Matt Tolentino, who shares his birthday with Fred Astaire, was born May 10, 1985 in Dallas, TX, and has worked hard to preserve the music of generations past, to bring the music of yesterday to the modern audience of today.
When he was 8, he was given a compilation of recordings from the 1920s and early 1930s, and was his first exposure of this niche music... it wouldn't be long before he began haunting junk shops and estate sales for records.
Matt Tolentino began his musical venture at 11, when he picked up the clarinet to play in the band in elementary school; upon entering high school he added saxophone, tuba, piano, and accordion to the ranks. Much of high school was spent playing with the school jazz band, and on weekends playing gigs at private parties and in German restaurants. Very contrary to his generation, 'The Lawrence Welk Show' was part of his usual television viewing. Matt never missed an episode, and for the longest time the thought never occurred to him that these were in fact old shows! In 2006 he began to travel and tour playing clarinet and saxophone with bands from Texas and Pennsylvania, providing him with much needed experience - the things you won't learn in a classroom.
On one of those jaunts up north Matt met Drew Nugent, a very talented cornetist and pianist from Philadelphia, who was leading his own bands. Upon seeing Drew's success, Matt decided to put his own group together, and thus The Singapore Slingers were born. He had been collecting 'stock' arrangements for some time and longed to have his own band with which to play them. The orchestra was assembled from those he had known through his work in pit orchestras, recording, and gigging. The result was a group of dedicated, talented players, a great number of which are still with the orchestra to this day. The Slingers play a wide variety of musical styles, performing just about everything from 1895 - 1935.
Matt would soon create The Matt Tolentino Band and various smaller incarnations of the Singapore Slingers to play for dances, clubs, private and corporate parties, and anywhere that hot jazz music is requested.
While a great focus is on pre-swing popular music - hot jazz, fox trots, marches, one-steps, two-steps, and waltzes - he is also well versed in the traditional German, Czech, Austrian, and Scandinavian music. Whether leading his Royal Klobasneks polka band or playing solo accordion, it's no stretch to find him at Oktoberfest events.
A true multi-instrumentalist, he is equally at home on accordion, clarinet, tuba, piano, tenor guitar, banjo, and saxophones, specializing in baritone and bass sax. Some of his great and varied influences include Vince Giordano, The New Leviathan Oriental Fox Trot Orchestra, Adrian Rollini (Matt owns one of his bass saxophones), Al Bowlly, Paul Whiteman, Scott Joplin, and Myron Floren. He has traveled far and wide to play - his music has made him a lot of friends, and even brought his wife Danielle and him together, through a mutual love of this music- what started as friendship in 2006 led to marriage in June 2010.
Today Matt makes his home in Cincinnati, Ohio, and divides his time between there and his native Dallas, TX. Matt will continue to bring the music of yesterday to the audience of today, presented with respect and reverence - the way it should be.