In August of 2006, with the backdrop of the Rockies to inspire them, the Matt Flinner Trio (Matt Flinner (mandolin), Ross Martin (guitar), and Eric Thorin (bass)) threw down a challenge to one another: write a new tune each day while on tour and perform it that evening. The first gig was at a small art gallery in Salt Lake City and barring a frantic evening of photocopying and rehearsing, the show was a success. The players continued with their daily musical challenge, giving birth to the concept of the "Music du Jour" tours and later the Music du Jour album. Between Flinner, Ross, and Thorin, over sixty new tunes were composed during three western US tours, and in December 2008 the trio committed the twelve best to record at the Compass Sound Studio. With Music du Jour the Matt Flinner Trio sets a new standard for the bluegrass trio sound and creative output.
Multi-instrumentalist Matt Flinner has made a career out of playing acoustic music in new ways. Starting out as a banjo prodigy who was playing bluegrass festivals before he entered his teens, Flinner later took up the mandolin, won the banjo contest at Winfield Kansas in 1990, and took the mandolin award there the following year. Flinner's decision to focus on eight-stringed instruments, especially the mandolin, was primarily a function of opportunity. He explains, "I was getting more work on the mandolin." Sugarbeat, an eclectic quartet that also featured banjoist Tony Furtado, lead vocalist and guitarist Ben Demerath, and bassist Sally Truitt allowed him the opportunity to master the mandolin in a contemporary folk and bluegrass context.
Flinner is now widely considered one of the hottest mandolin players on the acoustic scene. He tours actively with the Matt Flinner Trio, as a member of the 'new acoustic' trio Phillips, Grier & Flinner, as a member of Darrell Scott's band, and with guitarist Frank Vignola (David Grisman Quintet). Flinner also special guests on banjo with Leftover Salmon and in the fall of 2008 was a featured soloist with Trey Anastasio and Carlo Aonzo during Orchestra Nashville's performance of "Concertino" (Don Hart). He most recently appeared on comedian Steve Martin's new recording The Crow and the Vignola Collectives' March 09 release, Gypsy Grass.
With his singular combination of taste, tone, and time, Matt Flinner has and continues to create a sound that is unique to his vision and makes an important statement in the evolution of acoustic string band music.