Matt teaches the Jazz Class at PMAC, mentioned in earlier blogs. He is also a very accomplished composer and saxophone player. I have seen him play on many occasions and feel honored to have him as a friend and to have had him as an instructor. Every time he plays, you can hear his heart with every note of every song. His compositions are so sincere. I actually own only one of his CDs and on that one is a tune titled “Angel of the Dump” and not only is it a prime example of what I am talking about, it is my favorite song of his.
I remember the first time I heard the that tune, it was at a show, and the way he introduced it was, well, so heartfelt. That was a few years ago. Though I had an idea of what it was about, I could not remember the details. I was listening to that CD recently and I sent him an email asking him the details behind the tune.
I want to share that with you–
Hey James, Glad you enjoy the tune. I had it floating around in my head when I became aware of a woman named Hanley Denning through a memorial concert invitation I received. There was a show in Portland at the Merrill Auditorium honoring her life because she had recently passed away (at the time). I researched who she was and was so moved by her story that I finished the tune and dedicated it to her, the “angel of the dump” in Guatamala City. She started Safe Passage to get the kids who live in the dump an education so they can break the cycle of generation after generation growing up living in the dump! There’s a documentary called Recycled Life that tells the story of the dump dwellers! When you consider their story…we’re pretty fortunate to say the very least.
To hear “Angel of the Dump” please click below, it is a beautiful tune
To see a little bit about “Recycled Life”, please click below. Once there you will find other videos.