Matt Davis playing guitar outside in the evening

Guitar Department Chair

Music - Instrumental Performance (BM)

Matt Davis is a jazz guitarist, a composer, an educator, a bandleader, and an arranger. He is also an active teaching artist and a composer dedicated to fostering self-expression and community building through the sharing of music and scholarship.


Matt Davis is a guitarist, a teacher, and a composer based in the Philadelphia region. He has received numerous awards for his work from ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers), the American Composers Forum, Chamber Music America, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Davis serves as adjunct associate professor and chair of UArts’ Guitar department. Having earned degrees from Temple University, Philadelphia, and the Manhattan School of Music, Davis has performed across the U.S. and Mexico, as well as in Europe and Asia. 


  • Davis has more than 25 years’ experience as a professional guitarist, a teacher and a composer working across many different styles and musical contexts.

Visit Matt Davis’ website

Awards & Accolades 

  • Composition commission for chamber work, Orchestra 2001, Philadelphia, 2021

  • Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Grant for “Welcome Home,” 2018

  • Chamber Music America, Residency Partnership Grant, 2017

  • ASCAP award, 2007

  • American Composers Forum, Subito grant, 2007

  • American Composers Forum, Community Partners grant, 2006

  • National Parks Service, Composer in Residence, Buffalo National River, Arkansas, 2005 

  • CEC Arts Center, New Edge Artist in Residence, Philadelphia, 2004


Inspired – DownBeat magazine

Eloquent – JazzTimes magazine

Incredible – The Philadelphia Inquirer


Watch an introduction to the Guitar department at UArts.