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. However, he was also given a frenetic energy and was easily frustrated by inaction. 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 is 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's Masters Program to study under the internationally renowned Ed Partyka.
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.