“…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 he has performed with the likes of Lunasa, Tim O’Brien, Eileen Ivers, Matapat, David Munnelly, Corey Harris, Liz Carroll, and Bassekou Kouyate.

In the summer of 2014, Matthew performed in Russia on a U.S. State Department Arts Envoy tour with The Meaning of Buck Dance. Other recent projects include a guest appearance with Anam (a new performance piece co-produced by Ireland’s National Folk Theatre and The Dublin Dance Festival), and CyberTrad, Matthew’s debut solo album, which blends wooden flute and Human Beatbox with Irish and Breton music, and of which the Irish Echo said, “Outstanding… Olwell is an artist with a keen vision.” Matthew also performs regularly as a member of Maivish with Jaige trudel and Adam Broome. 

A recent graduate from Davis & Elkins College, Matthew is a first-year dance MFA candidate at Temple University.


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