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AUCD - Awards Ceremony

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011 04:45PM - 06:00PM

Location: Regency E/F/Center

Session Description

The AUCD Awards Ceremony and Gala is a time for the AUCD network to honor deserving individuals who have made distinct contributions to disability research, education, policy, services, special health care needs, and the lives of people with disabilities and their families. A special performance by world-renown jazz artist Matt Savage will provide a musical backdrop to the awards ceremony.  Following the ceremony, attendees are invited to the 2011 AUCD Gala for an evening of food, fellowship, and fun.

Matt Savage

Matt Savage

At the age of 3, Matt was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a high-functioning type of autism.  Matt could not withstand sounds of any kind and could not communicate easily.  For the next 4 years, his parents immersed him in intensive early intervention therapies including a program for children with autism that involved patient training and a strict dietary/vitamin regime (The DAN Protocol).  When Matt was 6 1/2, he completed a special auditory integration therapy to retrain his ears and make them less sensitive to sound, retuning both his sensory and social perceptions, and his musical skills flourished at an accelerated pace.  Matt taught himself to read and play piano music literally overnight. 

Matt studied for 3 years at the New England Conservatory and, in 2003, changed to private studies with jazz guru Charlie Banacos.  Home schooled, Matt learned the language and art of music through recordings from masters of music of all genres, especially jazz and classical.  He learned the history of the jazz greats through CD liner notes and jazz books.  Matt had no other formal music education until he entered Berklee College of Music at 17.  By this time, he had already written and recorded more than 70 songs.

Matt recorded his first album in 1999 at the age of 7.  The album, entitled One is Not Fun, but 20 is Plenty, was a project to raise funds for autism research; however, it turned out to be the start of Matt's musical career.  In the next few years Matt's story would appear in People, Time, and Wired.  Dozens of television appearances ensued, including "The Today Show," "The View," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," Marian McPartland's "Piano Jazz" series on NPR, and "The Late Show with David Letterman."

Now age 19, Matt has been connected with some of the biggest names in jazz from the time he was first labeled a "jazz prodigy" at age 8.  He has performed with the Ellington All Stars, Chaka Khan, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, The Bad Plus, Arturo O'Farrill, John Pizzarelli, Clark Terry and Chick Corea. 

Matt's ninth album, Welcome Home, was released in November of 2010.  This is Matt's second album to be produced by Grammy-nominated Jonathan Wyner and engineered by nine time Grammy-winner Tom Bates.  The album celebrates Matt's travels and the many places he calls "home."  From the country to the city to concerts around the world, Matt continues his epic journey as an extraordinarily talented jazz composer, performer and pianist.

Presently a junior at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Matt manages to balance classes, studies and concert gigs while maintaining a GPA of 4.0 and achieving Dean's List status. 


Learn more about Matt at