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Tuesday, 30-Sep-2014 09:13:23 EDT


SAD NEWS - JEFF MATSON PASSES SUDDENLY

The NYC cabaret community suffered another loss on Saturday afternoon, April 2, 2005 when songwriter/writer/director/producer/graphic designer Jeff Matson passed away suddenly. Jeff was hospitalized on Monday, March 28th, suffering from a rare blood disorder, possibly a result of the fact that Jeff was a diabetic. Born on July 26, 1955, Jeffrey Matson is survived by his parents, Edith and Louis Matson of Venice, FL., brother Bruce H. Matson of Richmond, VA., sisters Sara M. Bimonte (Purskey) of Branford and Jennifer M. Halloran of Monroe, and 7 nieces and nephews.

Mr. Matson graduated from the University of CT with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. He lived in NY for the past 25 years and worked as a writer and graphic designer. Mr. Matson wrote for and directed many entertainers in the Cabaret Community of NYC, produced many original works, and was a passionate political activist.
Along with his long-time creative writing partner and best friend, Brooks Cowan, Jeff created special material and cabaret songs used by several performers, many of which were presented in a revue of their songs several years ago. Jeff and Brooks were the creative team that wrote "The Question W Revue," performed in 2004 at THE DUPLEX in an extended run to high acclaim.

Jeff also was a writer who helped many performers in developing patter, organizing and choosing material and songs, and developing a theme for their shows. He was always on hand to suggest changes, but more importantly, give confidence-boosting praise and constructive critique. He developed material and show themes for Quinn Lemley and Richard Skipper, to name just two. He was also well known for passing along hints to other performers on ways they could improve their shows.

My first recollection of Jeff was when he invited me to come hear Quinn Lemley sing at a long-gone club in the Village on Barrow Street called RAPPSIDY - owned by Joni Rapp. We often crossed paths at cabaret shows and at the happy-hour bar at DON'T TELL MAMA, usually when Jay Rogers was bartender.

Most recently I noted that Jeff had decided to leave the corporate world and work full time in cabaret, providing his writing and songwriting talents, website and promotion design, direction and advice. With the 15th Anniversary of CABARET HOTLINE coming in July, 2005, I offered to help him promote his new venture in return for his help to organize, create and promote a special cabaret event of celebration. When I had my accident on the 10th of March, Jeff graciously filled in as guest reviewer on the opening night of the cabaret room at THE ENCORE on March 11th, and his outstanding reviews of the shows of Julie Reyburn and Lumiri Tubo are currently posted on the website.

Though Jeff usually worked behind the scenes, his talents and skills were appreciated and enjoyed by performers and audiences alike. He will be sorely missed by those who knew and loved him, and we especially convey our sympathy and kind thoughts and prayers to his family and his collaborator, Brooks Cowan.

Because of the suddenness of his passing, funeral/memorial information is incomplete at this time.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation, (NNFF,) 2731 Porter SW, Grand Rapids, MI, 49509.

 

Mailbox If you wish to add a thought of rememberance,
send me your comments at stuhamstra@svhamstra.com
and if deemed appropriate, it will be added to this page.

 

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