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Upstate Beat: Furman Jazz professor Matt Olson recruits an all-star band for new album, ‘Open Spaces’

five band members
Adib Young '22, Professor of Music Matt Olson, local musician Shannon Hoover, and music department faculty members Matt Dingledine and Justin Watt during a recording session of "Open Spaces."

Furman University’s Matt Olson, professor of saxophone and director of jazz studies, spoke to Vincent Harris of Greenville Journal about his new project “Open Spaces.” The album includes original works by Olson, visiting lecturer and guitarist Matt Dingledine, bassist Shannon Hoover, and adjunct instructor of music Justin Watt on drum-set. Olson’s student, Adib Young ’22, on soprano and tenor sax, also contributed to the project.

“Adib is extraordinary,” Olson told Harris, “a once-in-a-lifetime kind of student. We ended up with two of his compositions on the recording, and of course, he’s playing on all the tracks and improvising solos at the same time.”

About the record, Olson said, “I’m hopeful that we’ve made Furman proud and we’ve done something that really lines up with their mission and also satisfies our own personal and professional goals. It does for me.” Read more in Greenville Journal and view a YouTube clip of a performance.

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