Danny Matson passed away on April 25, 2023. Not a musician himself he was a ragtime superfan, a regular attendee of ragtime and jazz festivals, and an “Angel of the Arts”.
Starting in 2013 he commisioned new rags from many working ragtime musicians and composers, enough of them to fill three CDs from Rivermont. Ragtime Wizardry, featured 18 pianist-composers performing their own compositions. It was followed by 19 more new tunes on Victorian Gardens Ragtime, and Ragtime Wizardry, Vol. 2 with yet another 18 new titles.
This is a story of one good turn making another possible. 2013 was also the year that one of Matson’s many friends in the community, drummer Danny Coots, donated him a kidney.
Outside of ragtime Matson studied mathmatics and earned a PhD in linguistics, living briefly in India while working on his disertation. He also collected old tools, dinnerware, and was a devotee of Apple products from the early days of the company. He enjoyed playing on his broad smile and beard to costume as a wizard around Halloween, and as Santa Claus around Christmas. He is remembered by all for his kindness.