Matt Baldwin is a soulful saxophonist, creative composer, and versatile arranger who seeks to glorify God through the gift of music. Baldwin’s love for music began early in his life at church, where he absorbed the worship services that included everything from Gospel to hymns to praise songs in French, Spanish, and Swahili. Ever since then, he has continued to discover and explore all kinds of music.
Baldwin graduated summa cum laude as a member of the Honors College from the University of Missouri – Kansas City, where he earned his Master’s in Jazz Studies and his Bachelor’s in Jazz Performance. Throughout the years, he has had the privilege of studying with music mentors Bobby Watson (UMKC Co-Chair of Jazz Studies), Dan Thomas (UMKC Co-Chair of Jazz Studies), Matt Otto (KU Professor of Saxophone), Hugh Jones (High School Band Director in St. Louis), John Brewer (New Orleans Musician/Worship Pastor in Kansas City), and James Ward (Gospel Musician/Worship Pastor in Chattanooga).
As a performer, Baldwin captivates audiences with his lively playing on all saxophones and other woodwind instruments. In addition to leading the Matt Baldwin Saxophone Quartet, Baldwin Soul Septet, and co-leading the Westport Jazz Orchestra, he has performed with numerous Kansas City ensembles including the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, the New Jazz Order Big Band, the 627 Foundation Big Band, Boogaloo 7, the Chris Hazelton Quartet, the Diles Mavis Group, and Julian Vaughn. Besides performing at jazz venues, festivals, and weddings, he has been the Reed 1 player for musical theater shows at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, the New Theatre Restaurant, Quality Hill Playhouse, and Musical Theater Heritage. Among others, Baldwin has shared the stage with the New York Voices, the Four Tops, and Michael Feinstein.
As a composer/arranger, Baldwin continuously finds new ways to integrate musical genres and styles. His album, Fountain City Funk, features Baldwin playing all four saxophones on twenty of his jazz saxophone quartet arrangements. Baldwin also plays all the saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet, and flute on his album, In Flight, which highlights seven of his original compositions that merge styles of jazz, third stream, R&B, and Gospel music. Baldwin has given debut performances of his compositions and arrangements at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the Folly Theater, the historic 18th and Vine Blue Room, the Green Lady Lounge, and on Kansas City Live TV. Baldwin also works as a guest clinician at schools and possesses years of experience as a private lessons instructor.