If you’ve recorded or played jazz or original music in New England in recent years, you probably know audio engineer Matt Hayes. After graduating from Berklee in 2006, he became part of Boston's music community as the house engineer at Wellspring Sound in Acton and as production manager at Sculler's Jazz Club, and also recently started working at Jimmy's on Congress in Portsmouth NH. Matt loved his family, loved making records and mixing live bands, and seemingly took joy in all aspects of his rich life.
Matt died tragically in a car accident early on Sunday, April 3rd, leaving his wife Samantha and two young boys Hunter and Leon without their beloved husband and father. The family, already emotionally devastated from the sudden loss, is also reeling from the unfortunate reality of their new situation. Matt was the sole breadwinner for the family. On top of all the usual expenses you'd expect, one of their boys deals with chronic health issues that require expensive medication. They need our help. They need YOUR help.
All funds raised in this campaign will be used to help this young family face financial difficulty in both the short and long term. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
“I'm just hearing about this tragic accident. Matt Hayes was approaching the pinnacle of his career. He was a brilliant engineer. I mixed two projects that he recorded, one was nominated for a Grammy this year. Matt was a brother in arms, and now it’s time for everyone to contribute to help his family.
RIP Matt– Elliot Scheiner “
"Matt was such a good man in so many ways. A loving father to two young sons, a devoted husband, and a dedicated engineer who touched so many lives. His loss leaves a hole in the Boston music community that can't be measured."
Scullers Jazz Club:
“Everyone here at Scullers, as all of Matt's colleagues, are completely devastated by the news of his tragic passing. Our deepest condolences go to his family and his enormous extended family in the music community he served and supported with singular care and passion.
The quality and creativity of his work with us at Scullers was unmatched and constantly validated by every artist who had the pleasure of working with him. We were so appreciative of his unique ability to make every performer feel welcome and supported, offering them and our audiences the very best sound. We can't say enough about his valued contribution to the club and the wonderful passion he brought to his work. We, among all of his extended musical family, will miss him deeply.
Please take a moment to share whatever support you can with his family. This GoFundMe page will be circulated to all of our friends. Please share it among your caring community, and thank you for your invaluable support to his young family.
We send our love and support to his loved ones at this unimaginable time."
“Matt Hayes tracked so many projects for me, including my Grammy nominated last album, it is hard to accept that he won’t be tracking the next one. I saw him grow into a great engineer, his skills were top-notch, and his dedication unmatched. Matt’s passing is a devastating blow to the soul of our music community.”
Terri Lyne Carrington:
“The recent passing of Matt Hayes is devastating news to our community. Matt was a great engineer, a hard worker, a family man, and an all around wonderful human being. He went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure his work was the best it could be and that his clients were happy. As we are all shocked and saddened with his untimely passing, we also need to come together as a community in support of his family. Please give what you can to ease some of their burdens, as Matt would do for us. I am certain that his biggest wish right now would be for us to come together and help in any way that we can. Matt will be terribly missed, but his legacy will live on through the many recordings he contributed to, as well as in our hearts forever.”
" I just had an all-afternoon mix session with Matt on Thursday, March 30, and it is surreal that he is gone. His expertise as a recording and mixing engineer was of the highest professional standard, and he understood how to record and provide top-notch live sound reinforcement for jazz music, a genre that too many recording professionals do not. His “bedside manner” in the studio was outstanding as well, as he often worked by himself, giving everyone the best headphone mixes, answering all queries about mix notes and instrumental levels, and managing complex artistic personalities, all with enthusiasm, efficiency, and humor.”
Yoko Miwa & Scott Goulding:
“We received the utterly devastating news on 4/3/22 that our dear friend, collaborator and colleague Matt Hayes lost his life early Sunday morning in a fatal car accident. We've known and worked with Matt for more than 12 years. This is not only a loss for us but the entire music community as well. Most of all, it's a loss for his family, especially his wife and two children since Matt was the sole breadwinner for them, so we encourage people to give whatever amount they can. Matt was a 2X GRAMMY nominated sound engineer who recorded and mixed my last 3 CDs and was essentially part of my band. He was in no small way responsible for the success of those recordings which I will treasure forever as a beautiful testament to his incredible talent. We will never have that sound on recording again but we will dedicate every note we play from here on out to his loving memory. Matt was such an amazing soul with a beautiful heart, he was kind to everyone. May you Rest in Peace Matt, we LOVE you and will miss you forever!”
“Matt was a musician's engineer, with sensitive ears, knowledgeable, musical, and a wonderful person to work with.”
Daniel Ian Smith:
“I awoke this morning to the devastating news that Matt Hayes was taken from his family and this world far too soon this past weekend. Matt was tirelessly committed to his work as an engineer and went out of his way to make all the musicians he worked with comfortable and at ease, whether it be in the studio or in his capacity at Sculler’s Jazz Club. Matt was a consummate professional and an in-demand engineer that the best musicians in the area sought out for their projects. I recorded my last record with Matt right around the time his second child was born, and I’ll never forget how excited and proud he was of the new arrival. It was clear that he was as committed to his family as he was to the family of musicians he worked with. His passing leaves a void in all of us and he will be dearly, dearly missed. My thoughts, prayers, and condolences are with his family.”