A Chicago native, Matt Kanelos studied classical and jazz piano at Chicago Musical College before moving to New York City. He developed his songwriting concept while studying creative writing at the City College of New York. Matt's lyrical stylings and minimalist musical aesthetic bring to mind influences like Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Will Oldham and Cat Power. Performing regularly in New York, he has collaborated with Noe Venable, Rose Polenzani, Jenifer Jackson, Jodi Shaw, Noam Weinstein, Serena Jost, Sam Kenny, Roland Satterwhite, and Jason Liebman as well as members of Califone and Elysian Fields. In 2008, Matt formed the band The Smooth Maria with Ben Gallina, Conor Meehan, and Kyle Sanna. The Smooth Maria have attracted a dedicated audience in New York City with their unique balance of refined musicianship and vivid poetry. They perform frequently at acclaimed New York venues like the Living Room, the Rockwood Music Hall, Pete's Candy Store, and Barbès.
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