“…animated rhythm… ecstatic charm.”
Matthew Olwell has been performing and teaching as a dancer and percussionist at festivals and theaters across North America and Europe since 1996. He was immersed in a world of music, dance and theater from an early age, traveling with his family’s wooden-flute making business. He has studied with some of the finest teachers in percussive dance, including Baakari Wilder, Donny Golden, Eileen Carson, and The Fiddle Puppets. In 2010 Matthew was accepted to the first ever tap program at Jacob’s Pillow, where he studied with, among others, Harold Cromer, Derick K. Grant and Dianne Walker. Matthew danced for nine years with the Maryland-based Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, with whom he performed in Riverdance. In 2006 he co-founded Good Foot Dance Company, and now teaches and performs often in community arts events in his native Charlottesville, VA. Matthew has performed with Lunasa, Tim O’Brien, Matapat, David Munnelly, Corey Harris, Liz Carroll, and Bassekou Kouyate. In 2005, Matthew and his brother Aaron Olwell recorded and released a CD of their band; Hell on the Nine Mile. In 2007, Matthew appeared in a music video that mixed elements of clogging and kung fu by Rounder recording artists Uncle Earl. Recently he has toured with Eileen Ivers in Beyond the Bog Road. In 2010, Matthew and Emily Oleson were co-program directors for the Augusta Heritage Center’s Dance Week, and founded THE BEAT RETREAT, a percussive dancers co-op and professional development session in Charlottesville, VA.