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Matt Velline: Jazz Guitarist & Vocalist

Matt Velline began his musical journey at age 10. Father, Bill Velline handed him his 1959 Fender Jazzmaster guitar, taught him a G chord and he was hooked…the first song he learned was Peggy Sue…appropriate since Buddy Holly had sadly given Matt’s dad and younger brother Bobby their musical start as Bobby Vee and the Shadows. On February 3rd, 1959 Buddy Holly was traveling to Moorhead Minnesota with The Big Bopper, Richie Valens, and young pilot Roger Peterson. They never made it and crashed only minutes after take-off in a terrible snowstorm. Matt’s father and uncle filled in as “The Shadows” on that fateful day. Bobby Vee of course went on to become one of the biggest charting artists from the 1960’s with hits like “Take Good Care Of My Baby.” “Devil Or Angel” and “Run To Him” to name just a few.

“My dad and Bobby have always been my greatest influences. Bobby for his rich, natural voice and thoughtful writing. My favorite recordings of all time are from his “Nothin’ Like a Sunny Day” album from the mid-seventies. Dad, rest his soul was a fine lead guitarist with a style reminiscent of the Ventures and Mark Knopfler.”

Throughout the years Matt has performed as lead guitarist and vocalist with many national and regional artists. Thirteen years were spent on the road full-time with Midwest phenom Johnny Holm and later he was reunited with uncle Bobby Vee and his sons The Vees. Matt toured the United Kingdom and countless dates around the U.S. with “Uncle Bob” from 2002-2004.

As a solo performer Matt has gained a loyal following throughout the Midwest and performs regularly with his cousins as The CharterKats. His style is best described as “American Roots.” From Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Band, ELO, Johnny Cash, Otis Redding, James Taylor and countless other artists he covers all genres, from country to pop to blues and soul. “I do the songs people remember…you know, the ones with melodies!” Matt also performs many originals. Each song is done with a style and arrangement all his own. No flash, no frills, no sing alongs…just great music from an amazing voice and a good time had by all.

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