Galway Jazz Festival Artistic Director Matthew Berrill hails from Headford, County Galway, in the West of Ireland, growing up with a rich musical education and learning various styles of music from his parents. He graduated with a Masters Degree in Music Performance in May 2010, where he specialised in jazz saxophone, clarinet and composition, studying with John Ruocco at the Royal Conservatoire, Den Haag, The Netherlands.
He has played on many stages in Europe including the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland, Avignon Jazz Festival in France and throughout his home country of Ireland. At the age of 18, he won the Senior Clarinet Competition in the Feis Ceoil in Dublin. He was awarded a place in the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music in Canada in 2007 and 2009 and in August 2009, won the 'Grand Prix' in the Tremplin Jazz Competition in Avignon, France as part of the Christian Mendoza Group.
Matthew is a keen educator and teaches in numerous music education projects throughout Galway County, including performances for children in the 'Adventures In Music' series in Galway, a concert for children in The Ark, Temble Bar, a workshop for children in the Galway Arts Centre and a collaboration with children's author Ed Vere, for the Cúirt Festival of Literature.
As co-founder and a conductor of the East Meets West Orchestra, a cross-country orchestra, he travelled to represent Ireland at the ISME conference in Glasgow in July 2016.
He teaches clarinet, saxophone and flute as part of the 'Headford Music Works' scheme, and runs a successful summer school for members of the Headford Youth Orchestra. As well as being Artistic Director of the Galway Jazz Festival, Matthew is a member of many ensembles including his own Trio with London based musicians Andrew Oliver (piano) and Simon Roth (drums), Ensemble Ériu, who received a 'Musical Collaboration Award' at the Gradam TG4 awards in February 2015 and the Irish Memory Orchestra who performed in the Sori Festival, Jeonju, South Korea in October.