Matt Carmichael Quartet

Welcomed as ‘a distinctive new voice in a crowded scene’ by BBC Music Magazine when he released his first album, Where Will the River Flow in March 2021, saxophonist Matt Carmichael has been making a big impression on audiences since he emerged on the Scottish jazz scene as a teenager with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland.

Internationally regarded Scottish saxophonist Tommy Smith recognised Matt’s potential early, inviting him to join his own youth jazz orchestra, and has described Matt as “better than I was at that age.”

Matt’s music reflects his Highland birthplace, Conon Bridge as the Scottish landscape and traditional music have shaped his compositions, with their lyrical and emotional qualities and the river-in-spate excitement of pieces such as The Spey.

A winner of the Peter Whittingham Development Award in 2019, Matt followed this by appearing in the BBC Young Jazz Musician 2020 final. Further accolades have emphasised his all-round capabilities as a musician. Just before he graduated in June 2021, he became the first student on the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s jazz course to win all three of the awards that are presented at the end of the academic year – for improvisation, composition and arranging. 

Matt formed his quartet with multi-award-winning quartet in 2016. Their well-established teamwork was a feature of Where Will the River Flow and aligned with Matt’s expressive, forthright leadership it has earned them appearances at Ronnie Scott’s and festivals across the UK. The album has been 'longlisted' for the Scottish Album of the Year Award 2021 and recently, fiddler and BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2017 Charlie Stewart has added an extra dimension to the band and underlined its music’s appealing Scottish lilt. 

Line Up: Matt Carmichael – sax, Fergus McCreadie – piano, Ali Watson – bass & Tom Potter - drummer