Bass player, Composer and Educator

'The Antidote Reloaded'
Out Now!


Matt Ridley is a freelance double bassist, bass guitarist, educator and composer bandleader based in London, UK. He has a performing career spanning more than 2 decades, with 5 releases to his name. 

Matt began his musical journey on piano aged 6. By his mid teens he had gravitated towards bass guitar, and was gigging professionally at age 19. In 2001 he enrolled at Trinity College of Music, and it was there that he began learning the double bass. He performed his final recital entirely on this instrument, and upon graduating with a Bmus honours degree in Jazz Studies, he was awarded the Trinity College of Music 'Friends in New York' award. 

 He has performed internationally and at many of London's most celebrated venues; the Purcell Room, Cadogan Hall, Ronnie Scott’s, King’s Place, the Barbican, the Union Chapel and the Brixton Academy.

As a band leader, Matt released his debut album ‘Thymos’ on Whirlwind Recordings in 2013. Featuring the talents of award-winning pianist John Turville, drummer George Hart, and guest appearances from saxophonist Jason Yarde, oud maestro Attab Haddad and percussionist Vasilis Sirikis, the album represents a substantial artistic statement of both compositional and improvisational chutzpah. Matt's follow-up album, 'Mettā', was released in February 2016. Building on the melodic, rhythmically inventive style of 'Thymos', and with Jason Yarde now a core member of the group, the album received 4-star reviews across the board. The quartet performed at jazz clubs and festivals across the UK and were hailed as 'One of Britain's very finest contemporary quartets' (Jazzviews).

In 2019, Matt formed a new band, 'The Antidote', a quintet featuring Alex Hitchcock (sax), Ant Law (guitar), Tom Hewson (piano) and Marc Michel (drums). The eponymous album was released on Ubuntu Music in July 2021 to rave reviews in coveted music publications at home and abroad; Downbeat Magazine**** (U.S.), BBC Music Magazine****, Jazzwise****, Presto Music 'recording of the week', Jazzmania (Belgium) Ivan Rod***** (Denmark) and was included in '20 best jazz albums of 2021' by Jazzwise.

From 2011-2016, Matt also led the 'MJQ Celebration'. A band 'inherited' from the late Michael Garrick MBE, the band featured award winning vibraphonist Jim Hart, pianist Barry Green, and Steve Brown on drums. The group toured the UK many times and the eponymous CD (produced by Ridley), received glowing reviews and was described by the London Jazz Blog as ‘an enormously entertaining project, already leaping on top of an early 'best of 2014' pile'.

Matt is an in-demand sideman, known equally for his work with younger musicians on the contemporary jazz scene, and with older, more established names. Since 2006 he has played with Darius Brubeck (eldest son of Dave Brubeck) in a quartet featuring Dave O'Higgins on saxophone. He played in Michael Garrick's various ensembles from 2009 until his death in 2011; Quartet, Jazz Orchestra, and 'Lyric Ensemble', and recorded several albums with him.  Since 2013 He has worked extensively with guitarist Ant Law, both in his quintet and 'Art of Rhythm' trio with drummer Asaf Sirkis.

Lockdown 2020 saw various international collaborations with Ant, namely with Ari Hoenig, Sean Rickman and Kit Downes. (see videos page)

In a more ad hoc capacity he has performed with a wide range of musicians at the vanguard of their movement including Tim Garland, Nikki Iles, Gary Husband, Don Weller, Pete King, Jim Mullen, Soweto Kinch, 'Hexagonal', Gilad Atzmon, Michael Garrick, George Crowley, and many more. He has also performed with artists on the international scene such as Mulatu Astatke, and Trinidadian steel pan phenomenon Leon Foster Thomas.

Matt has enjoyed a performing career outside jazz, which has included a notable long-standing collaboration with award winning singer-songwriter Sam Carter, with whom he has recorded 4 studio albums and a live EP.

Matt is actively involved in education and has led workshops and masterclasses at UK conservatoires, taught on residential jazz courses, and on Sound and Music's 'Young Composers' Summer school. He is Head of Jazz at the Brentwood School, where he teaches improvisation, musicianship, and directs the Junior and Senior jazz groups. He offers private tuition from his teaching studio and via Zoom, and welcomes tuition inquiries from students of all instruments, levels and abilities.


"It’s both Ridley’s excellent usage of his collaborators and his penchant for melody that is undoubtedly the main appeal of his music"

Presto Music 'Recording of the Week' (read full review)

"An architectural work of great strength; melodic, insistent, expressive and strong." 5* 

Ivan Rod, (Denmark) (read full review)

"A beautiful and intelligent musical conversation between high-level performers, with a desire to favour the collective"

Jazzmania (Belgium) (read full review)

Matt Ridley must be one of the most dapper musicians in British jazz

London Jazz News (read full review)

"The Matt Ridley Quartet are an absolute 'must go and see' live experience"
Hifi Answers (read full review)

"A very good album by an excellent quartet"
All About Jazz (read full review)

"One of Britain's very finest contemporary quartets"
Jazzviews (read full review)


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