Described by Danish daily broadsheet Politiken as “Denmark’s leading male jazz vocalist, on the verge of an international breakthrough” and by Gaffa as “an international star in the making”, Mads Mathias is a vocalist/ songwriter and saxophonist, who has captured the hearts of music lovers with his charismatic performances, spirited personality and creative original songs.
Inspired and influenced by the great jazz vocalists of the past and present from Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra to Harry Connick Jr, and with a deep respect for the jazz tradition, Mathias is nevertheless an original talent with a unique and effortlessly charming vocal delivery and a skill for writing catchy and memorable, stylishly crafted tunes.
“With his…Cole Porter knack of writing deceptively simple yet tightly structured tunes, which sound as though they’ve been lifted straight out of The Great American Songbook, it’s easy to see why singer-saxophonist Mads Mathias won the Danish Music Award for Best New Jazz Artist Of The Year” - Reviewsphere (review of Edinburgh Jazz Festival performance 2016)
Mathias’s highly anticipated second album of original jazz songs arranged for small ensemble, big band and strings, was released in November 2021 on Storyville Records. On 'I'm All Ears', his sophomore album, Mads has gathered together some of the best in the business, from Grammy-nominated DR arranger Peter Jensen and the UK's leading jazz arranger Guy Barker (London Jazz Festival’s ‘Jazz Voice’) to the leader of the renowned Danish String Quartet – Rune Tonsgård, Brazilian Pandero master Bernardo Aguiar and one of the world’s best harmonica players, Mathias Heise.
Alongside these new collaborators are long-time associates ‘the Quentin Tarantino of Danish jazz’ and playmate since childhood Peter Rosendal (keys), Morten Ankarfeldt (bass) and Esben Laub & UK rising-star James Maddren on drums, plus an incredible horn section. ‘It’s been really exciting to work with these amazing musicians and be able to use different instrumentation to best deliver each song’ Mads comments. In so doing, the album provides great variety, yet with a forward-looking, original and consistent ‘sound’ throughout.
His first release, ‘Free Falling’, is a hugely ambitious project with contributions from twenty-five musicians in a mix of big band, strings and small group arrangements. Ten of the songs are originals by Mathias, who also performs saxophone, trumpet and piano alongside his vocals, with arrangements by himself and Peter Jensen. The resulting critically-acclaimed album is a set of entrancing songs with the feel of timeless swing-era classics, skillfully crafted into a seamless coherent whole, with Mathias’s vocals ranging from playful and humorous to the depth and vulnerability demonstrated on the final ballad ‘Colorblind’. ‘Free Falling’ won him a Danish Music Award for ‘Best New Danish Jazz Artist of the Year’ as well as a nomination for ‘Danish Vocal Release of the year’.
Mathias has performed in venues across the world from the DR Koncerthuset in Copenhagen and Denmark’s Roskilde Festival to the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing and Santo Scenario, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2015/16 he completed two sold-out tours in the UK, including appearances at Cheltenham, Edinburgh, Cambridge and London Jazz Festivals. In August 2017 he performed at the televised 'Swing no End' BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, London and he also performed at the 2017 EFG London Jazz Festival 'Jazz Voice' opening gala night at the Royal Festival Hall in November 2017.
“A truly gifted artist” - Brian Blain, London Jazz News (review of Pizza Express Jazz Club performance, London 2015)
Mathias grew up partly in his native town of Silkeborg, Denmark and partly in Tanzania, in a musical home with 34 instruments, which he explored from infancy. The saxophone became his main instrument, but at the age of 17 he injured his hand in a car accident, losing three fingers. Afraid that his playing days were over, he began to sing and write songs. Fortunately, after extensive rehabilitation to his hand, he was able to play the saxophone once again and was accepted to study at the Copenhagen Rhythmic Music Conservatory, from which he graduated in 2007. Aside from performing with his own regular quartet and 10-piece ensemble, Mathias is frequently invited to front the Danish Radio big band.