Matt Riggen’s path to finding a home in music was circuitous at best.
Raised in Avon, Indiana, Riggen was heavily involved in all forms of science growing up. Upon arriving at Indiana University as a biology major, Riggen quickly found himself dissatisfied--but simultaneously discovered IU’s jazz program. He developed his trumpet skills to the point where he was admitted to the Jacobs School of Music on his third audition attempt.
Having graduated in 2016 from Indiana University with a double major in Biology and Jazz Studies, Matt was a riotous force on several instruments in several ensembles--trombone in the Wayne Wallace Octet, trumpet in the Sean Imboden Quintet, and on occasion even serving as drummer or pianist.
Matt Riggen's acumen as a composer for large ensemble earned him a space at the Kunstuniversität Graz.
However, he turned it down to continue to work with US-based groups,
such as the Sean Imboden Large Ensemble (comprised of world-class jazz musicians, based in Indianapolis),
and his own Liberation Music Collective (a socially-conscious big band),
while continuing to hone his skills as part of the Jazz Composers Workshop in New York City.
The composer/performer/director is currently based in Chicago, IL., where he serves as the
Director of Music at Marquette Park when he is not freelancing and teaching in and around Chicagoland.
In Illinois, he has expanded his repertory of instruments to include the woodwinds, the rhythm section instruments, and extreme brass instruments like tuba and piccolo trumpet.
His Brass Quartet and Quartet can be seen at Elastic Arts, the Hungry Brain, the Empty Bottle, Slate Arts, or any one of a number of fine establishments supporting live art music.