Matt Baldoni returns to help alma mater |

Matt Baldoni returns to help alma mater

Los Angeles-based professional guitarist Matt Baldoni has the type of resume other musicians envy.

For starters, he has recorded and performed with Busta Rhymes, Run DMC, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Chaka Kahn, John Mayer and Arrested Development, and Grammy-winning jazz artists Mindi Abair, Keiko Matsui and Ronnie Laws. Two summers ago, Baldoni was prominently seen on Fox Sports Net’s “The NFL Show” as its bandleader, composer and arranger. He also holds endorsements with Gibson Guitars, Peavey Amplifiers and the Sharktooth thumbpick, to name a few.

With that said, Baldoni hasn’t forgotten his jazz band beginnings and is just as eager to work Friday with current students from his former junior high school. That’s when he will accompany Magnolia Intermediate School’s Rattler Jazz Band during the first part of the second annual Tasty Jazz Concert and then play his jazz/fusion originals with his trio for the rest of the concert.

Baldoni credits his years involved in Magnolia’s music programs “as a significant secret weapon to my development into a professional. I was in the concert band and jazz band for all three years there. It was my first formal institutional music education experience aside from the classical guitar lessons I had from age 8 up until then.”

Magnolia Intermediate School’s Rattler Jazz Band is an audition-only performance group of 18 sixth- through eighth-graders.

“Any promotion for this group of stellar young musicians would help greatly, for their program is essential to their education and it is in jeopardy,” Baldoni said this week from Southern California. “This fundraiser concert they’re putting on I am doing for no money, and it’s for the best of causes.”

Friday’s concert proceeds will be used for the Rattler Jazz Band’s trip to the Santa Cruz Jazz Festival and Competition at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Cheesecake, cookies, gourmet coffee and beverages will be served at intermission.

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