The Music is a Beautiful Thing Project is something that came to me as I have traveled all around Massachusetts performing in recent years. The goal is to do two things: 

1) Bring music to people/places that might not have a chance to hear much live music otherwise.

2) Try and bring quality musical instruments to places where they'll be put to use.

I've performed in over 150 cities and towns in Massachusetts in recent years. I've played at yacht clubs and also long forgotten factory towns, oftentimes in the same week. I've played for young families, old people and everyone in between. The common thing that I've found is, as the name says, music is a beautiful thing. I've been a musician for a long time and the conversations and joy that I've received from traveling around is something that I'll be eternally grateful for. Truly.

The other thing I've found is the disparities that exist across the state. I spend a lot of time playing to older audiences and I notice it with that group in a big way. I want to raise money and awareness to try to bring not just my music, but the music of others to places I think would really appreciate it. I think there's also an opportunity to help get good instruments into schools, rehab facilities, senior centers and so many other places. If there's someone sitting in a rehab facility that always wanted to learn three chords on a guitar but never had an opportunity to do so, I want to help facilitate that. How many of us have an old instrument laying around that hasn't been touched in years? I'd love to find ways to take those instruments, have them fixed up properly if needed and then distribute them to places where they'd be put to good use. 

If you've seen me perform, you probably noticed that I really love what I do. As I've traveled around, the one constant has been how much people appreciate being around live music. Whether I'm playing to wealthy vacationers down the Cape or people just scraping by month to month on social security, the response from audiences is the same. I have a million stories that highlight this, but I want to mention one because it just occurred recently.

I performed an outdoor concert in a very affluent Massachusetts town recently. It was a beautiful New England night with a great audience and just a picture perfect spot for a free community concert. There were little kids running around who loved when I played "You are My Sunshine". There were old men singing along when I did "Folsom Prison Blues". It was a beautiful thing to be a part of and I felt like I was living within a Norman Rockwell painting. 

The next morning, I woke up and drove to one of the poorest cities in the Commonwealth to perform at a senior center there. They had about seventy-five people in attendance, mainly because free lunch was included and the Center was BBQing dogs and burgers that day. A person that worked there came over and told me "we have people from close to thirty different countries here today that speak many different languages, so I wouldn't tell too many stories and I'm not sure they'll want to hear an hour straight of Willie Nelson songs". Both Willie and Johnny Cash made several gospel albums, so I decided to play some of those songs to start. I also sang some folk and traditional songs that are truly universal like "I Saw the Light" and "Will the Circle be Unbroken". I sang "You are My Sunshine" just like I'd done the night before and there were senior citizens dancing in the aisles smiling, clapping hooting and hollering. It's something I'll never forget. 

The very next morning, I was down the Cape playing at a senior living facility. I met this incredible 92 year-old woman from Cuba who had sang and played flamenco guitar her whole life. She still has an incredible voice. It was her birthday and we did a duet together singing, you guessed it, "You are My Sunshine". I received an email from the coordinator of the concert telling me that the woman said it was one of the greatest birthdays of her life (and she's had ninety-two of them, so that's saying something). Later that night, I was playing at a club singing for a bunch of young people. 

I'm in the process of creating a non-profit that will allow people and businesses to make charitable donations to help support these ideas. Many cities and towns have no budget for music or culture. I want to go to those places. I want to visit schools, prisons and senior facilities anywhere that seems like it would benefit from hearing live music. I know a million musicians that perform all different styles and I'd love to have some of those musicians share their story and the musical gifts with people across the state.

I'll be posting more information as this progresses but I appreciate you stopping by and reading about it. If you'd like to support what I'm doing, you can use a credit/debit card through this link or the donate button above. You can also mail checks payable to Matt York at The Music is a Beautiful Thing Project C/O Matt York at PO Box 294, N. Pembroke, MA 02358. Thank you!

Sincerely,
Matt York 

P.S. Please don't show up at one of my concerts with instruments unless we connect beforehand. I drive a Honda Accord that is always stuffed w/ my own equipment, so it'll be hard for me to collect more than 1-2 instruments at a time, but if you have one you think might make sense, feel free to email me at mattyorkpembroke@gmail.com or call/text me at 781-953-6177 and we can make arrangements. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

Revere, MA 2022

Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Waltham, Massachusetts 2023

Halifax, MA 2023

Me and my favorite fan Wendy