Matthew Benham

Matthew Benham

Instruments: Guitar.
Students: Beginner to Advanced.
Styles:Rock, Blues, and Jazz with an emphasis in Folk and Fingerstyle
Preferred pronouns: he/him

At age six, Matt’s life changed forever the moment he first saw Bon Jovi on MTV. Richie Sambora’s stadium size guitar playing was a gateway for Matt to discover Vernon Reid (Living Colour), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Jimi Hendrix and countless other bands and guitar heroes. Matt specializes in rock, blues and jazz guitar; he has 15 years of recording and performing experience within the Seattle music community. Matt has played with several groups and artists including Argo, Black Swedes, Flat 5, A Breakthrough in Field Studies, Hand of the Hills, The Nom Noms, Jjjacob Jjjames and Joe Gregory. His music has appeared on MTV’s The Real World, and has been downloaded in more than 100 countries. Matt has been playing for 25 years; he has 10 years of experience teaching a variety of styles to students of all ages.

On Matt’s Stereo:
I usually listen to jazz, Avant-pop and some classical. David Bowie, Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Jim Hall and Sonny Sharrock are a few of my favorites.

Favorite Gig:
One of my favorite gigs was playing in an ensemble of four guitars and viola for Andrew Smith's composition Topology at the Good Shepherd Chapel for the Wayward Music series in 2014. The piece is composed for just intonation and running time was close to an hour. The guitars droned on with odd meters and tunings, while the viola traveled around the room, improvising as the sounds shifted underneath. It was a great experience to be a part of a performance that combined elements of new music and free improvisation in such a wonderful, acoustically rich setting.

Why Matt Loves West Side Music Academy:
Some of my favorite memories are from the Beginning Rock Band and Advanced Rock Band performances during the summer camp weeks. Seeing the students fearlessly performing on stage to the delight of their friends and family is one of the great joys a music teacher can have in his or her career. I'm so proud of all the students who are brave enough to perform in front of an audience in this way!