EVERY EIGHT SECONDS is Sheens' first release as a leader. Featuring some of the finest NYC musicians of the new generation, including Downbeat Critic's Poll Rising Star winner (bass) Linda Oh, Thelonious Monk Competition finalist Colin Stranahan, this colourful album introduces Sheens' originals that draw from a range of different cultures, and fuses them with his own experiences as a musician and human being.
"Mattthew is an extremely talented musician with a great future in front of him. He has the sensitivity and confidence of expression to make a mark in the music world"
- Jerry Bergonzi
"Sheens is an outstanding pianist, stoked full of creative ideas and limitless technique....his innovative and luminous performance was totally captivating."
- John McBeath, Performance review, Adelaide Advertiser
Born in Bowral, Australia, and raised in Sydney, Melbourne, Woolongong and Adelaide, Matthew became interested in jazz performance and composition towards the end of high school and in 2003 (11th grade) received the Jack De Vos Scholarship for single studies at the Elder Conservatorium. In 2004 Matthew toured with his quartet across the USA performing his original music.
Upon Graduating at the University of Adelaide in 2008 with first class honors, he had received the Most Outstanding Pianist award in his 2nd year, Most Outstanding Undergraduate in 3rd year, Most Outstanding Honors Graduate in final year and was the only music student (from all disciplines in the Elder Conservatorium) to be awarded the Adelaide University Medal for Academic Excellence (humanities category).
In 2009 Matthew became the first Australian to win a Downbeat Magazine Student Award (best soloist category), and received two grants (Helpmann Academy and Arts SA) to study in New York City with 5 renowned Jazz pianists. Matthew received a scholarship to pursue his Masters in Jazz Performance at the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA, studying with Fred Hersch and Jason Moran. In the same year Matthew received prestigious scholarships, including the Dame Ruby Litchfield Scholarship (South Australian Youth Arts Board) and the Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant (Victoria) to assist his pursuit of music in the USA.
Matthew has also been awarded grants from the Australia Council for the Arts, the Southern Jazz Club (SA), and the Carpe Diem Trust (SA). Matthew has performed with many musical luminaries including Bob Mintzer, Paul Bollenback, Bob Moses, Cecil McBee, Jim Pugh, John Hoffman, Tom Patitucci and recorded with Grammy award-winner Jerry Bergonzi in March 2011, and alto saxophonist Jon Gordon in June 2011. Matthew won a second Downbeat Award for Best Soloist in 2011. He has performed across Australia, USA, New Zealand, Japan, The Netherlands, at the Jazz Hoeilaart International Jazz Festival in Belgium, Montreux International Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Europafest in Romania, and at the International Panama Jazz festival in Panama City. In 2011 Matthew moved to New York City where he is currently engaged in a number of projects as a pianist and composer.