Matthew Yeakley Biography
Matthew Yeakley was born on April 9th, 1984 in Anaheim, CA, and at the age of three his family
relocated to San Diego. Growing up in a musical family he was surrounded by the sounds of
Banjos, Mandolins, Fiddles, and most importantly Guitars at the jam sessions hosted by his
parents, or at the Bluegrass festivals that the Yeakley family regularly attended. His serious
studies of the guitar began at 15 with all the Rock music you would expect to hear from a
teenage guitarist, but his appetite for music theory and a deeper sense of understanding of the
instrument quickly led to great gains on the guitar. So much so that by age 18 he was teaching
music, performing in blues clubs around San Diego, and working professionally as a guitarist.
Matthew spent his early 20’s playing in touring Rock, Funk and Jam bands all around the U.S. in
venues both large and small. By 24 he decided that it was time to formalize his education, so
he took time off from the world of the working musician, to attend the Musicians Institute in
Hollywood. While there he had the chance to study with Rick Zunigar (Freddie Hubbard, Stevie
Wonder, Joey DeFrancesco), as well as many other of the top guitarists in the world (Scott
Henderson, Dean Brown, Jimmy Wyble, Sid Jacobs). He graduated with honors and rejoined
the musical workforce newly invigorated.
Since his time at the Musicians Institute Matthew has had the opportunity to share the stage
with some of the biggest names in Jazz; Ambrose Akinmusire, Joshua White, Dayna Stephens,
Sam Barsh, Nick Vayenas, Kenneth Crouch, and Taylor Eigsti to name a few. But Matthew isn’t
limited to Jazz as his work with Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson will attest to.
Far from being exclusively a sideman Matthew is an avid composer and in 2014 his project (The
Matthew Yeakley Group) put out their debut record. Typical to Matthew’s style this was not
going to be a small or myopic project. By the time it was all said and done The Matthew
Yeakley Group’s debut record had become two separate records boasting some of the finest
musicians in Los Angeles on 17 different tracks. Clean Numbers featuring; Matt Politano
(Piano), Cooper Appelt (Bass), Aaron McLendon (Drums) and Zane Musa (Tenor Sax), and
Dirty Words again with Matt Politano, Cooper Appelt, and Aaron Mclendon but here with Mike
Cottone (Trumpet) Gina Saputo (Voice) and Jesse Palter (Voice). Clean Numbers and Dirty
Words were roundly reviewed as great triumphs. Never content this group is set to release their
next venture in 2015.
Matthew is an educator, transcriber, author, and session player, on top of being a busy
recording and gigging jazz musician in LA. In a time where so many jazz artists struggle to find
their voice, his playing is full of humor, depth, heart, and conviction, the sky is truly the limit for
this unique voice in modern jazz.
Matthew Yeakley Biography