Matt Giraud, a Kalamazoo native, became an overnight success on American Idol. The singer/songwriter/piano player actually started as a drummer, playing and singing in church in his hometown of Ypsilanti, Michigan. He went on to attend Western Michigan University, and although he didn't major in music, he auditioned for and was accepted by the famous GOLD COMPANY, which has been Downbeat Magazines #1 Vocal Jazz Ensemble for more than 20 years running. In the meantime he found a piano and taught himself to play what would become his trademark style.
His audition for American Idol came on a whim...a friend was going and asked if he wanted to ride along. That spur of the moment decision turned into national exposure on TV's highest rate show of the season. Matt received the first ever "judges save" and moved to the finals. His run ended on a high note, with the ever-so-hard to impress Simon Cowell raving about Matt's rendition of "My Funny Valentine". He toured with the American Idols Live Tour, which regularly played to 7,500+ fans, and many critics wrote that Matt stole the show in their cities. Matt also made appearences on the Ellen Degeneres show, Live with Regis and Kathy Lee, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Access Hollywood, and The Today Show.
Success (and lots of hard work) didn't end with the Idol Tour. He has been playing to consistently sold out theaters since then, and played in front of over 9,000 fans with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra last summer. His first W. Michigan concert after the Idol Tour drew fans from 13 different states. His duet with Anna Wilson, the Eddie Arnold classic "You Don't Know Me", debuted at #1 on the itunes jazz chart, and Jim Brinkman's "Thank You", with Matt on vocals, reached #19 nationally on the Adult Contemporary charts. He recently performed at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville for the release of Anna Wilson's "Countrypolitan Duets", and received a standing ovation, no small feat for a crowd that was largely being exposed to him for the first time. Matt is also in high demand for performances of the National Anthem, and has performed for private functions and fundraisers all over the U.S.
A Matt Giraud concert is a mix of material he is currently writing and recording for his upcoming cd, along with some classics that audiences already know the words to, and sing along with, new songs that have never been recorded other than by fans with cell phone and cameras. Says Matt, "I'll keep playing and making music as long as I have fans that want to hear me...it's what I do, and what I love." Check out this concert at the Dogwood and you'll know exactly what he's talking about!
Matt will be accompanied by the Grand Rapids' own Sweet J!
Tickets: $22.50. Main Stage. 7:30 p.m. Join us for a Birthday Party for Dogwood's 10th year at the afterglow following the performance!
Dogwood Box Office hours are Tuesday - Friday 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. and two hours prior to an event. For information, phone 231.924.8885.