Biography

8e2fead2-bc77-4082-807b-075eea3ce672Short Biography:

Matt Dusk is one of Canada’s most beloved male vocalists, forging a career in music that has resulted in ten critically-acclaimed studio albums. Dusk’s latest release, OLD SCHOOL YULE! features an sixty piece orchestra, fifty piece choir and numerous special guests.  Together they join forces to create a swingin’ uptempo cocktail holiday album that will have you feeling a little “Ring-a-Ding-Ding” while you croon along to “Fa-La-La-La-La”.

Dusk has been awarded three GOLD albums: TWO SHOTS (Canada, The Netherlands) and GOOD NEWS (Poland), two PLATINUM albums: MY FUNNY VALENTINE (Poland) and JUST THE TWO OF US (Poland)

He has had three number one radio hits: ALL ABOUT ME (Canada), BACK IN TOWN (Japan), and GOOD NEWS (France), is an alumnus of the St. Michael’s Choir School and studied under jazz piano legend Oscar Peterson at York University.

Notable award nominations include, three JUNO’s, one ADISQ, one Róże Gali w kategorii Muzyka.

Long Biography:

A retro crooner who fits perfectly in the 21st century, Matt Dusk is one of Canada’s most critically-acclaimed vocalists and recording artists; a truly unique talent whose reach and appeal, domestically and internationally, is based on his fresh take on a familiar sound. Dusk has an uncanny ability to capture the heart and soul of both timeless classics and modern pop hits, leaving audiences everywhere jumping to their feet in thunderous applause.

Born and raised in Toronto, Dusk began taking piano lessons at age four and attending St. Michael’s Choir School at age seven. While his career originally focused almost exclusively on classical and opera music, another sound came calling. During a choir tour in his teens, he heard Old Blue Eyes for the first time.

“Frank Sinatra was the first jazz artist I really connected with,” Dusk recalls today. “I loved those songs and I wanted to live that life. I started buying Karaoke tapes and, when I was 17, sang at a talent competition at an all-girls school, just for fun, and they went crazy. So I thought, ‘I’m going to do this.’”

While many of his friends identified with bands like Nirvana or Pearl Jam, Dusk’s style was drawn to the vibe of The Great American Songbook. Based on early influences like Tony Bennett and Nat King Cole – he was driven to develop the signature style that’s propelled his career forward in Canada and around the world. Listeners and critics agree that few artists share his ability to take a familiar song and make it their own. This is just one of many reasons audiences keep clamouring for his return, year after year.

And he never slows down. Dusk has performed countless shows all across the globe, including a long term residency at Vegas’ iconic Gold Nugget Casino. Besides his constant headlining tours, he has shared the stage with such legends as Van Morrison, Shirley Bassey, and (one of his idols) Tony Bennett. He was even honoured with being a part of the re-opening of Miami’s Fontana Blu hotel alongside George Hamilton and Sean Combs.

As if all the constant touring weren’t enough, his accomplishments in the studio are just as impressive. Dusk has recorded and released ten studio albums and received three gold and two platinum awards. His major label debut on Decca Records, Two Shots (2004), went gold in numerous countries. Good News (2008) followed suit, with My Funny Valentine (2013) and Matt & Margaret: Just the Two of Us with (2015) both going Platinum. In 2008, Dusk became the first male jazz singer in Japanese history to hit #1 on Japan’s Top 40 charts with his song Back In Town (2006).  And later recorded a critically acclaimed duet album Lost In Rio (2015) with Japan’s very own Karen Aoki.  Apparently, duets are his strong suit in North America as well. Dusk topped the Canadian jazz charts with Quiet Nights (2016), a bossa nova influenced album with Quebec sensation Florence K. The album not only earned the duo a JUNO nomination, but also sat atop the jazz charts for sixteen weeks.

When he’s not busy climbing the charts, Dusk is often seen onstage and onscreen.  Besides headlining his own televised concert for PBS, Live From Las Vegas, he has appeared on TV shows such as Mark Burnett’s The Casino (FOX) and has performed on Bravo, BBC and many others. He also appeared on the TV series Call Me Fitz, alongside Jason Priestley (HBO), and recorded the theme song and soundtrack for that award-winning show. The show and the soundtrack were both a hit, giving Dusk yet another popular album at home in Canada.

