Matthew Montfort

Picture of Matthew Montfort

Author of Ancient Traditions
– Future Possibilities

Cave Hand

Mill Valley: Panoramic Press, 1985. ISBN 0-937879-00-2.
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"A giant, a leader, a bound-and-determined self described fanatic for world music."NEW COLORADO

Matthew Montfort holds a B.A. in World Music and Composition and an M.A. in Arts and Media Technology from Antioch University. He has studied with the master musicians of many world music traditions, including sarangi master Ram Narayan, sarod master Ali Akbar Khan, mridangam master Guruvayoor Dorai, vina master K.S. Subramanian, and gamelan director K.R.T. Wasitodipuro.

Montfort is the leader of the world fusion music ensemble Ancient Future. An award-winning guitarist (Louis Armstrong Jazz Award, Colorado Outstanding Young Guitarist Award), he is a pioneer of the scalloped fretboard guitar, an instrument combining qualities of the South Indian vina and the steel string guitar. He is recognized as one of the world's 100 Greatest Acoustic Guitarists by DigitalDreamDoor.com , a curated "best of" site, along with such luminaries as Michael Hedges, Leo Kottke, Chet Atkins, John Fahey, Adrian Legg, Merle Travis, John Renbourn, Tommy Emmanuel, Doc Watson, Pierre Bensusan, Toni Rice, Alex De Grassi, Stefan Grossman, Artie Traum, Joni Mitchell, and Peppino D'Agostino. He is also known for his work on electric guitar, classical guitar, flamenco guitar, sitar, charango, bass, ukulele, mandolin, and gamelan, and as Ancient Future's main composer.

Montfort was interviewed in the December 2009 Les Paul issue of GUITAR PLAYER MAGAZINE about his pioneering guitar work and his application of the rules of Indian raga to the music of Jimi Hendrix as exemplified by 'Purple Raga' from his debut solo recording, Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar. He has performed worldwide, from the Festival Internacional de la Guitarra on the golden coast of Spain to the Festival of India in Mumbai, and on national radio and TV shows such as the Echoes Living Room Concerts on Public Radio International and the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.

Montfort wrote the book Ancient Traditions–Future Possibilities: Rhythmic Training Through the Traditions of Africa, Bali, and India because he found it difficult to find musicians who could perform his music due to a lack of rhythm skills. He drew from his years of study of many world music traditions to create a training method based on the rhythms of Africa, Bali, and India. Many consider the method to be one of his greatest achievements.

He has taught classes and workshops at prestigious universities, schools, camps, museums, arts organizations, businesses, and resorts including Pacific University Oregon, California Polytechnic State University, University of the Pacific, College of Marin, Chaffey College, Spokane Falls Community College, California State Summer School for the Arts, Tahoe Arts Project Artists-In-Schools, Blue Bear School of Music, Zambaleta World Music and Dance School, Lark Camp, Kosmos Camp, Bowers Museum, the Exploratorium, Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose, Shasta County Arts Council, Music on the Divide, Macy's Special Events, Esalen Institute, Harbin Hot Springs, and Breitenbush Hot Springs.