an iconic venue. It won’t be the biggest amount of people I’ve played to but it’s the most prestigious place. It means the most to me and the band.”

Matt visited the club several years ago with his grandfather Earl Foster, a former jazz trumpeter, and mother Jill, who was a professional opera singer and now coaches. He said: “I remember going when I was younger so it’s really cool to say I’m going to play there. The unsigned night is not necessarily just jazz music, it will be more pop and folk. But it’s still a jazz venue at heart so it will be cool to be associated with that. I’m definitely influenced by jazz on some levels.”

Matt, who turns 18 this weekend, reached the final of the Open Mic UK competition last year, performing at the O²Arena in January 2012.

He recorded his song Good Old Days for the Burberry Acoustic series before releasing his first EP, Further Than I Should, on iTunes in April. It reached number six in the singer/songwriter chart.

Matt now plays in a four-piece band that includes fellow college students Freddie Ricketts and Charlie Mees.

He said the exposure from these achievements has helped to promote his name and he now plays about three or four shows each month.

Recent gigs have included supporting Lauren Aquilina in front of more than 150 people at the Borderline in London, at the Jericho Tavern in Oxford and at The Rising Sun arts centre in Reading last month.

Matt, who was last year named as one of the 100 Faces of Henley, said: “It helps to get my name out there and I’ve made a few contacts with booking agents. I’m hoping to get management at some point but that will come as I release more music. I feel the songs I’ve written more recently are a lot better and I’m hoping to release more material in January.”

He was invited to play at Ronnie Scott’s by a promoter for whom he had previously performed and believes it will be a great experience.

“We’re really looking forward to it and hopefully it will help get my name out there a bit more,” he said.

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