Since 1988, SGM Matt Niess has served as a trombonist with The U.S. Army Blues. Raised in Levittown, PA, he attended Woodrow Wilson High School. He earned an undergraduate degree in instrumental music education from West Chester University, a Master of Music in classical trombone performance from George Mason University, and is currently pursuing a DMA in classical trombone performance at Catholic University. A former high school band director, he has also taught on the music faculty at University of the Arts, Shenandoah Conservatory and Towson University, and has also served as director of jazz studies and professor of trombone at West Chester University. He is the founder and director of The Capitol Bones, a jazz trombone ensemble which has received national recognition and was winner of the 1991 International Trombone Association Kai Winding Award. He is the founder and director of The National Jazz Workshop which takes place in Winchester, VA each July.
He has appeared as a soloist, clinician, and adjudicator at numerous jazz festivals, universities, and schools throughout the country. He has produced recordings with The U.S. Army Blues, The West Chester University Criterions Jazz Ensemble, The Capitol Bones and The Capitol Bones Big Band, and has appeared on recordings with The Mark Taylor/Steve Fidyk Big Band, The New Gene Krupa Orchestra, Graham Breedlove, Doug Hamilton, The Mike Tomaro Big Band, The Studio A Big Band, The Washington Winds, Warner Bros. Publications, FJH Music, Carl Fischer Music, Belwin Publications and Hal Leonard Publications.