Matt Ford - Baritone
Big Band Singer and vocal coach for Swing Era music
Matt Ford is widely regarded as the finest big band singer in the UK, performing for 5 years with the multi-award winning Syd Lawrence Orchestra. In 2006 Matt was voted 'Best UK Male Big Band Vocalist' and nominated alongside Jamie Cullum in the inaugural Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Awards (Best UK Male Vocalist category).
As a soloist Matt makes regular appearances with the John Wilson Orchestra, the RTE and BBC Concert Orchestras, and has also worked with the Northern Sinfonia, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Halle, Royal Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestras.
Matt has worked with many conductors including John Wilson, Neil Thompson, David Brophy, Robert Ziegler, Richard Balcombe, Gavin Sutherland, David Firman, Stephen Bell and Larry Blank. In 2009 Matt broadcast with the BBC Big Band for the 30th Anniversary of BBC Radio 2’s ‘Big Band Special’. His appearances with the RTE Concert Orchestra are regularly broadcast on RTE 1 and Lyric FM throughout Eire, whilst his album recordings have aired across the UK on BBC Radio 2.
In 2010 Matt was invited to join the cast of ‘Singing in the Rain’ (as R.F Simpson) for the first ever concert performance of the original film score, performed at Royal Festival Hall with the Philharmonia.
In May 2011 Matt recorded ‘That’s Entertainment’ for EMI Classics with the John Wilson Orchestra and in September 2011 Matt made his BBC Proms debut performing as featured soloist in 'Hooray For Hollywood' with the John Wilson Orchestra, broadcast on BBC TV and radio.
Matt returned to the BBC Proms in August 2013 in ‘Hollywood Rhapsody’ with the John Wilson Orchestra and American jazz star Jane Monheit. Matt made his US Debut in October 2013 in Los Angeles with the John Wilson Orchestra alongside Seth MacFarlane, Anna Jane Casey, Sierra Boggess and Julian Ovenden.
In 2014 Matt returned to Dublin with the RTE CO, and to BBC Radio 2 Celebrating Doris Day's 90th Birthday with Clare Teal and the BBC CO (Friday Night Is Music Night). In 2014 Matt performed at the Harrogate, Aldeburgh and Grafenegg festivals with the John Wilson Orchestra, and at Henley, Petworth and Malling with 'Close To You', a new Sinatra show celebrating his much acclaimed recordings with the Hollywood String Quartet.
In 2015 Matt appeared on television on Sky Arts ‘Cole Porter in Hollywood’ and on the acclaimed BBC Four Documentary 'The Sound Of Song'. Concert appearances in 2015 included the Halle Orchestra in a tribute to Gene Kelly, the RTE Concert Orchestra and performances at Hampton Court Palace, Harrogate, Cheltenham, Aldeburgh, Newry, and Thaxted Festivals and a national tour ‘Gershwin in Hollywood’ with the John Wilson Orchestra.
In February 2016 Matt made his debut in France with a live broadcast on French national radio with his own show from the ‘Auditorium de la Maison de la radio’, and in September 2016 performed with the JWO at the Berlin Philharmonie as part of the Berlin Musikfest.
Matt features on the John Wilson Orchestra’s latest CD release ‘Gershwin in Hollywood’, recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall (released in May 2016) for Warner Classics, and later that year released his own Big Band album Live & Swingin'.
In 2016 Matt was invited, for the third time, to perform at the BBC Proms. The John Wilson Orchestra Performs Gershwin was broadcast live on BBC 2 and BBC Radio 3. Since then Matt has once again toured the UK's major concert halls with the JWO, performed live on BBC2's Newsnight programme, and reprised his 'Music of James Bond' concerts with the Halle Orchestra.
2017 saw Matt record a Friday Night Is Music Night programme for BBC Radio 2 (Celebration of Gershwin), perform an evening of musical theatre classics with the Halle Orchestra (From Broadway with Love), and travel to Belfast to make his debut with the Ulster Orchestra (Goldfinger – The Music Of 007).
In April Matt toured once again with 'A Celebration of Sinatra', performing at venues across the UK. Matt also appeared at the Newbury Spring Festival (Close To You), Northern Alborough Festival (Close To You), Harrogate, and Graffenegg Festivals (Celebration Of Rogers and Hammerstein with the JWO). Matt has recently released a new Christmas Album Memories Of Christmas, recorded with Foden's Brass Band and performed in concert with them at UK venues including The Sage Gateshead.
Matt welcomes singers requiring coaching in the Swing Era style.
Watch Matt in action here
"Matt is a very engaging and inspiring teacher and I am really enjoying my lessons with him. My singing performance and confidence has improved quickly under his expert direction. Matt provides excellent feedback and tips on what to concentrate on to enable me to sing to the best of my ability as an aspiring jazz soloist. It really is amazing and a pleasure to have the opportunity to learn from a high profile vocalist such as Matt. The Zoom environment works well for the lessons and the back office support from Musical Orbit is excellent. A big thumbs up from me! "
Lisa Thomas (professional singer)