Matt Turk: Biography
A seasoned recording artist and multi-instrumentalist, Matt Turk is a veteran performer who has engaged audiences around the world, both as a rocking bandleader and an acoustic folk troubadour. He has recorded and performed with Pete Seeger, opened for Judy Collins, The Doobie Brothers, Fiona Apple, The Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart, Dr. Ralph Stanley, John Entwistle, Keller Williams, David Bromberg, Ellis Marsalis, Del McCoury, Colonel Bruce Hampton and more. He has performed at Clearwater's Great Hudson River Revival, Caramoor's American Roots Festival, Gathering of the Vibes, Atlanta's Music Midtown, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Beacon Theatre and Brooklyn Bowl.
In 2021, Matt partnered with TrueFire and released The Songwriting Construction Kit.
In 2019, Matt co-produced Pete Seeger, Think Globally Sing Locally, with award winning sound engineer Doug Epstein. The live recording, features Pete Seeger in concert on December 10, 2009. Matt performs throughout along with Jenny Murphy and the Take Me to the River Children's Community Chorus.
In 2015 Matt co-founded Deadgrass, a string band adventure through Jerry Garcia's musical world.
In 2014, Matt released Cold Revival, produced by David Dobkin, a filmmaker best known for directing "Wedding Crashers." Recorded in Los Angeles at Matter Music, Rust Magazine named it 2014 Album of the Year. Guitar Player, Relix, Magnet, No Depression, Guitar World’s Acoustic Nation also praised Cold Revival. Musicians on the album are Russ Irwin (Sting, Aerosmith), Chris Joyner (Jason Mraz, Sheryl Crow), Ric Markmann (Heart, Chris Cornell), Danny Pinnella (Emmy Winner), Chris Wagner (Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Dean Butterworth (Good Charlotte, Ben Harper). Matt composes, sings, plays acoustic guitar, mandolin and lap steel guitar.
In 2011, Matt scored "The Lion of Judah," winner of several independent film festival awards. The 2010 release American Preservation placed #20 on FolkRadio.org and the version of "America the Beautiful," has been called "arguably the definitive acoustic version" by Music News Nashville. In 2008, Turk released the music video "The Fog of War" which featured special guest Pete Seeger. Acoustic Live's Richard Cuccaro called it "a remarkable video." Matt's cover of the Christmas classic "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" with Gaby Moreno and Matter Music appeared on the soundtrack to the 2007 Warner Bros. film "Fred Claus."
Turk's solo discography also includes Turktunes (2000), What Gives (2002) and Washington Arms (2006). Mandolin Caravan's Desert Soul (2003) was a collaboration of Jewish folk songs with Kevin Hupp and Gillen & Turk Backs to the Wall (2008) was a collaboration with Fred Gillen Jr.
In 1987, while a student at New York University, Matt co-founded The Hour with Marshall Madow, shared the stage with Blues Traveler, opened for Richie Havens, Hot Tuna, Dave Matthews Band and released three albums: Hold Back the Reins (1989), and with drummer Carey Harmon (now in Railroad Earth), Fricker-Nicker Sessions (1991) and Songs of Sweden (1992). Around this time Turk became acquainted with producer Phil Ramone, during studio work singing with Phoebe Snow on Russ Irwin's debut.
Matt is Musical Director at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in Short Hills, NJ, a Faculty Member of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music of HUC-JIR in Guitar Performance and an Arts Westchester Roster Artist. He served two terms (June 2010-June 2012) as President of the Board of Tribes Hill, the Hudson Valley kindred folk music organization. He lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY with his wife Ilana Arazie and son Leo.
Primary artist*, Band Member~, Side Musician^
TrueFire presents Matt Turk's The Songwriting Construction Kit 2021*
Pete Seeger Think Globally Sing Locally 2019 * ^
Matt Turk Dog Story 2019 *
Deadgrass Roll the Dice 2018~
Deadgrass Live, 2017~
Matt Turk Cold Revival, 2014*
Pete Seeger The Storm King, 2013^
Pete Seeger Lorre Wyatt A More Perfect Union, 2012^
Backwoods Jupiter presents Bob Dylan's Desire, 2011~
Matt Turk American Preservation, 2010*
Hope Machine Big Green Hope Machine, 2009^
Gillen & Turk Back's to the Wall, 2008~
Fred Claus Soundtrack, Warner Brothers Records, 2007* with Gaby Moreno & Matter
Matt Turk special guest Pete Seeger "The Fog of War", 2007*
Matt Turk Washington Arms, 2006*
Mandolin Caravan Desert Soul, 2003~
Matt Turk What Gives, 2002*
Matt Turk Turktunes, 1999*
The Hour Songs of Sweden, 1992~
The Hour Fricker-Nicker Sessions, 1991~
The Hour Hold Back the Reins 1989 ~