Mike Mathews bassist/composer
Mike began playing gigs at 13 years old with a band of much older musicians in a basement club in Hindley Street, Adelaide, the city’s “red light” district at that time. His Mum used to have to pick him up in her VW beetle in the early hours of the morning and often needed to make clear, to those that inquired, her reason for parking was not business related.
He became a full-time player at age 16 after joining Filipino star Dale Adriatico’s band at the Hotel Australia, then the best hotel in Adelaide, working 6 nights per week. This led to further work in a nightclub backing singers, dancers, strippers, female impersonators, you name it. Although this could never be regarded as a comprehensive “formal” musical education, these experiences served to help him understand what is expected, required and appreciated in a professional musician.
Mike’s work since those early days has been very diverse, reflecting the need, at least in Australia, to play many styles of music if doing so for living. He has played and/or recorded with far too many people to mention in this short space but believes all have contributed to his ongoing musical education, along with a great deal of enjoyment. He has worked with the Glenn Henrich quartet, Bob Vinier, Carl Orr’s London Underground, The Joe Chindamo Trio, Alex Pertout and many other fine jazz musicians, through to commercial music tours and dates with Gene Pitney, Cilla Black, The Seekers, Brian Cadd, Rhonda Burchmore, Barry Crocker, The Four Kinsmen and many others. He has played in big bands and theatre shows, such as “Cats” (625 times!) and even orchestral music on electric bass, in one of the few pieces where it is required; “Bernstein’s Mass” conducted which was conducted by Carl Davis.
With all this however, Mike still regards the playing of a musical instrument as something never to be taken for granted. “It may be different for others, but for me it requires dedication, ongoing study and commitment to continue to develop my skills and understanding. In truth, I probably love playing the bass and unravelling the mysteries of the musical universe, even more than when I was 10 years old, playing a 12-bar blues for “show and tell” in school.”
“Mike is one of those people who loves music so much that it reminds us that to dedicate one’s life to this art form is a noble thing. His passion for it permeates throughout his work; his musical craftsmanship and attention to detail are the most meticulous I’ve ever known. Creatively, his artistic restlessness and boundless resources place him in the highest echelon of the bassist / producer / composer genre.”Joe Chindamo – One of the world’s finest pianists and composers.
“Mike is a world class bassist”Bob Venier – World renowned jazz trumpet / flugel horn player.
“Mike Mathews is one of my favourite bass players to play with. His attention to detail, passionate approach to his art, and his incredible time always ensure a great musical experience.”Darryn Farrugia – Internationally acclaimed drummer / clinician / author.
“Mike is a complete professional, intent on maintaining mastery over every musical style while continuing to be open to learning and improving his craft.”Bill Horley – One of Australia’s finest studio drummers and big band leaders.