Biography

Listed as one of Fred Hersch’s “pianists you should know”, and described as “an outstanding pianist, stoked full of creative ideas and limitless technique....totally innovative and luminous” by The Australian (national newspaper), Matthew graduated from the Elder Conservatorium in 2008 having been awarded the prize for top Undergraduate for piano, most outstanding honours student, and having being awarded the Adelaide University Medal for excellence in the humanities. In 2009 he became the first Australian to win a coveted Downbeat Magazine Student Award, and was offered a scholarship to complete a Masters Degree in Music Performance at Boston’s New England Conservatory, studying with 10-time grammy nominated pianist Fred Hersch, and Macarthur Fellow, Jason Moran. Upon graduating in 2011, Matthew relocated to NYC where has been engaged as composer, bandleader and performer since. In 2014 he was the winner of the APRA/AMCOS Professional Development Award. The same year Matthew was a Freedman Fellowship finalist, performing a set of original music at the Sydney Opera House. 

Sheens has performed with many musical luminaries including Bob Mintzer, Chris McNulty, Paul Bollenback, Bob Moses, Cecil McBee, Jim Pugh, John Hoffman, Tom Patitucci, Jerry Bergonzi, Jon Gordon, John Patitucci, Eric Harland and Ben Wendel. 


He has performed across Australia, USA, The UK, Japan, The Netherlands, at the Jazz Hoeilaart International Jazz Festival in Belgium, Montreux International Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Europafest in Romania, Wellington Jazz Festival, NZ, Australia's Wangaratta Jazz Festival, Melbourne International Jazz Festival, and at the International Panama Jazz festival in Panama City. 

In 2012 Sheens released his debut album, ‘Every Eight Seconds’, to wide acclaim and won the 2013 APRA/AMCOS Professional Development Award. Sheens released his second album ‘Untranslatable’ (ABC Music) in 2014, and ‘Cloud Appreciation Day’ (QFTF) September 2016, which won the ‘Jazz Couleurs Hit Award’ in France, and will be releasing his first extended- composition album ‘American Counterpoint’ (QFTF) in 2018, which has been nominated (pre-release) for ‘Australian Jazz Work of the Year’ at the APRA Art Awards. In 2018 Matthew was commissioned to write an entire programme for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, which will be performed and recorded in February 2019.