Maynard Ferguson Orchestra Alum, Saxophonist, Matt Wallace's Fusion Force

Maynard Ferguson Orchestra Alum, Saxophonist, Matt Wallace's Fusion Force

Matt Wallace grew up in Omaha, NE where he began playing saxophone at the age of 10. He had his first professional gig at 13 with The Resurrected Swing. He attended Westside High School where he was a member of their award-winning jazz band. He was the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award winner his senior year. Matt was a 16-year-old deacon at Countryside Church and published by age 19. From Westside he went on to the University of NE Lincoln where he served on the Board of Regents at 21 and as the Student Body President. He graduated with a degree in Political Science.

In May 1987, he was playing with his band Fusion Force at Howard Street Tavern where he opened two shows for Jazz Hall of Fame trumpeter Maynard Ferguson. After hearing Matt play, Ferguson offered him a spot in the band. With Maynard, Matt traveled to 70 countries, made 10 records and appeared on television and radio programs between 1987 and 2002. Matt has performed with Delbert McClinton, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, 10,000 Maniacs, Greg Allman, Paul Shaffer, Joe Piscopo,and for the late King of Thailand, His Majesty, Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Currently, Matt performs in the Omaha area with several bands including Finest Hour, Fusion Force, Cuban Missile Crisis, Gooch’s Big Band, Brian England Groove Prescription, and the Countryside Jazz Band. He also tours with the Hegg Brothers each Christmas as part of the Holiday Jam ensemble. Most recently Matt was nominated for Best Jazz Performer at the 2018 Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards.

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Photo credit Austin Prock at Unsplash