(band leader, composer, scalloped fretboard guitar, Glissentar 11 string fretless guitar, electric guitar, flamenco guitar, mandolin, charango, sitar, gamelan)
Matthew Montfort is the leader of the world fusion music ensemble Ancient Future. An award-winning guitarist (Louis Armstrong Jazz Award, Colorado Outstanding Young Guitarist Award), he is a pioneer of the scalloped fretboard guitar (an instrument combining qualities of the South Indian vina and the steel string guitar). Montfort spent three months in intensive study with vina master K.S. Subramanian in order to fully apply the South Indian gamaka (note-bending) techniques to the guitar. He is recognized as one of the world's 100 Greatest Acoustic Guitarists by DigitalDreamDoor.com , a curated "best of" site, along with such luminaries as Michael Hedges, Leo Kottke, Chet Atkins, John Fahey, Adrian Legg, Merle Travis, John Renbourn, Tommy Emmanuel, Doc Watson, Pierre Bensusan, Toni Rice, Alex De Grassi, Stefan Grossman, Artie Traum, Joni Mitchell, and Peppino D'Agostino. He is also known for his work on electric guitar, flamenco guitar, sitar, charango, mandolin, and gamelan, and as Ancient Future's main composer.
Matthew Montfort holds a B.A. in World Music and Composition and an M.A. in Arts and Media Technology from Antioch University. He has studied with the master musicians of many world music traditions, including sarangi master Ram Narayan, sarod master Ali Akbar Khan, mridangam master Guruvayoor Dorai, and gamelan director K.R.T. Wasitodipuro. He has recorded with legendary world music figures ranging from Bolivian panpipe master Gonzalo Vargas to tabla maestros Swapan Chaudhuri and Zakir Hussain. He has performed concerts world wide, including at the Festival Internacional de la Guitarra on the golden coast of Spain near Barcelona and the Mumbai Festival at the Gateway of India in Bombay. He has performed live on national radio and TV shows such as the Echoes Living Room Concerts on Public Radio International, and the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.
Matthew Montfort is on the faculty of Blue Bear School of Music in San Francisco, where he teaches music theory, all styles of guitar as well as rhythm classes based on his book on the rhythmic traditions of Africa, Bali, and India. He also teaches at his studio in San Rafael, California. Some of his students have gone on to promising music careers.
"Montfort is a pioneer player of the scalloped fretboard guitar." – San Francisco Chronicle
"This album reveals a thorough knowledge of Hindustani microtonal ornaments, transferred in ways that create one of the most distinctive guitar sounds in contemporary music. However, it also reveals a lifetime of exploration in world music, which can be immediately summoned in a flash of inspiration. When this level of mastery is reached, there is no need to rewrite. The first improvisation has the depth of a reworked composition." – Teed Rockwell, India Currents, March 2009
Featured Sound Files
I Mett Her in the Medowe, a and b (traditional, arr. Montfort. 5:31) iTunes. Scottish lute melody from 1615. From Planet Passion. (Ancient-Future.Com AF-2001). CD/Gift Card, $17.98: Add 1 to Cart. Buy 1 Now.
Yearning for the Wind
Music for Thingamajigs on Rachel Maddow Show
Scalloped Fretboard Guitar Solo
Matthew Montfort teaches privately at his studio in the Gerstle Park area of San Rafael, California (zip code 94901), at student's homes in Marin County, and worldwide via Skype. He is also on the faculty at Blue Bear School of Music and Zambaleta World Music and Dance School in San Francisco. For more information about private lessons, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415-459-1892, call 415-459-1892, or write Matthew Montfort, P.O. Box 264, Kentfield, CA 94914-0264.
With Ancient Future:
- Yearning for the Wind (Ancient-Future.Com 90352)
- Planet Passion (Ancient-Future.Com 2010)
- Asian Fusion (Narada Equinox ND-63023)
- World Without Walls (Sona Gaia/MCA 163)
- Dreamchaser (Sona Gaia/MCA 154)
- Quiet Fire (Narada/MCA 1012)
- Natural Rhythms (Philo/Rounder 9006)
- Visions of a Peaceful Planet (Beauty AF-79)
- Alma Del Sur (Narada Collection ND-63908)
- Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar (Ancient-Future.Com 2008)
- Guitar Works (Narada Lotus ND-61032)
Producer and Sideman:
- Sangria by Mariah Parker (Ancient-Future.Com 2008)
- Ecstasy (Ustad Habib Khan, Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Danny Gottlieb, George Brooks, Alan Kushan, Ira Stein: RPG)
- The Longing (Ustad Habib Khan, Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Danny Gottlieb, George Brooks, Alan Kushan, Ira Stein: X Dot 25)
- Balinese Dream (Mindia Devi Klein: Devimuse)
- Stop, I'm Conscious (Janine Rae: J9 Music)
- Sacred Insanity? (Emam and Friends: Eternal Music)
- Is This Real? (Emam and Friends: Eternal Music)
- Pacific Rim (Anton Mizerak: Shastasong)
- Petals in the Stream (David Michael: Purnima Productions)
- Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Rhythmic Training Through the Traditions of Africa, Bali and India. Mill Valley: Panoramic Press, 1985. ISBN 0-937879-00-2. Spiral Bound.
Matthew Montfort Fan Page