Chicago based bassist/composer and bandleader, Matt Ulery, has developed an instantly recognizable sound. Known for his sweeping lyricism, unconventional phrase structures, expressionistic emotionalism, Ulery’s music is informed by the entire spectrum of jazz, classical, rock, pop, and folk– specifically American, South American, Balkan, and other European folk styles. He has been performing for 20 years on upright, electric, and brass basses.

For a decade, Ulery has been the leader of his own groups and frequent collaborator. Ulery has produced and released 6 albums of all original music under his name including his three most recent releases of critical acclaim, “By a Little Light,” “Wake an Echo,” and “In the Ivory,” on Dave Douglas’s Greenleaf Music record label in 2012-2014.

Ulery earned a Master of Music degree at Depaul University and Bachelors degree in music composition at The Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and has played in bands with Kurt Rosenwinkel, Fareed Haque, Howard Levy, Patricia Barber, Goran Ivanovic, Jeff Parker, Zach Brock, Jimmy Chamberlin, Makaya McCraven, Marquis Hill and countless others. As a composer, Ulery has collaborated with ensembles such as Eighth Blackbird, New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago, Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, and Wild Belle.

When not touring parts of the U.S. and Europe, Matt appears regularly in the Chicago area music venues and has performed with his own groups at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Chicago Orchestra Hall, Millennium Park Pritzker Pavillion, Chicago Cultural Center, The Krannert Center, Jazz Showcase, The Metro and countless other fine music listening rooms.  In addition to performing, recording, and writing, Ulery is on faculty at Loyola University Chicago and gives masterclasses and clinics nationwide.


Master of Music (composition) from DePaul University  Bachelor of Music (composition) from Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University

Awards Received

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs Individual Artist Grant – 2015

Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists – 2013

New Music USA Composers Assistance Program – Recording Award 2011

Community Arts Assistance Program (CAAP) Grant 2010

Community Arts Assistance Program (CAAP) Grant 2009

Community Arts Assistance Program (CAAP) Grant 2008

Sharing Knowledge

Guest artist master classes and clinics (bass, improvisation, composition, Balkan folk

music, music philosophy) given at:

Carnegie Mellon University

Cornell University

National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City

University of Richmond

Marshall University

Triton College

Northern Illinois University

North Eastern Illinois University

DePaul University

Elgin Community College

Empire State College

Grand Valley State University

Ithaca College and High School

Lewis University

New Trier High School

Princeton University

Schaumburg High School


The Francis Parker School

University of Pittsburgh

Albums Released as a Leader

“Music Box Ballerina” – Matt Ulery’s “Loom” – Woolgathering Records 2008

“Themes and Scenes” – Matt Ulery (cinema and orchestra) – Woolgathering Records


“The Queen” 10 inch vinyl single – Whistler Records 2010

“Flora.Fauna.Fervor.” – Matt Ulery’s “Loom” – 482 Music January 2011

“By a Little Light” (double CD) – Matt Ulery (14 piece chamber jazz ensemble) –

Greenleaf Music 2012

“Wake an Echo” – Matt Ulery’s Loom – Greenleaf Music July 2013

“In the Ivory” (double CD) – Matt Ulery (14 piece chamber jazz ensemble) – Greenleaf

Music 2014

***“festival” (double vinyl) – Matt Ulery’s Loom/Large – forthcoming fall 2016