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The Beat Profiles* — Matt McCarty

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HOME: Niceville. Originally from Vienna, Virginia.


PROFESSION: Mechanical Engineer by day, saxophonist by night.


HOBBIES: Team rider for Starboard (paddleboarding) and F-One (kiteboarding).


LAST BOOK I READ: Chris Potter on Standards, a book of transcribed solos from saxophonist Chris Potter.


RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS: I just started a jazz jam at the Spot in Fort Walton Beach Sundays and Mondays, My vision for the jam has been to provide a unique environment where professional musicians can have creative freedom to try new music and play with musicians they might not normally work with. I wanted my jam to be fun for the musicians and to give the audience an experience not found anywhere else on the Gulf Coast. The jazz jam has been a success, bringing talented musicians from as far as Mobile and Tallahassee to play!


I recently got back into writing music. I had been playing in cover bands the past few years, but joining the rock band New Earth Army and writing my own material was a creative awakening. I had focused so much on improving my technical jazz ability, I had forgotten how rewarding it can be to write your own music. I love to write horn lines, and New Earth Army gives me total freedom to create. I even started playing my sax through guitar effects pedals to get some really cool sounds. My summer of writing music culminated with a great opportunity to record with local songwriter Tim Jackson, who works with major recording labels in Nashville. It was exciting to record with him and know that my recordings are being heard by major players in the industry.


QUOTE: “Mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” –  Mark Twain


PROFILE: I have played saxophone for over 25 years. I like mixing it up and playing different styles of music including jazz, rock, soul, blues and R&B. Some of my notable performances and studio sessions include playing with Bobby Shew, Christian McBride, Arturo Sandoval, Jim Payne, Melvin Sparks, Mike Durham and the Hit Men. I have also received local recognition, as the Matt McCarty Quintet has been nominated for Best Jazz Artist for the past two years by The Beachcomber. In addition to my small jazz group, I play with Downbeat Jazz Orchestra and New Earth Army at popular venues in the area.



Catch Matt McCarty at Fort Walton Beach’s the Spot Sunday and Monday nights. Discover more at and


* Inspired by the late, great CREEM magazine.

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