Matt Mayhall has been active as a drummer, composer, session musician, and music educator in Los Angeles and beyond for the past 15 years.
Recent work includes touring with acclaimed singer-songwriter Aimee Mann in support of her Grammy-winning 2017 album Mental Illness.
Tropes, Mayhall’s first album as a leader, was released in late 2016. The album is comprised of nine of Mayhall’s compositions and features Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker, saxophonist Chris Speed, keyboardist Jeff Babko, and electric bassist Paul Bryan, who also produced the album. Downbeat described the music as “a dreamy soup, complete with switchback drums, lingering bass lines and floating, tangled up guitar riffs.” Bandcamp Daily said “The debut from drummer Matt Mayhall is strangely introspective, perhaps counterintuitive to its bustling activity and broad mix of genres... This album shows just how strong subtlety can resonate, and of how nuance can be the driving force of creative vision.” George Grella, Jr., author of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew (33 1/3), called it "the best jazz debut of the year."
In addition to his work in Los Angeles with Jeff Parker's Quartet and Chris Speed's Trio, Matt has also gigged and/or recorded with Adam Levy, David Piltch, Larry Goldings, George Colligan, Brad Shepik, Eyvind Kang, Eric Revis, Devin Hoff, Tim Lefebvre, Anthony Wilson, Adam Benjamin, Peter Epstein, Vinny Golia and others.
Matt is also the drummer with The Both, the collaborative project of Aimee Mann and Ted Leo. The Both toured for much of 2014 and 2015 in support of their debut album. Matt’s association with Mann and Leo also paved the way for live performances with Liz Phair, John Doe, Susanna Hoffs, and Fred Armisen. In 2015, Armisen called on Matt to drum for the Blue Jean Committee. He can be seen in the IFC television series Documentary Now! as a member of the fictitious '70s soft-rock band.
For many years, Matt also drummed with the group Spain, led by Josh Haden (son of legendary jazz bassist Charlie Haden). During Matt’s tenure with the band, they toured Europe multiple times and released three albums: The Soul of Spain (2012), The Morning Becomes Eclectic Session, a live performance on KCRW featuring the Haden Triplets (2013), and Sargent Place (2014). Matt has the distinction of performing alongside Charlie Haden on his final recorded performance before his death in 2014, Spain’s song “You And I.”
Matt holds an MFA in Jazz Studies from California Institute of the Arts, as well as Bachelors and Masters degrees in percussion from The University of Nevada, Reno. He is endorsed by Gretsch Drums, Sabian Cymbals, and Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets.