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Music fans who attend the MASA Fall Conference are in for a treat. American Idol season 8 finalist and Michigan native Matt Giraud will perform selected numbers for MASA members during the conference at the Grand Traverse Resort. Fans—new and old—can also stay to enjoy a short performance immediately following the Thursday afternoon sponsor reception. Matt will also be available during Exhibit Show hours to share a little about his work with public school music students.
Since his success on American Idol, Matt has gone on to success in the music performance world. His performance of “You Don’t Know Me” with Anna Wilson went to #1 on the i-Tunes Jazz Chart. “Thank You” by Jim Brickman with Matt performing vocals went to #15 on the Hot AC Charts in the U.S. His duet with Lindsey Sky, ‘My Love Screams’ has received over 2 million views on YouTube. In the last year, Matt has performed all over Michigan as well as Arizona, Cancun, Playa Del Carmen (Mexico), the Dominican Republic, Miami, Chicago, and more.
Matt recently launched a series of successful student workshops in conjunction with his Michigan-based concerts. Matt will work with school music classes prior to his show date. Music students are able to rehearse selected numbers with Matt, then during a portion of the concert students are invited on stage to perform with him.
Matt’s appearance at a southwest Michigan fundraising event last year included a visit to Paw Paw Community Schools, where he earned praise from organizers and school officials.
“The day was magical and inspiring for everyone,” writes Bonnie Pfingst, Marketing Assistant & Performing Arts Center Coordinator for Plainwell Community Schools. “The event achieved and exceeded all the objectives. The opportunity Matt provided for so many to be part of this production and performance experience was priceless.…Matt’s touch with people is just like his musical touch…intensely personal, richly sincere, and performed with the techniques of a wise Savant.”
Paw Paw Superintendent Mark Bielang agreed, calling the event a positive community event with worthwhile outcomes for students. He noted that the students responded to Matt’s enthusiasm and eagerly worked with him to improve their own musical skills.
Matt’s appearance is due to the generosity of Alternative Revenue Development, who will host Matt at their Exhibit Show booth. Stop by Booths #92 & #93 to chat with Matt and to learn more about his work with schools.
About Matt Giraud
From his start as a young boy singing and playing percussion with his church choir in Ypsilanti, Michigan, to his American Idol success and then to the many sold out shows that have followed, it has become clear to America that Matt Giraud is a born entertainer.
Matt attended college at Western Michigan University where he studied vocal jazz under the legendary Steve Zegree. Believe it or not, Matt didn’t play the piano until he got to WMU and found a piano in the lobby of his dorm. During his stint at WMU, he put together the ‘Giraud – Mattei’ project, which won a Downbeat Magazine Award for “Outstanding College Performance, Blues/Pop/Rock Group.” A $1,000 scholarship from the WMU President’s office allowed Matt to acquire his first keyboard, enabling him to join a cover band that performed all over west Michigan. His new repertoire launched his career as a piano player in a dueling piano bar.
Fast forward to 2008, American Idol Season 8. Matt went to his first Idol audition with no advance notice. He was asked by a friend to come along for moral support, and decided as long as he was there he may as well audition. Several stellar performances led him to the top 11, where he was eliminated in the voting but stayed on as a result of the first ever judges’ save. On the subsequent national American Idol Live tour Matt received rave reviews. He also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Today Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Access Hollywood, Live with Regis and Kelly, and The Larry King Live Special featuring the Top Ten Idol contestants of that year.
Matt’s success on American Idol, he was discovered by vocalist Anna Wilson, who invited him to record a duet of the country classic ‘You Don’t Know Me,’ which quickly rose to #1 on the iTunes Jazz chart before appearing on Anna’s “Countrypolitan Duets” CD which also features singers like Keith Urban and Billy Dean. Matt’s soulful vocals also caught the attention of Jim Brickman, and Matt was the vocalist on “Thank You”, Brickman’s 2010 single that reached #16 on the Hot AC and AC charts.
Between performances, Matt now conducts workshops with young musicians at schools in conjunction with his concerts. To learn more, visit booths #92 & #93 during Exhibit Show hours.
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