Additionally, he’s been nominated for three JUNO Awards and an ADISQ award and, in 2017, took home the Roze Gali award in Poland, a top honor for music.

It’s fair to say that Dusk never does anything by half measures. The stunning debut album Two Shots was recorded at Abbey Road Studios with the Royal London Philharmonic Orchestra. The titular single from that record, “Two Shots Of Happy, One Shot Of Sad,”  was an international hit. Written by U2’s Bono and the Edge for Frank Sinatra, Dusk sees his recording of that song as a tribute to the man who inspired him to sing.  He’s also recorded at Capitol Records iconic LA studio, where many of his jazz hero’s laid down some of their most iconic music.

Dusk often records with large ensembles, including an 80-piece orchestra on My Funny Valentine: The Chet Baker Songbook, (featuring Grammy winner, Arturo Sandoval, JUNO winners Guido Basso and Emilie-Claire Barlow, and Poland’s Edyta Gorniak), and  a 60-piece orchestra on 2017’s new holiday classic, Old School Yule!

“I’ve been given an opportunity to do what my heroes did,” Dusk says between yet another flight to yet another performance, “So if I have the opportunity to do something like that, why wouldn’t I?”

It wasn’t always microphones and fedoras. When Dusk began taking classes at York University in 1998, he studied Economics…with little enthusiasm. He considered leaving school to work at the family business. But, pressured by his mother to stay in school and get a degree – “any degree” – Dusk studied jazz vocals with his early influence Bob Fenton, a Jazz pianist with a long resume including performances with Chet Baker and Billie Holiday. The plan worked and, soon after, he was taking master classes led by jazz legend Oscar Peterson.

Although Dusk put in his 10,000 hours and then some during eleven years with the choir he had no formal jazz training.

“I’d lifted every Sinatra lick there was and, at my York audition, basically made an ass of myself,” he says with a laugh, “but, I guess they saw there was potential.”

Then and now, he’s constantly driven to expand his skills as a singer/songwriter, recording artist/producer and performer.

“I’ve been onstage for over 30 years, but the more you do something, the more you realize how much more there is to learn.”

From the beginning Dusk has consistently upped his game; self-producing his records, taking on soundtrack work on First Daughter with Forest Whitaker (2005), and insisting on doing what’s right creatively for himself and for his audience without ever cutting corners.

“My business and creative sides never mesh. At the end of the day, it’s about creating something and making it the best that I can,” Dusk says, knowing that he’s incredibly fortunate to make a living by being creative, while recognizing that his job is both to inspire and entertain.

That’s a major reason Dusk is so beloved by fans, and a primary driver in his decision to record what is soon to be a perennial classic: Old School Yule!

“Everyone I talked to wanted a Christmas record, and Christmas music is rooted in the Big Band/Swing era. It’s the only type of music we have that are Standards.”

This is all too clear on Old School Yule!, with classic hits like ‘White Christmas’, ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’, and ‘Do You Hear What I Hear?’, a song featuring the angelic vocals of the world-renown St. Michael’s Choir. On this lush and bold holiday album, he presents some of the most well-known holiday tunes of all time with his trademark (and festive) swagger. Paying homage to the holiday hits from his childhood, Dusk closes Old Schol Yule! with the original, soon-to-be Christmas favorite, ‘Snowed In With You’ co-written by Dusk and Jenson Vaughan.

Recorded by John ‘Beetle’ Bailey and Taylor Kernohan at Phase One and Royal Crown Recording Studios, Old School Yule! is certain to have lasting appeal. It’s a record that will remind you of those holidays of yesteryear; a flashback to an era gone but not forgotten. One listen and you’ll find yourself in a time capsule, hearing the sounds and feeling all the emotions that only come around once a year.

“My fondest memories from my childhood are Christmases by the fireplace, listening to Bing Crosby with my parents, so it’s amazing to share that with my wife and my daughter with my own album.”

Never one to slow down, Dusk is currently working on two records and an EP, focusing his talents, once again, on expanding his already substantial catalogue

“It’s about being prolific, just as it was in the 1960s, with my heroes,” Dusk says with a smile and a wink, “My greatest inspiration is my personal life experience, but when I look to what I want to write and sing about I want to reflect the challenges and experiences we all share.”

If his dedicated fans around the world have any say in the matter, he’ll be singing those experiences for many years to come.

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