March 25-29, 2020 | Denton, Texas, USA

Johnston/Luzecky/Young

Festival Date/Time/Location: Saturday, April 13 / 4:30PM / Sweetwater Grill and Tavern

Noel Johnston
M.M. “Jazz Guitar” (University of North Texas)
B.M. “Studio/Jazz Guitar” (University of Southern California)

After receiving a Bachelor of Music in Studio/Jazz Guitar from the University of Southern California, Noel moved back to Sydney, Australia where he grew up, and released his first album “Possible Worlds” (1996) and taught at Wesley Institute for Ministry and the Arts. In 1997, he came back to the states to further his study in jazz at the University of North Texas from which he received a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies (Jazz Guitar Performance). While at UNT, he served as a teaching fellow, was a guitarist for the One O’Clock Lab band, and had many great opportunities to play with well-known artists such as Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, Adam Nussbaum and Kenny Wheeler. A student band that Noel co-led recorded the album “NJPT” (1999) and was awarded “Best Jazz Instrumental Group” in the Downbeat student music awards.

Since graduation, Noel has been actively performing locally and internationally both as a band leader and as a sideman, releasing more of his own albums (“Marshmallow” in 2004, and “Salted Coffee” in 2014) and teaching jazz guitar and improvisation classes as an adjunct faculty member at the University of North Texas.

Also, Noel has been active as a recording artist and has performed on dozens of albums. His love for multiple styles of music has enabled him to be involved in a variety of projects including jazz, rock, gospel, pop, country, musical theater and more. Over the years, he has performed and/or recorded with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Lucky Peterson, Kenny Wheeler, Gary Willis, Andrae Crouch, Fred Hammond and many more.

Noel is a solo artist on his own (4 albums as a leader), but also can be seen and heard as the electric guitarist in the house band of the “Daystar” TV network’s “Marcus & Joni Show” (daily live show), at Bethesda Community Church (Fort Worth, TX), and in various other sideman projects throughout the DFW area. Noel teaches at UNT and at Lone Star Music Academy, a music school he and his wife co-founded. He is a family man and a proud dad of two sons.

Denton, Texas


Mike Luzecky
Mike Luzecky, a native of St Louis, is a well-established bassist and music educator living in Denton, Texas. Having attended the University of North Texas on a performance scholarship, he graduated in 2012 with a degree in Jazz Studies.

Since graduation, Luzecky has stayed busy both locally and nationally as a collaborator and an active sideman in a variety projects. A hunger for an array of musical stylings has allowed him the opportunity to record and perform with a diverse list of artists including Alejandro Escovedo, Justin Townes Earle, Horace Bray, Kaela Sinclair(M83, Troy Sivan), Sirintip, For Now, Cas Haley, Joel Cross, Tatiana “Ladymay” Mayfield, Dave Pietro, and Adam Larson to name a few.

Recently he had the pleasure to record the film score, written by Daniel Hart(S-Town, Dark Rooms), for the 2018 release “The Old Man and the Gun” featuring Robert Redford. He is a founding member of the Denton bred, electro-pop group TOMKAT, who released their debut LP, “Icarus”, in the fall of 2017.

Since the summer of 2015 Luzecky has been fortunate to lead a trio with longtime affiliate Matt Young (AMP Trio) every Sunday night at Paschall Bar located on the City Square in Denton, TX; the trio received “Best Jazz Act” for the Denton Arts & Music Awards this past year.

Denton, Texas


Matt Young
Matt Young is a multi-award winning drummer, composer, creator, and educator based out of Denton, TX.

Matt spent his formative years growing up in Marietta, GA, a town just outside of Atlanta. It was there he met many influential people in his life, two of which being Justin Varnes and Dr. Gordon Vernick. Atlanta’s vibrant scene and landscape turned Matt’s love of music into a life- long path of discovery. After high school, he moved to Texas to further his studies with Ed Soph at the University of North Texas.

Upon arriving at The University of North Texas for undergraduate studies, Matt was asked to join Grammy-Winning Artist Bob Belden’s, Animation, with Tim Hagans. Animation released Transparent Heart and Machine Language (feat. Bill Laswell and Kurt Elling) on RareNoise Records based in the UK. Both records received acclaim from publications such as JazzTimes, Jazzwise, and Downbeat Magazine. Back at UNT, Matt had the pleasure of playing with the 7x Grammy Nominated ensemble, The One O’Clock Lab Band, under the direction of Steve Wiest. He can be heard on Lab 2013 as a part of The One O’Clock’s long-standing annual recording tradition. In the Summer of 2014, Matt was invited to be a part of the Ravinia Steans Music Institute for Jazz in Chicago where he studied composition (with Rufus Reid, Curtis Fuller, David Baker, and Nathan Davis) and performed original music with a handful of his peers from around the world. In the Spring of 2015, Matt was a participant of Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead 2015 residency program. The two-week-long residency was held at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., where he worked with Program Director Jason Moran, and faculty members: Eric Harland, Carmen Lundy, Andre Hayward, Cyrus Chestnut, Eric Revis, and J.D. Allen. Matt has performed internationally including recent performances at the 30th Annual Fajr Int’l Music Festival in Tehran, Iran, the Voll-Damm Jazz Festival in Barcelona and XXIII Festival Internacional de Jazz Ciudad de Almeria in Almeria, Spain, UK, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and all around the US.

In 2010, Matt was the winner of the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) Drum Set Competition in the idiom of Jazz.

In January of 2017, Matt released his debut solo record entitled, Headspace, on which Matt played all the instruments, recorded, programmed, and mixed all of the music. Editor-in-Chief of Nextbop, Anthony Dean-Harris , had this to say on the release, “It’s as much a jazz album as it is a drum & bass release, which can appease some folks’ wider ears. It’s a neat little five song collection that’s straddling the lines of all sorts of genres in the best of ways”. http:// nextbop.com/blog/mattyoungheadspace

In March of 2017, along with two of his most frequent collaborators, Addison Frei and Perrin Grace, the aptly coined group, AMP Trio, released their third record, aptly titled, Three. SomethingElse! had this to say of a pre-released composition by Perrin, “it’s intuitive and forthright, performed with first-rate rapport. Ranging from hip-hop to straight jazz to free-form improv, it looks both back and ahead with equal reverence. — In short, “N.T. Bag” isn’t played by a trio where one player dominates over the others. With the AMP Trio, everyone dominates.” http://somethingelsereviews.com/2017/02/27/amp-trio-n-t-bag-three-2017-something-else- exclusive-premiere/

In June of 2017, AMP Trio featuring Tahira Clayton won 1st place in the international jazz competition hosted by the Washington D.C. Jazz Festival, DC Jazz Prix. The group was awarded with $15,000 and a year-long partnership with the D.C. Jazz Festival. They look forward to returning to the D.C. Jazz Festival in 2018 for a main stage performance and a follow up performance at next year’s DC Jazz Prix.

Matt proudly endorses Canopus Drums and Vic Firth drumsticks.

Denton, Texas

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