Matthias 'Matt' Heyman studied classical double bass at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels under Frank Coppieters. As a student he played in symphonic orchestras under the direction of Philippe Herreweghe, Barthold Kuijcken and Reinbert De Leeuw, and in concert halls such as Bozar in Brussels and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam (NL).
He continued his studies at the Jazz department under Bart De Nolf before moving to the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp to study under Piet Verbist and Nic Thys. Here he graduated with distinction in 2009 (M.A.), and received his teacher's diploma with great distinction the same year. Matt also followed masterclasses with Hein van de Geyn, Eddie Gomez and Ron Carter among others.
He played for three years (2008-2011) in the first edition of the Youth Jazz Orchestra and was active as a freelance sideman in bands such as Royal Roost and They Came Out of the Woods. He also gained experience with Frank Vaganée, Jef Neve, Bart Van Caeneghem, Kurt Van Herck, etc. Nowadays Matt is still active as a sideman in the Tango Meets Jazz Project and in Jazz Story, an educational theatre show. He is also one of the founding members of Monk by Four, a Thelonious Monk tribute band, and more recently the guitar trio Sullivan Street Trio (with Tim Finoulst and Wim Eggermont).
With this trio he has won a Fourth Prize in the recent edition of the Jazz Hoeilaart International Contest, in which they were the only Belgian finalist.
Besides his activities as a musician, Matt is also active as an educator and researcher. He has taught double bass and ensemble for several years now at the Music Academy of Herentals, and is the lecturer of Jazz History at the Jazzstudio in Antwerp (since 2009) and at the Lemmensinstituut in Leuven (since 2011). In 2011 Matt was also active as a field researcher for Resonant vzw in Leuven, in which he researched the cultural heritage of the Belgian Jazz History.
Besides his interest in Belgian jazz history, Matt also specializes in jazz history in general and specific topics such as the history of jazz double bass.
From 2012 on, Matt will pursue a doctoral research at the University of Antwerp (in the research group Media, Policy & Culture) and the Artesis Hogeschool (at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp). In his research, he will contextualize the artistic output of jazz double bassist Jimmie Blanton. As such, Matt will as one of the first PhD's in Belgium specializing in jazz history and culture.