A native to the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, Matt Vashlishan began private saxophone lessons and played in the public school system at age 10. Quickly becoming interested in school jazz ensembles and the plentiful jazz scene that the Poconos had to offer, he began listening to and developing a relationship with many local musicians – David Liebman, Nelson Hill and Phil Woods to name a few. Upon graduation from high school, Matt completed his Bachelors of Music in Jazz Performance and Contemporary Media from the Eastman School of Music. During his time at the Eastman School he had the pleasure of playing in the Eastman Jazz Ensemble, Dave Rivello Ensemble, Saxology and toured with the Temptations and the Four Tops.

Upon graduation Matt began working as a musician aboard Cunard and Princess Cruises traveling the Caribbean, Europe, the Mediterranean, Norway, United Kingdom and Iceland. In 2008 he was awarded a Masters Degree in Jazz Saxophone Performance from William Paterson University and in 2011 was awarded a DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) in Jazz Saxophone from the University of Miami in Coral Gables Florida. During his time in Miami, Matt worked for the University’s Frost School of Music as the teaching assistant under Professor Gary Keller, where he taught private lessons and the Avant-Garde Ensemble. He was also the saxophone instructor at the New World School of the Arts in downtown Miami, Florida.

Aside from his formal educational experience, Matt worked in collaboration with David Liebman on three publications from Jamey Aebersold Jazz: Sax Basics, How To Approach Standards Chromatically, and David Liebman Transcriptions. Working with both Liebman and bassist Evan Gregor, they have published the audio interview From Student To Jazz Artist from Advance Music.

Matt has had the fortune of sharing the stage with musicians such as Phil Woods, Ian Froman, Bill Goodwin, Phil Markowitz ,John Hart, Marko Marcinko, Steve Miller, Bruce Hornsby, Chuck Bergeron, Gary Campbell and many others.