24 April, 2017
Dr. Matthew Leder, a Gadsden State Community College music instructor, will participate in a national residential workshop in New Orleans this summer.
The workshop, “New Orleans: Music, Culture and Civil Rights,” is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. It will take place July 10-14 at Tulane University.
“I’ll be working with some of the historians of the city, cultural leaders and noted musicians,” said Leder, who is also the director of the Gadsden State Show Band. “I’m fascinated by it all. This workshop goes beyond the musical element.”
A workshop description states “’New Orleans: Music, History and Civil Rights’ allows for an in-depth investigation of the city’s influences and inequities. It’s an authentic engagement with the living, evolving musical forms that have emerged from her complicated history.”
“I had to go through a very competitive process to be able to participate in this workshop,” he said. “It’s a big honor to be selected, and I’m going to take full advantage of this opportunity.”
Leder developed a great love for New Orleans while stationed in the city with the Navy Band from 2001 to 2005. While in New Orleans, he studied with several jazz greats and worked as a freelance musician.
“I didn’t just live in New Orleans,” he said. “I soaked up the culture. I’m pretty attached to New Orleans. It’s a big part of my life.”
In 2003, Leder earned a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance from East Carolina University. After securing a scholarship from the Louis Armstrong Foundation, he received his Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of New Orleans. In 2016, he earned his Doctor of Arts from the University of Northern Colorado.
“I did my dissertation on New Orleans music,” he said. “I’ve interviewed the greats. I’ve performed with legendary jazz musicians and I have had a lot of opportunities. It was a huge honor to be a part of the Louis Armstrong Quintet and to have the opportunity to study with such great mentors.”
He has also studied with jazz greats Ellis Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Irvine Mayfield, Clyde Kerr and others. He has performed with the International Association of Jazz Educators All Star Collegiate Band, the Gadsden Symphony Orchestra, the Boulder Symphony Orchestra, the Air Force Academy Band, the Air Force Band of the Golden West, the Air Force Band of Liberty, the Navy Band Northeast, the Navy Band New Orleans and East Carolina University. He has also performed for five U.S. presidents.
Leder has designed slide shows, wrote commentary, arranged music, directed musicians and performed works titled “Katrina, Katrina,” “Fallen Heroes,” “The New Orleans Collective” and “A Tribute to New Orleans.” He and an esteemed group of musicians, including Delfeayo Marsalis, performed “Katrina, Katrina” at Gadsden State in 2015.
Leder has published works in the International Trumpet Guild Journal, the International Musician, Down Beat Magazine, All Hands Navy Magazine and Program Notes, a magazine for the Navy Music Program.
“I’m always looking for ways to become a better musician, a better instructor, a better director,” he said. “I seek out new opportunities to learn; new opportunities to perform the music I love. It’s my hope that my students will develop an appreciation of jazz and perform at the highest level of musical excellence.”