Matthew Halpin is a saxophonist and composer born in Dublin, Ireland. He graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2013 (BA) and works as a freelance musician in Germany, Austria and Ireland.
Since February of 2023, Matthew Halpin has taken up the position of professor of jazz saxophone at the music and arts private university of Vienna (MUK Privat-Universität der Stadt Wien).
Matthew leads and co-leads several bands, these include "Matthew Halpin Group", "Last Chance Dance" and "Roamer". Currently he plays as a sideman with Hendrika Entzian, Maximilian Stadtfeld (STAX) and Jakob Helling. He also works with larger ensembles such as the NDR Bigband, WDR Bigband, RTE National Concert Orchestra, Jakob Helling Concert Bigband, Subway Jazz Orchestra, and the Cologne Contemporary Jazz Orchestra. Matthew is a regular member of faculty at the Sligo Jazz Project in Ireland as well as the Jazzworkshop Lübeck in Germany and has taught masterclasses around Europe, USA, Asia and Central America.
Matthew has performed at the Blue Note and Dizzy’s Jazz Club in New York, Stadtgarten Köln, Porgy & Bess, Wien, the Panama Jazz Festival, the Monterrey Jazz Festival, the Newport Jazz Festival, Northsea Jazzfestival, the National Concert Hall of Ireland, the Sligo Jazz Project, the Galway Jazz Festival, Cork Jazz Festival, Katjazz Festival in Kathmandu, Nepal, the Berklee Performance Center and the Kennedy Center. He performs more frequently in small, smelly, bars, pubs and jazz clubs.
Since 2013, Matthew has been composing on a regular basis for many of his own projects. His composition style is unique, distinctive and often braggadocios. Past releases that feature his compositions are: "Shadow Loves the Sun" by The Owl Ones and "Last Chance Dance" by Last Chance Dance trio and "Agreements" with his own group. His compositions are also featured with the groups Gamerz, Modern Men, Roamer and Spilt Milk. Halpin's debut album "Agreements" was released in 2021 on Frutex Tracks and features the four fantastic musicians Kit Downes, Hanno Busch, Sean Carpio and Sergio Martinez.
Matthew began studying saxophone at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin from 2000 - 2007. In 2008 he took part in the Banff Centre’s workshop in jazz and creative music directed by Dave Douglas and again in 2017 under the direction of Vijay Iyer. Matthew commenced his bachelor degree studies at Berklee College of Music in 2009 as one of two international presidential scholars of that year. In 2010 he was chosen to be educated through the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, a highly concentrated two year music performance program headed by pianist Danilo Perez. He graduated from Berklee in 2013. He has studied with George Garzone, Joe Lovano, Ben Street, John Patitucci, Danilo Perez, Jamie Oehlers, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Vijay Iyer, Tyshawn Sorey, Andrew Cyrille, Gary Bartz, Terri-Lynn Carrington, Julian Lage, Dave Liebman and Hal Crook.
"Matthew Halpin is quickly gaining a reputation as a fearlessly inventive improviser"
Cormac Larkin, The Irish Times 2016
"Halpin is arguably one of the finest saxophonists to have emerged from Ireland in recent years"
Ian Patterson, All About Jazz 2016
"One of the best tenor players we have produced in Ireland"
Ken Killeen, IMC 2016
"Ein eloquenter, klanglich sensibler, zwischen Ekstase und Eleganz vermittelnder Sax-spieler Matthew Halpin"
Stefan Pieper, Jazzthetic Magazine
"Mal lässt er sein Tenor jauchzen wie ein Sopran, dann streut er ein ziehendes Jaulen ein, als wär’s eine E-Gitarre oder er begleitet Barnetts Solo, als wär er eine ganze Hornsection"
Dylan Cem Akalin, Jazz and Rock Magazine 2017
"Der Ton von Saxophonist Halpin ist warm und süffig"
Klaus M. Schmidt, Westdeutsche Zeitung 2017